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Rupp v. Becerra - CA judge upholds semi auto ban, not protected under 2A


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#1 steveTA84

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 07:25 PM

https://www.sfchroni...ic-14152233.php



A federal judge has upheld Californias ban on owning, manufacturing or selling semiautomatic rifles and the bullet buttons that convert a conventional rifle into a rapid-fire weapon.

Semiautomatic rifles are incredibly effective killing machines that are not commonly used or necessary for self-defense, said U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton of Santa Ana. She rejected a challenge to the law by the California Rifle & Pistol Association, an arm of the National Rifle Association.


Edited by mauserme, 29 July 2019 - 12:34 PM.
Added "Rupp v. Becerra" to Topic Title


#2 Euler

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 07:33 PM

A bullet button is a recessed magazine release. How does that make anything rapid-fire?

If the CRPA is an arm of the NRA, I'd bet it's news to them.
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#3 357

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 07:46 PM

Another activist judge. So tens of millions of them in use and the best selling rifle in America is not common use according to her and "incredibly effective killing machines" but around 300 people a year are killed with them and more people die from knives and fists.
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#4 steveTA84

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 07:57 PM

This needs to be taken to SCOTUS. Either way we win (if we lose, April 19, 1775 2.0)

#5 steveTA84

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 08:14 PM

Another activist judge. So tens of millions of them in use and the best selling rifle in America is not common use according to her and "incredibly effective killing machines" [B]but around 300 people a year are killed with them and more people die from knives and fists.

[B]

Yup. Just about what? 3 weekends in Chicago w/handguns and knives?

#6 Lou

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 09:02 PM

A California judge? Say no more.

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#7 Flynn

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 12:57 AM

Courts have ruled time and time again that the Constitution is not time locked, semi-auto and even select fire are every bit protected under the 2nd as speech on TV, Radio and Internet is protected under the 1st and the SC needs to get their act together on the 2nd and put the activist judges in their place and explain to them what a civil right is.


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#8 POAT54

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 03:55 AM

Back in 2015 you were probably laughing too hard to hear the report on how manufacturers would build a full auto and sell as a semi auto. Brought to us by the same folks that gave us the 30 caliber clip that can fire 30 rounds in half a second.

 

 


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#9 spec4

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 07:00 AM

Judge is an Obama appointee so this is no surprise.  The difference now as I understand Trump has appointed some conservative (we hope) judges on the 9th Circuit where this should end up.



#10 Bird76Mojo

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 08:22 AM

This is another circumstance where we really need firearm/ammunition manufacturers to stand with us. All manufacturers should immediately stop selling ALL firearms and ammunition to ANY California based state agency. If the citizens can't legally own it there, then the police shouldn't have access to them either. A PERMANENT line has to be drawn in the sand sooner or later.


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#11 357

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 10:00 AM

This is another circumstance where we really need firearm/ammunition manufacturers to stand with us. All manufacturers should immediately stop selling ALL firearms and ammunition to ANY California based state agency. If the citizens can't legally own it there, then the police shouldn't have access to them either. A PERMANENT line has to be drawn in the sand sooner or later.


That's the way to stop it or they will slowly be driven out of business.
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#12 Flynn

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 11:55 AM

This is another circumstance where we really need firearm/ammunition manufacturers to stand with us. All manufacturers should immediately stop selling ALL firearms and ammunition to ANY California based state agency. If the citizens can't legally own it there, then the police shouldn't have access to them either. A PERMANENT line has to be drawn in the sand sooner or later.

 

 

I agree, if California courts are saying "are not commonly used or necessary for self-defense" then there is no need for even police to have them, after all police are supposed to only use thier firearms in self-defense, but if semi-autos are not necessary for that task then take them away from the police as well, and also take them away from the military, after all they are not needed to defend the nation, right?


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#13 soundguy

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 03:24 PM

This is another circumstance where we really need firearm/ammunition manufacturers to stand with us. All manufacturers should immediately stop selling ALL firearms and ammunition to ANY California based state agency. If the citizens can't legally own it there, then the police shouldn't have access to them either. A PERMANENT line has to be drawn in the sand sooner or later.

 

Totally agree.


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#14 Raw Power

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 06:41 PM

This is another circumstance where we really need firearm/ammunition manufacturers to stand with us. All manufacturers should immediately stop selling ALL firearms and ammunition to ANY California based state agency. If the citizens can't legally own it there, then the police shouldn't have access to them either. A PERMANENT line has to be drawn in the sand sooner or later.

 

Who wants to start the petition? I'll put my John Hancock on it.



#15 Bird76Mojo

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 08:15 PM

 

This is another circumstance where we really need firearm/ammunition manufacturers to stand with us. All manufacturers should immediately stop selling ALL firearms and ammunition to ANY California based state agency. If the citizens can't legally own it there, then the police shouldn't have access to them either. A PERMANENT line has to be drawn in the sand sooner or later.

 

Who wants to start the petition? I'll put my John Hancock on it.

 

It would have to be a larger agency or group that has a large following. Like GOA, GSL, NSSF, SAF, etc.. (we already know the NRA doesn't have the cojones to take that kind of a stand) Someone that can get the word out and apply pressure to all of the manufacturers across the USA/world. Once you got a couple manufacturers on your side, the rest might fall in line rather than face the backlash from their own customer base.

But with Calistan being one of the largest economies in the world, it would still be a tough sale..


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#16 CILhunter

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 05:44 AM

Judge is an Obama appointee so this is no surprise.  The difference now as I understand Trump has appointed some conservative (we hope) judges on the 9th Circuit where this should end up.

 

This is (hopefully) where voting for Trump will pay off.  With Trump's recent appointments, the 9th Circuit is just about 50% Republican appointees (several of them appointed over the objections of the California senators, an unprecedented action).  That means that the 3 Judge panel has an even money chance of being conservative leaning.  Same with the (likely) en banc panel. I don't like some of the things Trump does, and I cringe when he goes on a Tweet storm, but the judicial appointments will have a long-term beneficial impact on the country.



#17 Plinkermostly

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 06:24 AM

Or the SCOTUS could finally clarify: shall not be infringed.



#18 GWBH

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 10:27 AM

Or the SCOTUS could finally clarify: shall not be infringed.

This is what really needs to happen.


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#19 sailor

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 12:28 PM

Another activist judge. So tens of millions of them in use and the best selling rifle in America is not common use according to her and "incredibly effective killing machines" but around 300 people a year are killed with them and more people die from knives and fists.

 

That quoted article is not accurate. It also didn't provide any citation of the case, which I hunted down: Steven Rupp v. Xavier Becerra.

 

Reading the judge's order, what she actually did was use Heller's statement that weapons like the M-16 "may" be banned as a test. The test was then whether the rifles banned by California are "like" an M-16:

 

Plaintiffs present no evidence to meaningfully distinguish the semiautomatic rifles at issue from the M-16. Accordingly, the Court concludes that semiautomatic rifles within the AWCA’s scope are virtually indistinguishable from M-16s and thus are not protected by the Second Amendment. Thus, the AWCA does not burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment.

 

Having established that, the court sidestepped the "in common use question" entirely:

 

Because the Court concludes that semiautomatic assault rifles are essentially indistinguishable from M-16s, which Heller noted could be banned pursuant to longstanding prohibitions on dangerous and usual weapons, the Court need not reach the question of whether semiautomatic rifles are excluded from the Second Amendment because they are not in common use for lawful purposes like self-defense.

 

However, it doesn't appear the court did in fact examine "in common use" when it decided that intermediate scrutiny was the proper level to apply.



#20 mrmagloo

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 01:01 PM

Sounds like the attorney's did a piss poor job of distinguishing between a FULLY Automatic Machine Gun, which is already federally regulated and a modern semiautomatic rifle which is the most popular sporting rifle in the country.  Sucks when we get rulings like this, based on what appears to be horribly incompetent representation.



