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: