Shotgun shells

California long has had some of the toughest gun restrictions in the nation.

A few years ago, the state even regulated the color for toy guns.

It’s constantly in court defending its latest moves, which in one recent legislative session totaled 12 new laws.

But Tuesday it lost a battle over a section of the California Penal Code that prohibited the display of handguns or handgun placards that may be seen from outside a store.

The Second Amendment Foundation and others challenged the infringement of various constitutional rights, and a federal district court agreed.

Plaintiffs in the case were Tracy Rifle and Pistol (TRAP), Ten Percent Firearms, Sacramento Black Rifle Inc., PRK Arms. SAF was joined in supporting the case by the Calguns Foundation and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees.

The lawsuit was filed three years ago against then-Attorney General Kamala Harris and the head of the state Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms. Harris has since been elected to the U.S. Senate.

The case was over Section 26820 of the California Penal Code, which plaintiffs charged violated the First Amendment rights of the gun shop operators.

The law stated, “No handgun or imitation handgun, or placard advertising the sale or other transfer thereof, shall be displayed in any part of the premises where it can readily be seen from the outside.”

Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder, asserted a state “cannot legislate political correctness at the expense of a fundamental, constitutionally delineated civil right. We were delighted to offer financial support to this case.”

The state had claimed the punishment advanced the “state’s interest in reducing handgun-related crime and suicide.”

But SAF said the court held that the state failed to show that the statute “has any effect on handgun suicide or crime.”

And it pointed out California “restricted disfavored speech without acknowledging the efficacy of policy choices that do not burden speech.”

California “may not accomplish its goals by violating the First Amendment,” the court said.

WND reported the state even it banned the word “handgun.”


Among other moves by California: raising the age for the purchase of long guns, a new registration program that required gun owners to use a computer system that didn’t work, 12 gun control measures in the 2016 legislature, a move to allow relatives to seize guns and the crackdown on toys.

Officials demanded pellet guns and other toy weaponry not be allowed to look like the real thing.

The proposal by state Sen. Kevin de Leon would require imitation guns and rifles, including those used in airsoft mock battle games, to be brightly colored, rather than in dark tones that make them look authentic.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.