US Judge Declares Waiting Periods are a “Burden” to the Second Amendment Right

Second-Amendment-Foundation-LogoA California judge ruled the current state-imposed waiting period to take possession of a firearm is a burden on the Second Amendment, the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed a legal challenge, Silvester v. Harris, to California's mandatory 10-day waiting period to take possession of a firearm.

In his 11-page decision U.S. District Court Senior Judge Anthony Ishii wrote that California Attorney General Kamala Harris

“argues that the WPL (Waiting Period Law) is a minor burden on the Second Amendment, [but] plaintiffs are correct that this is a tacit acknowledgement that a protected Second Amendment right is burdened. The court concludes that the WPL burdens the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”

Alan Gottlieb, SAF executive vice president, was very pleased with the ruling.

“Judge Ishii’s comparison of the waiting period to a prior restraint is significant. He further stated that Harris, in her motion to dismiss the case, had not shown that the waiting period law is effective in reducing gun-related violent crime, or in keeping guns out of the wrong hands where the government has already issued that purchaser a License To Carry or a Certificate Of Eligibility.”

The group Calguns is arguably one of Cslifornia's most active state firearms advocacy organizations. Calguns Chairman Gene Hoffman said it is

“refreshing to see lower federal courts taking the burden of intermediate scrutiny or strict scrutiny seriously. California has such a byzantine scheme of gun control that it can’t justify making people who already own firearms registered with the state of California wait 10 days to buy a new gun after they complete a background check,” Hoffman said. “We look forward to bringing some common sense back to how the law-abiding buy and sell registered guns in California.”

Judge Ishii made a point to note

“[There] has been no showing that the Second Amendment, as historically understood, did not apply for a period of time between the purchase/attempted purchase of a firearm and possession of the firearm.”

The Second Amendment states:

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Gottlieb said the judge wisely concluded, as did Martin Luther King Jr., that “a right delayed is a right denied.”

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