Decision Released on Federal Judge’s Rejection of Proposed California Restrictions

I, for one, enjoy reading through the formal legal decisions penned by judges. While it has the term “decision” the documents are actually the logical and legal rationale for the court’s decision – the basis of which various appeals will be based on. So when the decision was released from the recent preliminary injunction keeping the latest California restrictions from going into effect, I was naturally curious to understand the rationale for the decision.

For those wanting to read for themselves, you can find the full decision here.

For those wanting the cliff notes, the judge found that the potential for harm and damage to the plaintiffs due to the proposed regulations were likely unconstitutional based on the framework provided by “Simple Test” the Heller Supreme Court decision. Further, the judge took the time to go through the “intermediate scrutiny” used by the various Federal Appeals Courts and found that the State of California was unable to provide the burden of proof showing how the restrictions would protect the public, despite passing the first test of the governmental interest of trying to protect the public.

The judge took an extensive analysis of the various evidence offered by the State of California and found it unconvincing. Two databases for “mass shootings” were used, one from Mother Jones Magazine and the other from Everytown for Gun Safety. In short, both databases were far from any standard of scientific rigor – which the judge called out specifically and rather pointedly at Mother Jones:

For a full detailed analysis of the decision, hit up the Volokh Conspiracy over at The Washinton Post here.


TFB’s FNG. Completely irreverent of all things marketing but a passionate lover of new ideas and old ones well executed. Enjoys musing on all things firearms, shooting 3-gun, and attempting to be both tacticool AND tactical.


  • Nicks87

    So they were using left wing propaganda organizations to convince the court to uphold the restrictions? Shocking! And in Commiefornia of all places too. 😉

    • Nandor

      Don’t knock it. In our fight against NY’s SAFE Act, the state used Mother Jones’ reports and they won with it! Judge Skretny of NY specifically mentioned Mother Jones’ data when siding against the people’s right to have more than 10 rounds.

      • Nicks87

        That’s so ridiculous, have you ever tried to read mother jones? It’s like a left wing authoritarian hand book.

        • derpmaster

          It’s like an Antifa twitter stream in print form. Total garbage.

        • EzGoingKev

          Have you ever been to NY?

          • Nicks87

            No, never, I have family there too. Sorry cousin Cory…

        • AlDeLarge

          The data from Mother Jones’ mass shooting study is very different from the conclusions they draw from it. I’ve cited it several times showing gungrabber BS for what it is. Plus, they can’t scream about bias when it comes from one of their own.

  • Nicks87

    “The unlawful deprivation of Second Amendment rights, even temporarily, is an irreparable injury, said Benitez.”

    At least its sounds like Judge Benitez has his head on straight.

  • USMC03Vet

    Let’s make the most standardized feature across firearms illegal. Then try to portray it as abnormal and abhorrent, so we can underhandedly erode civil rights we don’t like. Bonus for making anyone that dare oppose us a criminal thus removing their use of the civil right entirely!

    – California Legislature.

    These people need to be hit hard by the law.

  • Gun Fu Guru

    I’m still surprised that TFB hasn’t addressed Florida’s 2017 “stand your ground” update being found unconstitutional.

    • AHill

      That one seems quite obviously over the “Firearms, Not Politics” line TFB tries to walk, so it isn’t exactly unexpected. (NOTE: I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with the rule nor commenting on how it may have been bent/broken in the past.)

      • Gun Fu Guru

        It is follows the historical precedent of discussing relevant legal action that impacts the gun-toting public (as is the nature of the article on which this comment was posted).

        • Cactus Air Force

          You’re certainly correct, but on a more granular level, I would say this article falls more into the availability of firearms/accessories in a state, which is a bit more relevant to TFB than the legal ramifications of firearms use in a state, if only a little. Since much of what TFB posts entails Ban-state firearms and innovations, this is definitely informative. However ultimately it’s up to TFB and their standard. No matter what, this website is much different than TTAG, in terms of admissible content – which is a great example of a website that does not care about the politics line.

  • Ark

    Wow, the state actually tried to offer Bloomberg’s interest group and Mother Jones as sources for empirical data? Jesus, somebody needs to fire their lawyers.

    California is more than welcome to make a political case for their policy, but they need to use real data to do it.

    • Marcus D.

