Firearms

Attorney General Bonta: Weapons of War and Large-Capacity Magazines Do Not Belong in Our Communities

February 28, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

Large-capacity magazine and assault weapons bans help prevent mass shootings, are consistent with Second Amendment

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of Connecticut’s restrictions on large-capacity magazines (LCMs) and assault weapons in National Association for Gun Rights v. Lamont.

“Large capacity magazines and assault weapons have been used in many horrific mass shootings around the country, including right here in California,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Restricting large capacity magazines and assault weapons is consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision and helps us prevent unspeakable tragedies like the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults. Our commonsense gun safety measures here in California have a track record of reducing the threat of gun violence in our communities and we support any state that does the same.” 

For the last three decades, California has restricted the manufacture, distribution, transportation, importation, sale, lending, and possession of firearms that qualify as “assault weapons” under California law. Those weapons have specific tactical enhancements or configurations that make the weapons more dangerous to the public and law enforcement and more susceptible to criminal misuse. Data reflect that assault weapons in general are used disproportionately in crime relative to their market presence, that they are used often to commit mass shootings, and that they inflict more numerous and more extensive injuries than other weapons.

In California, it has been illegal to manufacture, import, keep or offer for sale, give, or lend LCMs with more than 10 rounds of ammunition since 2000. It has been illegal to purchase and receive LCMs since 2013. Proposition 63, which was passed by Californians in 2016, added a ban on the possession of LCMs. Firearms equipped with LCMs are estimated to account for up to 36% of crime guns nationwide. In mass shootings where four or more were people killed from 2015 to 2022, 60% involved firearms with LCMs and accounted for a third of all mass shooting deaths and more than 80% of all mass shooting injuries. 

A copy of the brief can be found here.

Tags: 

Attorney General Bonta Announces APPS Felony Arrest, Seizure of Hundreds of Weapons Including Assault Rifles, Suspected Grenades, and Approximately One Million Rounds of Ammunition

February 15, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

 SAN FRANCISCO — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced the arrest of a suspect in Richmond with a large cache of illegal firearms, including assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and approximately one million rounds of ammunition. The suspect is alleged to be legally barred from owning weapons.

“This arrest demonstrates exactly why the Armed and Prohibited Persons System is vital for the safety of our communities,” said Attorney General Bonta. “In our efforts to retrieve guns from a prohibited individual, we found hundreds of allegedly illegal weapons and approximately one million rounds of ammunition. I am grateful for our Bureau of Firearms agents’ and local law enforcement partners' work in getting these illegal weapons out of the hands of this prohibited individual.”

On January 31, 2024, agents from the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Firearms (BOF) Contra Costa Anti-Violence Support Effort (CASE) Task Force assisted by the BOF Dublin office and Contra Costa County Probation Officers served a search warrant at the suspect's residence in Richmond. During the search, several suspected grenades were discovered and the Walnut Creek Police Department Bomb Squad and Travis Air Force Base Bomb Squad were asked to respond, and the grenades were found to be inert. After a thorough search of the residence, DOJ agents seized approximately 11 military-style machine guns, 133 handguns, 37 rifles, 60 assault rifles, 7 shotguns, 20 silencers, 4 flare guns, 3,000 large capacity magazines, approximately one million rounds of miscellaneous caliber ammunition, and dozens of rifle receivers and pistol frames.

Visuals of the weapons seized can be found here: image 1, image 2, image 3, video

In 2006, California became the first state in the nation to establish a system for tracking firearm owners who fall into a prohibited status. The APPS database works to identify individuals who lawfully procured firearms and later became prohibited from owning or possessing them. In general, prohibited persons in APPS include individuals who were convicted of a felony or a violent misdemeanor, were placed under a domestic violence or other restraining order, or suffer from serious mental illness. The 2022 APPS Report was released in April of 2023 and the 2023 APPS Report will be released in March 2024. DOJ’s BOF serves the people of California through education, regulation, and enforcement actions regarding the manufacture, sale, ownership, safety training, and transfer of firearms and ammunition. BOF staff are leaders in providing firearms expertise and information to law enforcement, legislators, and the general public in a comprehensive program to ensure legitimate and responsible firearm possession and use by California residents. BOF is looking to hire additional special agents and more information on assessments for relevant job openings can be found on DOJ's website at oag.ca.gov/careers/exams.

