COVID-19 Steps Into Gun Debate in California

( – The State of California used the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to restrict consumer’s access to firearms, violating its statutes in the process.

On August 27, 2020, a group of gun rights proponents announced a lawsuit against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, California Bureau of Firearms director Brent Orick and the California Department of Justice.

The Second Amendment Foundation joined the lawsuit with four other firearms groups, the San Diego Gun Owners PAC, and four private individuals.

The lawsuit alleges that California’s Department of Firearms used the COVID-19 outbreak as an excuse to unlawfully extend the state’s 10-day waiting period to purchase firearms to 30 days. State officials use those 10 days to conduct statutorily-required background checks for all firearm purchases.

Curiously, the essential facts of the case don’t appear to be in question. A notice on the California Bureau of Firearms website’s homepage states that due to the pandemic, “circumstances” related to “personnel resources” could delay background checks beyond the mandated 10-days.

The Bigger Picture

One has to wonder whether the State of California has an ulterior motive in mind in light of their rather audacious display of disregard for state law.

Alan Gottlieb, Second Amendment Foundation executive vice president, shed some light on that subject. According to him, California officials were violating their own law and denying “law-abiding Californians” their rights “to perpetuate” the states “anti-gun political philosophy.”

Continuing, he called those delaying tactics “unconscionable,” adding the situation was an example of “anti-Second Amendment politicians exploiting” the pandemic to stomp on the rights of California residents.

The lawsuit supports this claim as well, accusing the state of using the delay to shelter itself from legal scrutiny. As the suit explained, California Governor Gavin Newsom used the Emergency Services Act to issue emergency orders and suspend several laws due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, he did not suspend the law regarding the 10-day waiting period because it “likely” would have led to “a wave of litigation” regarding the delay’s constitutionality.

In other words, it appears California is trying to skirt any accountability for suspending citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

Fortunately, there is a remedy for situations like this. Americans have the right to determine their leaders through free elections. And when conservatives vote, conservative win. It’s as simple as that!

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