#21 sailor

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 02:09 PM

Or rather, the briefs filed for the defendants (Becerra) presented convenient arguments to the judge, who was very likely pre-disposed to find for the government regardless, that there is no legally relevant difference between automatic and semi-automatic operations. Using the logic in this case, there would appear to be no barrier to banning all semi-automatic firearms, period, whether "in common use" or not.

 

As is often said, judges make their decision and then write a ruling to fit the decision. With every case, the anti-gun side is fine-tuning their logic to make that easier for pre-disposed judges.

 

Further, the Attorney General points to a United States Army manual instructing soldiers on the use of the M-16. The manual notes that, although the M-16 is capable of automatic fire, “[t]he most important firing technique during fast-moving, modern combat is rapid semiautomatic fire.” (Ex. 19 to Chang Decl. at 3, Doc. 76-19 (emphasis added).) This is because automatic fire “is inherently less accurate than semiautomatic fire.” (Id. at 7.) Thus, the military is trained to use M-16s as if they were semiautomatic rifles because the semiautomatic mode is more effective. Reviewing similar evidence, Kolbe concluded that “in many situations, the semiautomatic fire of an AR-15 is more accurate and lethal than the automatic fire of an M16.” Kolbe, 849 F.3d at 136.

 

Moreover, even if the ability to fire in automatic mode were significant, Congress found that “it is a relatively simple task to convert a semiautomatic weapon to automatic fire.” (H.R. Rpt. No. 103-489 at 18, Ex. 27 to Chang Decl., Doc. 76-27.) The Attorney General’s evidence shows that a semiautomatic weapon can easily be converted to automatic fire by installing certain parts, such as bump stocks or multiburst trigger activators. (Plaintiffs’ Response to AG’s SUF ¶ 13.) The Supreme Court in Staples v. United States, 511 U.S. 600 (1994) is in accord with the Attorney General’s evidence, as it noted that “[m]any M-16 parts are interchangeable with those in the AR-15 and can be used to convert the AR-15 into an automatic weapon.” Id. at 603.7

 

The logic used is that lethality and effectiveness, not arcane mechanics of automatic vs semi-automatic, is what matters when comparing it to a firearm that "may" be banned, "like" an M-16. A firearm that is found to be too lethal or effective by this logic can be banned, without even addressing how that impacts the core right, since it is then "like" an M-16 and has no protection whatsoever.

 

The only solution to this will be the Supreme Court intervening, at least in the 9th and most other circuits.



#22 steveTA84

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 11:00 PM

What a show. I give up lol.




But please, lets try and reason with these people and treat them with respect and dignity. Itll be the best way to win them over........


They are idiots at the very lest, but they know what they are doing, and deserve nothing less than to be arrested for treason and treated as traitors to the republic

Edited by mauserme, 30 July 2019 - 05:17 AM.


#23 Bird76Mojo

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 03:48 AM

So if a fully automatic rifle is less accurate and less lethal than a semi-auto AR, I want ALL full autos to be readily available at my local gun shop, for purchase by anyone that passes the federal background check. It only makes sense according to the "standards" used to draft this ruling..

We finally did it boys! We did away with the NFA!


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#24 357

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 09:01 AM

Another activist judge. So tens of millions of them in use and the best selling rifle in America is not common use according to her and "incredibly effective killing machines" but around 300 people a year are killed with them and more people die from knives and fists.

 
That quoted article is not accurate. It also didn't provide any citation of the case, which I hunted down: Steven Rupp v. Xavier Becerra.
 
Reading the judge's order, what she actually did was use Heller's statement that weapons like the M-16 "may" be banned as a test. The test was then whether the rifles banned by California are "like" an M-16:
 

Plaintiffs present no evidence to meaningfully distinguish the semiautomatic rifles at issue from the M-16. Accordingly, the Court concludes that semiautomatic rifles within the AWCA’s scope are virtually indistinguishable from M-16s and thus are not protected by the Second Amendment. Thus, the AWCA does not burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment.