 

Attorney General Bonta Denounces Harmful District Court Decision Overturning Established Ammunition Laws, Endangering Californians

January 31, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today will appeal the district court decision striking down California’s ammunition laws adopted by Proposition 63 and amended by SB 1235, and will seek an immediate stay of the district court decision pending appeal to maintain California’s life-saving, constitutional restrictions on ammunition in Rhode v. Bonta. These commonsense ammunition laws require that transactions take place in face-to-face interaction at a licensed ammunition vendor, that a background check be submitted before the ammunition sale or transfer may be completed, that a purchaser demonstrate proof of lawful presence in this country, and that ammunition vendors report certain information to the California Department of Justice. Attorney General Bonta will urge the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the district court’s decision, which will ensure that these vital public safety protections remain in place to prevent gun-related deaths and injuries in California communities.

“These laws were put in place as a safeguard and a way of protecting the people of California — and they work,” said Attorney General Bonta. “We will continue to fight for our authority to keep Californians safe. We will move promptly to seek an immediate stay of this decision so these ammunition laws can remain in effect. The Supreme Court was clear that Bruen did not create a regulatory straitjacket for states — and we believe that the district court got this wrong. We will move quickly to correct this  dangerous mistake. We will not stop in our efforts to protect the safety of communities, and Californians’ rights to go about their business without fear of becoming victims of gun violence, while at the same time respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

With the proliferation of self-assembled, fully-functional, and unserialized “ghost guns” that are typically made from user-friendly kits purchased online, these ammunition laws serve as a backstop to the acquisition of firearms by prohibited persons. Ghost guns have hampered the ability of law enforcement to trace crime guns and investigate firearm trafficking. The background checks for ammunition purchases help to identify prohibited persons that have illegally acquired or manufactured firearms and prevent them from acquiring ammunition for use in those weapons.

The plaintiffs challenge a California law that requires the California Department of Justice to pre-approve all ammunition sales, which must be conducted by, or pass through, a licensed ammunition vendor. The plaintiffs allege that the law violates the Second Amendment, the Dormant Commerce Clause, and Equal Protection Clause, and that the law is preempted by federal law. The federal district court previously granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, prohibiting the Attorney General from enforcing the law pending resolution of the case. The next day, the Attorney General secured a stay of that decision from the Ninth Circuit, allowing California to continue to enforce the law while the case is pending. After New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen was decided in June 2022, the Ninth Circuit vacated the preliminary injunction and remanded the case back to the federal district court. The Attorney General will now once again appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

Gun violence remains a growing threat to public safety throughout the nation, as mass shootings are on the rise. On average, there are over 110 gun deaths each day and nearly 41,000 each year in the U.S. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and adolescents, with U.S. children being more likely to die from gun violence than in any other comparable country. In 2021, California was ranked as the #1 state for gun safety by Giffords Law Center, and the state saw a 37% lower gun death rate than the national average. According to the CDC, California’s gun death rate was the 44th lowest in the nation and the gun death rate for children is 58% lower than the national average.

Tags: 

Attorney General Bonta Issues Statement Ahead of Oral Arguments in Defense of California’s Assault Weapons Ban

January 24, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

 

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued the following statement ahead of arguments in the Miller v. Bonta appeal and in defense of California’s assault weapons ban before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Miller v. Bonta is a Second Amendment challenge to California’s restrictions on rifles, pistols, and shotguns that qualify as assault weapons under California Penal Code section 30515. The case is set for oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit today. 

