Case Summary

California has imposed many unconstitutional requirements upon handguns to limit purchases. By requiring non-standard or non-existent features, the state has effectively created a ban on handguns. As a result, California residents are being unfairly denied their Second Amendment protected rights.  

Mountain States Legal Foundation joined a number of like-minded organizations to file an amici curiae brief with the Supreme Court in February 2019. 

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What’s Next

This petition for certiorari is still pending before the Supreme Court.

Case History

California considers all handguns unsafe and illegal for sale unless the state tests it and determines the model is “not unsafe.” This practice has resulted in a Handgun Roster listing models that are legal to purchase in the state.  

The state even requires that new firearms models have features that do not exist.  

Since 2013, California has required all new models have three features before it will add them to the Handgun Roster: (1) a chamber-load indicator, (2) a magazine disconnect mechanism, and (3) microstamping technology. The first is a non-standard feature, the second an unpopular one, and the third is a feature that does not currently exist. Gun manufacturers also have no intention of adding microstamping in the future. 

Newer firearms have more advanced safety features and even accommodations for differences in strength and abilities. Yet, all of these advances are unavailable in California. 

These stringent rules violate Second Amendment protections since they effectively create a handgun ban, preventing any new models from being added to the list and freezing technology in 2013.  

Because Californians are being denied their Second Amendment protected rights due to this unconstitutional roster and requirements, Ivan Pena, Roy Vargas, The Second Amendment Foundation and others sued in federal court.  

The District Court ruled in favor of California, as did the Ninth Circuit. Pena et al., now seek Supreme Court review to restore their right to bear arms. 

Case Documents
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