 
Having established that, the court sidestepped the "in common use question" entirely:
 

Because the Court concludes that semiautomatic assault rifles are essentially indistinguishable from M-16s, which Heller noted could be banned pursuant to longstanding prohibitions on dangerous and usual weapons, the Court need not reach the question of whether semiautomatic rifles are excluded from the Second Amendment because they are not in common use for lawful purposes like self-defense.

 
However, it doesn't appear the court did in fact examine "in common use" when it decided that intermediate scrutiny was the proper level to apply.

So attorneys on our side didn't do a good job explaining the difference?
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#25 mrmagloo

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 10:16 AM

I don't think he specifically addressed my question as to the 'quality' of the plaintiffs attorneys as it related to the core question of distinguishing between a fully automatic M16 and a semi-auto rifle. He avoided that portion of the discussion completely in favor of proclaiming the judge was simply 'pre-disposed.' 

 

But to your point, it's bad enough when you are facing liberal activist judges without having to worry about attorney's that curl under the pressure and present arguments that sounds like they were prepared by 3rd graders.



#26 sailor

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 10:21 AM

So attorneys on our side didn't do a good job explaining the difference?

Note that the judge claimed that no evidence was presented to meaningfully distinguish the difference. This judge was not moved by technical differences. Rather, she was motivated to find a justification for the government's ban, and found it by discounting technical differences. To her, there is no meaningful difference in lethality and effectiveness between the semi-automatic rifles and the select-fire M-16, and it's doubtful any attorney could have changed that outcome. Unfortunately, Scalia's dictum in Heller "It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned ..." is now being used as a test. For this judge, the test chosen is being "like" an M-16. However it seems that this judge would have also been open to a test that established whether a firearm is "most useful in military service" and then permit that to be banned prima facie as well, regardless of a weapon being currently lawful and in common usage. This logic turns the concept of the people having a right to be properly armed to form an effective militia on its head.



#27 sailor

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 10:42 AM

I don't think he specifically addressed my question as to the 'quality' of the plaintiffs attorneys as it related to the core question of distinguishing between a fully automatic M16 and a semi-auto rifle. He avoided that portion of the discussion completely in favor of proclaiming the judge was simply 'pre-disposed.' 

 

But to your point, it's bad enough when you are facing liberal activist judges without having to worry about attorney's that curl under the pressure and present arguments that sounds like they were prepared by 3rd graders.

 

If you want to pay a PACER fee to obtain the full record and analyze it for effectiveness, please feel free and report back. It's not really that expensive.

 

Based on the order, it seems that the plaintiff attorneys certainly did attempt to distinguish the difference, but the judge was unmoved. Also I apologize, I just reviewed it again and it was another court that accepted the "most useful in military service" test, and Becerra wanted to use here, but this judge rejected that test.

 

See https://www.dropbox....dgment.pdf?dl=0



#28 mrmagloo

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 10:49 AM

 

So attorneys on our side didn't do a good job explaining the difference?

Note that the judge claimed that no evidence was presented to meaningfully distinguish the difference. This judge was not moved by technical differences. Rather, she was motivated to find a justification for the government's ban, and found it by discounting technical differences. To her, there is no meaningful difference in lethality and effectiveness between the semi-automatic rifles and the select-fire M-16, and it's doubtful any attorney could have changed that outcome. Unfortunately, Scalia's dictum in Heller "It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned ..." is now being used as a test. For this judge, the test chosen is being "like" an M-16. However it seems that this judge would have also been open to a test that established whether a firearm is "most useful in military service" and then permit that to be banned prima facie as well, regardless of a weapon being currently lawful and in common usage. This logic turns the concept of the people having a right to be properly armed to form an effective militia on its head.

