Friday, July 06, 2018

California Supreme Court Rules Law Requiring the Impossible is Constitutional

Image from Calguns

In 2007, California passed a law requiring all new semi-automatic handgun models have dual stamp micro-stamping incorporated in their design. Because of legal challenges, the law does not go into effect until 2013. In 2013, California AG Kamala Harris insists on enforcing the law. No new handgun models have been added to the California handgun roster since that time.

Manufacturers have stated that dual microstamping, as required by the California law, is technologically and commercially impossible. The State appeals court ruling was appealed to the California Supreme Court, on the grounds that the law cannot require an impossibility.

On June 28, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled the State legislature can require impossible things, if that was the legislature's intent.  From

Gun manufacturers must do their best to comply with a California law requiring new models of semiautomatic handguns to imprint their bullets with identifying micro stamps so police can trace them, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday, rejecting the companies’ arguments that the law should be overturned because compliance is technologically impossible.

A gun-control advocate said the ruling preserves safety regulations that encourage industries to develop new technologies. A gun organization’s lawyer said the state is headed for a “slow-motion handgun ban.”

The gun law, passed in 2007, is supported by police organizations that say the stamps would help officers to determine the source of bullets found at crime scenes. It requires that new brands of semiautomatic pistols introduced for retail sale in California carry markings in two places that would imprint the gun’s model and serial number on each cartridge as it is fired.

A federal legal challenge to the law on Second Amendment grounds was filed in June of 2013.  The district court upheld the law. An appeal was filed in the Ninth Circuit. The oral arguments were heard on March 16th, 2017, over a year ago, by a three judge panel. Here is a video summation of the oral arguments done by CalGuns.

Link to video done by Calguns

The Ninth Circuit still has not ruled, over a year later. If the the three judge panel in the Ninth rules for the Second Amendment, I expect a judge on the Ninth will demand a vote for an en banc ruling by the entire Ninth Circuit. That has been the pattern for recent Second Amendment cases in the Ninth Circuit.

The Ninth Circuit, en banc, has been ideologically hostile to the Second Amendment.

A new Supreme Court justice, appointed by President Donald Trump to replay retiring Justice Kennedy, should be on the Supreme Court by the time the Court would be called to hear an appeal from the Ninth Circuit on this case.

That might, or might not make the difference in whether or not the Supreme Court would decide to hear an appeal of the case.

The Supreme Court has been able to pick and choose what cases it will hear since 1891. In 1891, the legislature gave the power to refuse cases to the Supreme Court, in order to reduce the Courts workload. Instead of being heard by the Supreme Court, most cases are heard by the appellate courts.

The Ninth Circuit has become the Circuit with the highest percentage of decisions overturned by the Supreme Court.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Paul Weber said...

Judges in California, who are extremely political, are known to make rulings that will not withstand being appealed to the next court. The way they've historically gotten around that is to withhold making a "final ruling" for years hoping the party that would appeal losses interest in appealing.

Cory C said...

What an absurd ruling.

Anonymous said...

This kind if congressional action is what is causing so much trouble in getting the constitution enforced as written. Congress has the constitutional authority to create new and lower courts. it does not have the authority to amend the constitution and the constitution mandates the supreme court to have original jurisdiction in several kinds of cases. to take authority away from the supreme court required by the constitution is unconstitutional. we continually hear the supreme court has the authority to interpret the constitution. I charge any one to find the authority for any one to interpret the constitution. the word interpret and the authority to interpret is not written any where in the constitution. The constitution was written to be enforced there is no authority to interpret any part of it.

Anonymous said...

Judges that pull the continuing delay tactic are violating the constitutional right to a free, fair and speedy trial should file a constitutional rights violation and get the judge removed