“Weapons of war have no place on California’s streets,” said Attorney General Bonta. “This has been state law in California for decades, and we will continue to fight for our authority to keep our citizens safe from firearms that cause mass casualties. Our briefs have been filed, and we will continue our defense of this time-tested, essential, lifesaving law. We will not stop in our efforts to protect the safety of communities so that Californians may live without fear of becoming victims of gun violence, while at the same time respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.” 

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California found elements of California’s assault weapon restrictions unconstitutional. On October 19, 2023, Attorney General Bonta appealed the decision, and on October 28, 2023, secured an administrative stay of the decision by the Ninth Circuit. Currently, the assault weapons restrictions remain in effect. 

Oral arguments in Miller v. Bonta are being heard the day after California Attorney General Bonta was joined by local leaders in Sacramento for a roundtable discussion to address gun violence. The roundtable is the first in a series of meetings led by Attorney General Bonta across the state to bring together leaders of nonprofits, houses of worship, and community groups to discuss best practices in preventing gun violence. Attorney General Bonta stressed the importance of preventing gun violence at the roundtable, which was held one year after the shooting in Half Moon Bay, in which seven victims were killed and one was injured on January 23, 2023; and another shooting in Monterey Park, California, in which 10 people were murdered and nine were injured on January 21, 2023.

Tags: 

Attorney General Bonta and Community Leaders Engage in Inaugural Roundtable Discussion Addressing Gun Violence

January 22, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov


SACRAMENTO 
– California Attorney General Rob Bonta today was joined by local leaders in Sacramento for a roundtable discussion to address gun violence. The roundtable is the first in a series of meetings led by Attorney General Bonta across the state to bring together leaders of non-profits, churches, and community groups to discuss best practices in preventing gun violence. The primary objective of the roundtables is to formulate effective approaches for addressing gun violence in communities, fostering knowledge about accessible resources for the public, and enhancing partnerships statewide to avert gun violence occurrences more effectively. Attorney General Bonta stressed the importance of preventing gun violence at the roundtable, which falls a year after the shooting in Half Moon Bay killing seven victims and injuring one on January 23, 2023; and just after another shooting in Monterey Park, California, where 10 people were gunned down and nine injured on January 21, 2023.

“California continues to collectively mourn those lost to gun violence, including those we lost due to the horrific shootings in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park. We continue to heal together, and we look for ongoing solutions to prevent America’s disease and its effect on our communities. Preventing gun violence must begin in our communities by strengthening relationships and fostering an environment of support and collaboration,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “I’m proud to stand with our local partners to identify best practices, foster community involvement, and work toward community-driven solutions to eliminate gun violence. As California Attorney General, I am doubling down on California’s gun safety efforts by defending our commonsense gun safety laws in court, cracking down on enforcing those laws, and working in collaboration with local community violence intervention and prevention experts to disrupt cycles of gun violence.”

“For too long gun violence has caused tremendous trauma for so many families,” said Kim Williams, Hub Manager at Sacramento Building Healthy Communities. “Preventing gun violence requires a collective effort so we must come together as community organizations, system leaders and residents, allocate more resources, and work tirelessly towards a common goal. By joining forces, we can build safer communities where our loved ones can thrive without the fear of gun violence.”

“Mutual Assistance Network is an essential part of an intentional continuum of violence prevention that seeks community led and racial equity centered solutions to gun violence,” said Danielle Lawrence, Executive Director of Mutual Assistance Network. “As we collectively and collaboratively strive for a safer future, we call on all individuals, organizations, institutions, and policymakers to join hands in addressing the multifaceted challenges and impacts of gun violence to our communities in Sacramento County.” 

“We’ve all seen and experienced the impact of gun violence across our state,” said Senior Pastor Les Simmons of South Sacramento Christian Center. “Can you imagine a world without Violence? It is my hope that the Office of Gun Violence Prevention has that very imagination and action towards a collaborative solution, creating space for a deeper understanding between community lead organizations and other public safety entities for a shared vision of ending gun violence.”