 

 

Sailor - With all due respect, I truly understand that you feel the plainiffs attorneys did as best as they could, and the judge was completely biased from the get-go.

 

However, you clearly have insights that some of us don't - even if I had a Pacer acct, so I don't understand why you refuse to discuss what the plainiffs actually presented?  You took the time to carefully layout the government's argument in great detail, but will not say a thing about how our side did?  We are simply looking for some detail on what our side had to say and how well it was presented.

 

The obvious point is, forget what this idiot judge said.  Did the plaintiffs attorneys layout out a well conceived, logical, and compelling argument that would have prevailed with an unbiased judge?  Or, did these attorney's do a relatively poor job, and make it easy for the judge?  The point about not presenting evidence that meaningfully distinguished the difference is an enormous footnote, that I think all 2A supporters would like to understand a little better.  


Edited by mrmagloo, 30 July 2019 - 10:51 AM.


#29 sailor

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 11:33 AM

I cannot discuss that which I have not analyzed. All I have read so far is the 23 page order for summary judgement, from which one can infer some of what is in the record, but certainly not all. I could quote more from it, such as:

 

More fundamentally, Plaintiffs argue that California is “depriving the public of more accurate rifles that are easier to control.” (See, e.g.,Plaintiffs’ Opp. at 15.) Plaintiffs miss the point. As discussed throughout, that the rifles are more accurate and easier to control is precisely why California has chosen to ban them.

 

Here's the judge also admonishing the plaintiffs again that they "miss the point" when claiming that cosmetic features are technically meaningless:

 

Plaintiffs miss the point—the enumerated features increase the capabilities of semiautomatic rifles and thereby enhance their capacity for mass violence. [ ... ] The Attorney General’s expert notes that “[a]djustable stocks also contribute to the control of the rifle in that they allow the shooter to optimize the rifle to their arm length.” (See Mersereau Report ¶ 10, Ex. 3 to Chang Decl., Doc. 76-3.) “This increases the shooter’s ability to rapidly send rounds down range with increased accuracy.”

 

However, I strongly suggest reading it, it's just 23 pages, and reads as a paean to the efficacy of banning semi-automatic rifles. The judge uncritically accepts and quotes liberally from amicus briefs from Everytown, and gives great weight to the arguments and briefs of the defendants, while largely summarily dismissing all arguments made by the plaintiffs. Again, this is clearly a decision written by a judge pre-disposed to accept essentially any argument supporting a blanket ban on semi-automatic "assault" rifles, and likewise pre-disposed to dismiss any arguments, regardless of efficacy, against such a ban.

 

If you go to https://www.courtlis...xavier-becerra/ you can obtain a limited number of other documents. Importantly, you can read the 3rd amended complaint, and the defendant argument for summary judgement -- neither of which I have had time to read yet.

 

Note: edited to fix botched cut and paste of first quote.


Edited by sailor, 30 July 2019 - 06:13 PM.


#30 Bird76Mojo

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 12:08 PM

To top it off, the military version of this rifle, in it's currently adopted caliber, isn't all that deadly in the field anyway. I talked with a pair of soldiers that saw action together in Kandahar. On patrol walking beside a Humvee they got attacked, returned fire, and even after 2 shots (one to the chest and another to the abdomen) a "skinny" still had enough umph left in him to crawl back up and fire his RPG at their Humvee, turning their friend in to a red mist right in front of their eyes. These are their words, and they hate the 5.56 round and think the military made a huge mistake going with a round this small.

I've also talked to a few other veterans, and all of them agreed that the 5.56 round is extremely anemic when faced with a very thin/skinny enemy, as the rounds are so small and fast that they pass right through before doing enough damage. Unless the hits were exactly in the right spot or the enemy had on enough layers of clothing to make the bullet start to yaw/tumble.



A little off the rails here I know, but since that judge seems to think the AR platform rifle is the most efficient killing weapon on the planet Earth, I thought I'd offer a story that shows the opposite..


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