      What was particularly interesting is that the Court actually read the data set for those reports and found that almost nothing pertained to California, and those that did did not entail the use of 10+ mags. He was unimpressed.
      Another recent example of th e misuse of data was the NYT article on the doctor who shot up his colleagues with an “assault weapon” (actually a legal firearm in NY and therefore not an “assault weapon”). the article noted that he only had ten round mags, but he had to spare mags “so he had just as many rounds as if he’d had a large capacity magazine.” the article then downplayed the fact that the doctor only used one mag and did not reload…..Same stuff with Everytown and Mother Jones, and the judge called them out. Very entertaining read.

      • Ark

        Oh, I remember that article. The same one that claimed he had no sights on his el cheapo Anderson because they’re “banned”.

        The NY anti-gunners got their way in banning 30 round magazines, then turn right around and say “he carried three 10-rounders, so it was the same thing!” lol if it’s the same thing, why pass a law in the first place? The author also attempted to cast blame on the “gun industry” for circumventing the ban with design changes, as though gun owners and retailers were expected to simply give up. Again, not at all conscious of how their own reporting is disproving the rational behind the law.

        Small town local reporters frequently get gun-related facts better than the NTY. They are a supremely qualified staff of reporters in other areas but I don’t think any of them have even seen a gun in real life.

        • majorrod

          Supremely qualified?

          You overestimate them in many areas. I can share a laundry list of issues where they clearly demonstrate their incompetence. Everything from foreign affairs, to economics to science…

  • RICH

    It sounds like this particular Federal Judge was pretty knowledgeable about constitutional law !

  • Random Disabled Person

    California couldn’t even use real cooked data results services? That states something about how bad things have gotten, with public opinion and ingrained self confidence on challenges. You can spin data to show anything just look at Big Tobacco research and Pharmaceutical companies. Nether dangerous products have been proven to hurt people, thier research shows benefits that outweigh the risks. It is well know that he who pays the researcher(or funds their university/facility) gets to call the results. That is before a spin machine P.R. firm makes it show even more support to who paid the piper….

    Let us hope the two courts opinions with California and New York clash, causing a higher court to restore common sense to law , the intention of the law, the spirit of the law and the application of the law. Our founding fathers never thought that the needed to write into an amendment about a right to protect yourself and property from harm. That such was so inalienable, that no mention need ever be made.

    The fact this news comes out around July 4th is fitting & uplifting

  • Tony A

    This makes us ,what 2 – 100?,never thought I’d see the day when gun owners would get a fair break.
    On another note our State Govt, ignores Fed laws so why in the check would people obey they’re laws, what’s good for the goose

  • Richard Lutz

    We must bear the burden of supporting a culture of liberty to preserve our natural rights and freedoms.

  • philippes

    The injunction is definitely worth reading. In one section it states:

    “To the extent they may be now uncommon within California, it would only be the result of the State long criminalizing the buying, selling, importing, and manufacturing of these magazines. To say the magazines are uncommon because they have been banned for so long is something of a tautology. It cannot be used as constitutional support for further banning. See Friedman v. City of Highland Park, Illinois, 784 F3d 406, 409 (7th Cir. 24 2015) (‘Yet it would be absurd to say that the reason why a particular weapon can be banned is that there is a statute banning it, so the it isn’t commonly used. A law’s existence can’t be the source of its own constitutional validity.’).”

    When the constitutionality of the NFA and Hughes Amendment of the 1986 FOPA are eventually revisited by the Supreme Court, the above citation needs to be taken into consideration when it comes to eliminating restrictions on automatic weapons.

    Similarly, assault rifle bans in various states throughout the country not only fail in the context of the “uncommon,” they certainly fall under the definition of “in common use” of Heller.

    Yet, some of the tenants in Heller are informed by errors in US v. Miller, which should ultimately be reversed since Miller was not even defended, and the decision was fundamentally flawed. The NFA was not ruled unconstitutional since the Court held that uncommon weapons like sawed off shotguns had no place in the militia. Clearly, the judges rendering that decision had never been involved in military and police door breaching operations. And regardless, the Second Amendment is not a right endowed by a fictitious “militia right,” as there can be no militia if the individual has no right to be armed.

    • gregge

      I ban, therefore I am.

  • bthomas

    Looks like facts really are hard things!