In September of 2022, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the launch of the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) first-in-the-nation Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP), dedicated to developing strategies and working with stakeholders statewide to address the gun violence epidemic. This innovative new office — the first Office of Gun Violence Prevention under the leadership of a state attorney general — provides centralized support from DOJ for partners to implement strategic and innovative programs to reduce gun violence.  The Office of Gun Violence Prevention’s (OGVP) mission is to reduce and prevent gun violence, firearm injury, and related trauma. OGVP supports DOJ’s ongoing gun violence reduction efforts led by the Bureau of Firearms and DOJ's litigation sections — including the DOJ’s seizure of firearms from dangerous individuals using the Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS), prosecution of firearms trafficking cases, and defense of California’s commonsense gun laws. OGVP examines a broad range of factors — from firearm availability to effective resources for crisis prevention — to reduce the harm caused by firearms and make Californians healthier and safer. OGVP aims to reduce gun violence by promoting research and data collectionincreasing awareness about effective legal and policy strategies, and collaborating with federal, state, and local partners.

In 2023, the office released its first data report to provide a robust review of gun violence data in California and throughout the U.S. to help guide policy and strategy discussions related to reducing gun violence. The report highlighted California’s successes in preventing gun violence, and it shined a light on successful strategies and further areas for improvements. For example, over the last 30 years, California has reduced its gun violence rate compared to the rest of the United States; once 50% above average, California’s firearm homicide rate is now 33% below the rest of the United States. Additionally, if the firearm mortality rate in the rest of the United States had matched California’s between 2013-2022, there would have been nearly 140,000 fewer firearm-related deaths nationwide in that decade alone. 

Also In 2023, the office released the second data report that provided an in-depth look at the ties between domestic violence and firearms. The report examined data illustrating the impact of firearms-related domestic violence, including both family and intimate partner-related violence with firearms. The report documented California’s long-term progress in reducing domestic violence involving firearms, and  highlighted California’s efforts to empower and protect survivors by providing a range of support services, offering crisis intervention and safety planning options, providing for Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVROs), and enforcing laws to protect against gun violence.

Attorney General Bonta stands with partners throughout the state to continue tackling the issue of gun violence strategically and aggressively by:

 

Tags: 

Attorney General Bonta Calls for Investigation into Federal Funding of Ammunition Plant Selling Military Grade Ammunition to the Public

January 10, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta, as part of a coalition of 20 attorneys general, submitted a letter to the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention calling for a federal investigation after recent reports that billions of rounds of military-grade ammunition manufactured at the federally-owned Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Missouri were sold on the civilian commercial market, and used in many of the most tragic mass shootings in recent history.

“Disturbing reports show that American taxpayers have been unintentionally and unknowingly subsidizing the production of military-grade ammunition that was used in tragic acts of gun violence,” said Attorney General Bonta. “The ammunition produced by Lake City is specifically intended for military purposes and does not have a place within our communities. We hope this investigation sets a precedent and ensures that that the U.S. government will no longer subsidize the sale of military-grade weapons and ammunition to civilians.”

The U.S. Department of Defense provides subsidies and has allegedly invested more than $860 million to the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant so that it can be kept ready to meet large-scale production needs during times of war. Yet according to recent news reports, Lake City rounds have been sold on the civilian market and have become the ammunition of choice for use in mass shootings, including:

  • The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, FL, in which 17 children and adults were murdered and 17 children and adults were wounded.
  •  The Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, PA, in which 11 people were murdered as they gathered for Shabbat morning service and Torah study, and an additional six were wounded.
  •  The Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX, in which 19 elementary school students and two of their teachers were murdered, and an additional 17 people were wounded.
  • The massacre at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY, in which 10 people were murdered and three were wounded.

