FPC Wins 2nd Amendment Victory Against Too-Long Waiting Periods for Firearms in California – Opinion

Firearms Policy Coalition claimed victory Wednesday in a lawsuit against Rob Bonta of California, the CA DOJ, California’s Bureau of Firearms and the CA Attorney General for delaying firearms sales beyond the 10 day statutory deadline, absent any legal justification.

Due to a surge in the demand for firearms in 2020, California’s DOJ interpreted the law giving them 10 days to process background checks for firearms purchases, transfers, or loans to SomehowYou have thirty days for them to comply. According to the DOJ website,

The Department will notify the firearms dealer to delay the transfer of a firearm to a purchaser if the Department is unable to determine the purchaser’s eligibility within the 10-day waiting period. Many county courts are working on shorter work hours and have fewer employees, which delays or denies approval of applications. You should expect a slower response from our office if the record is out-of state or military. If 30 days has passed since the transaction date and the Department is still unable to determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own/possess firearms or whether the firearm involved in the sale/transfer is stolen, the Department will notify the dealer.

To delay a transfer after the 10 day waiting period, the DOJ must meet one of the three criteria set forth in California Law. Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. But, I am literateAnd I was kind enough to read through the legal jargon: CA Penal Code Section 28220 (f). (1) (A) and Section 27535. (a).

These are the criteria:

  1. The person was taken into custody. They were placed in a mental hospital.
  2. A person has been charged or arrested with a crime, which would, if convicted make them liable for the purchase. Not eligible It is illegal to possess or have firearms.
  3. However, the Dept is unable to determine whether this individual applied for more than one firearm purchase/transfer within a 30 day period or if he/she qualifies under any series of exceptions like being a lawmaker. Enforcement Officer, licensed firearms dealer or any other relevant situation.

FPC sued the DOJ for delaying firearms’ waiting periods without these legal premises. Campos v. Bonta. John S. Meyer of San Diego Superior Court wrote the following:

“A plain reading of the statute’s language shows that the Legislature added the three specific circumstances for which the Department may delay releasing firearms when background checks are not completed. Thus, contrary to respondents’ argument, these specified situations do not show the Legislature intended to provide the Department authority to delay release for any reason that background checks are not completed. If the Legislature had wanted to allow for a longer delay of 30 days when the DOJ deems it necessary, they could have. It did not.”

As of July 22, 2022, the plaintiff’s petition for writ of mandamus was granted and the DOJ was ordered to stop enforcing its illegal delay policy.

Read More: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Calif.’s Ban on Semi-Automatic Weapons Sales to Those Under 21 Unconstitutional

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