In the letter, the states recognize the critical importance of military readiness, and of making sure that the military has adequate supplies and reserve production capacity to meet its needs. However, the attorneys general assert that the federal government can and must do more to ensure that military-grade weapons remain out of civilian hands and that tax dollars are not used to subsidize crime and gun violence. The letter urges the Office to investigate the contracting processes that led to these sale practices, to take action to ensure that military-grade and military-subsidized ammunition stays out of civilian hands, and to issue a public report with recommendations about how to end the diversion of military ammunition available for public purchase. 

The California Department of Justice has worked hand in hand with the federal government and President Biden to bolster the national fight against gun violence in America by:

Attorney General Bonta stands with partners throughout the state to continue tackling the issue of gun violence strategically and aggressively by:

Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Attorney General Bonta Joins National Fight for Commonsense Gun Laws

December 29, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta, as part of a coalition of 22 attorneys general, filed a brief in support of a federal law that prohibits firearms dealers from selling handguns and handgun ammunition to persons under the age of 21. The case, McCoy v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, is currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and addresses a Second Amendment challenge to 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(1). States across the nation protect their citizens through the application of similar age-based restrictions on the possession, purchase, sale, transfer, or use of firearms because such laws have proven to promote public safety and curb gun violence within their borders.

“Federal law has prevented federally licensed firearms retailers from selling handguns and ammunition for handguns to individuals under the age of 21 for nearly six decades,” said Attorney General Bonta. “As firearms continue to lead to more than 45,000 deaths per year, it is unwise to overturn this long-standing federal prohibition that helps reduce the scourge of gun violence in our communities. We support these federal regulations and those of sister states aimed at ending gun violence through commonsense laws that improve public safety."

In the brief, the states assert that the federal law is constitutional under the Second Amendment, as it is consistent with a historical tradition of federal and state regulations promoting gun safety and protecting communities from gun violence. The coalition argues that the district court’s decision misreads the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which preserves federal authority to regulate firearms through laws that are “consistent with the Second Amendment’s text and historical understanding.”

Attorney General Bonta urges the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the lower court decision because:

  • The Second Amendment allows governments to enact measures to promote gun safety and protect against gun violence that are consistent with historical tradition. 
  • The challenged restriction is consistent with measures taken by many states and upheld on historical grounds by courts across the country. 

Attorney General Bonta stands with partners throughout the state to continue tackling the issue of gun violence strategically and aggressively by:

Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Dealaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersy, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the brief can be found here.

 

Attorney General Bonta Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold Federal Bump Stock Ban

December 27, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

 

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta, as part of a coalition of 22 attorneys general, filed a brief today in the United States Supreme Court in support of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) federal regulation that bans bump-stock devices and classifies them as prohibited machine guns under the National Firearms Act. In the case of Garland v. Cargill, the district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit panel agreed with ATF that a federal statute prohibiting machine-guns fairly encompasses bump stocks, but the en banc court reversed. The Supreme Court granted certiorari on November 3.

“It is very clear that bump stocks  readily convert semiautomatic firearms into machine guns, making them illegal under federal law,” said Attorney General Bonta. “The federal government has long regulated automatic weapons and federal laws that apply on a nationwide basis serve as an important complement to State firearms laws that protect our residents and communities from gun violence. The bump stock regulation fits squarely within the text of the federal law banning machine guns, and a centuries-long effort to keep automatic weapons off the streets and out of California.”

In 2017, a gunman opened fire at a music festival in Las Vegas using semi-automatic rifles equipped with bump-stock devices, killing 60 people and wounding 500 more. In the wake of the shooting, ATF issued its final rule concluding that bump stocks qualify as machine guns under a federal statute that prohibits machine guns. Bump stocks are an accessory that can be added to a semiautomatic long gun and enable users to mimic automatic fire by pulling their trigger finger just once to maintain a stream of gunfire. 

Machine guns became commercially available to civilians in the 1920s and their ability to rapidly fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull provoked regulatory scrutiny. States and the federal government promptly responded by restricting machine guns. In the 1980s, Congress responded decisively, passing legislation to make clear that any device designed to simulate fully automatic fire is a machine gun that is prohibited under federal law.

The brief argues that the ban of bump stocks is consistent with the text of the federal statute prohibiting machine guns, as well as a long history of federal and state laws restricting machine guns. The brief argues that the federal regulation banning bump stocks vindicates the purposes of federal firearms law by complementing state efforts to regulate dangerous weapons, by supporting the states that have already banned them, and by filling in the gaps of state-by-state regulations.

Attorney General Bonta stands with partners throughout the state and nationally to continue tackling the issue of gun violence strategically and aggressively by:

Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia in filing the brief.

A copy of the brief can be found here.

 

Attorney General Bonta Joins Amicus Brief Backing Colorado’s Commonsense Age Restrictions on Firearms

December 13, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

 

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta, as part of a coalition of 19 attorneys general, filed a brief in support of a Colorado law setting 21 as the minimum age to purchase any kind of firearm. The case, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Polis, is currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The coalition’s brief argues that a lower court erred its decision to temporarily halt enforcement of the law while the litigation challenging the constitutionality of the law proceeds. States across the nation protect their citizens through the application of similar age-based restrictions on the possession, purchase, sale, transfer, or use of firearms because such laws have proven to promote public safety and curb gun violence within their borders.

“States must have the ability to protect their citizens and communities from gun violence,” said Attorney General Bonta. “The district court's decision to preliminarily enjoin Colorado's law is inconsistent with our nation's historical tradition, as well as longstanding state and federal laws imposing age-based restrictions on the possession, purchase, sale, transfer, and use of firearms. We stand with Colorado and other states in their efforts to end gun violence through commonsense laws that improve public safety."

In the brief, the states assert that Colorado’s law is constitutional under the Second Amendment, as it is consistent with states’ authority and a historical tradition of federal and state regulations promoting gun safety and protecting communities from gun violence. The coalition argues that the district court’s decision preliminarily enjoining Colorado’s law misreads the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which preserves states’ authority to regulate firearms through laws that are “consistent with the Second Amendment’s text and historical understanding.”

Attorney General Bonta urges the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the district court decision because:

  • The Second Amendment allows states to enact varied measures to promote gun safety and protect against gun violence consistent with historical tradition, and states have long exercised this power by enacting laws to promote safety, prevent crime, and minimize gun violence within their borders.
  • Colorado’s age-based restrictions are consistent with measures taken by other states and fall comfortably within states’ authority to regulate firearms. Numerous States and the District of Columbia impose age-based restrictions regarding the use, purchase, transfer, or possession of firearms. Courts have previously upheld these restrictions relying on the historical record as is now required by Bruen.

 Attorney General Bonta stands with partners throughout the state to continue tackling the issue of gun violence strategically and aggressively by:

Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of Illinois, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia in filing the brief.

A copy of the brief can be found here. 

 

Attorney General Bonta Supports Court’s Decision Upholding Enforcement of California’s Age-Based Firearm Restrictions

December 12, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN DIEGO — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued the following statement after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California denied a preliminary injunction motion in Chavez v. Bonta, a lawsuit challenging the law prohibiting licensed firearms dealers from selling, supplying, delivering, or giving possession or control of certain long guns and semiautomatic centerfire rifles to 18- to 20-year-olds.  

“We applaud the court’s decision and believe it is an important step forward in the fight against gun violence,” said Attorney General Bonta. “We will continue to lead efforts to defend California’s commonsense gun-safety laws. As we move forward on the merits in this case, Californians should know that licensed firearms dealers are still prohibited from selling, supplying, delivering or giving possession or control of certain long guns and semiautomatic centerfire rifles to 18- to 20-year-olds.” 

Attorney General Bonta stands with partners throughout the state to continue tackling the issue of gun violence strategically and aggressively by:

A copy of the decision can be found here.