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Defense Distributed v Bonta - California CNC ban & Litigation chill


Euler
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The case is filed in the Federal District Court of Central California.

 

Docket

Complaint said:

...

California Imposes Unprecedented Restrictions on the Self-Manufacture of Firearms with the Passage of AB 1621 and Attempts to Deter the Vindication of Constitutional Rights with the Passage of SB 1327.

 

On June 30, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1621, which amended or added multiple provisions of the Penal Code, including §§ 29180(f), 29185, 30400, 27530(a), and 18010(d). AB 1621 was enacted as an "urgency" statute, meaning that these provisions took effect immediately.

...

Section 29185, as added by AB 1621 § 25, imposes sweeping restrictions that criminalize the use or sale of CNC milling machines.

...

Penal Code § 29185 prohibits any private person or company (except a "federally licensed firearms manufacturer or importer") from using modern technology -- a CNC milling machine -- to manufacture their own weapons.

...

Likewise, the regulatory scheme in §§ 30400, 27530(a), and 18010(d) undermines the right to self-manufacture firearms because it all but prohibits individuals from acquiring the precursor materials required to self-manufacture modern, commonly used firearms.

...

The fee-shifting provision in SB 1327 § 2, which imposes liability upon everyone who seeks to challenge California's litany of restrictions on their Second Amendment rights -- including attorneys and law firms -- is plainly intended to chill and punish challenges to gun-related legislation.

...

On its face, SB 1327 § 2 does not apply to plaintiffs who bring constitutional challenges against non-gun-related regulations. SB 1327 § 2 therefore unequally denies Plaintiffs their fundamental right to petition the government for asserting a particular constitutional right -- the right to bear and keep arms -- while placing no similar burden on challenges asserting other constitutional rights.

...

SB 1327 § 2 impedes the vindication of federal rights, and is therefore preempted by 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b), which permits the court to give the "prevailing party [in a § 1983 action] . . . a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs."

...

Plaintiffs request that the Court enter an order and judgment:

 

A. Declaring that Cal. Penal Code §§ 29180(f), 29185, 30400, 27530(a), and 18010(d) violate the Second and Fourteenth Amendments and are thus devoid of any legal force or effect;

 

B. Permanently and preliminarily enjoining Defendants and their employees and agents from bringing an enforcement action against any company or individual pursuant to Cal. Penal Code §§ 29180, 29185, or 18010(d);

 

C. Declaring that SB 1327 § 2 violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments and is thus devoid of any legal force or effect;

 

D. Declaring that SB 1327 § 2 violates the Supremacy Clause and is thus devoid of any legal force or effect;

 

E. Permanently and preliminarily enjoining Defendants and their employees and agents from seeking attorneys' fees pursuant to SB 1327 § 2;

 

F. Awarding Plaintiffs their attorneys' fees and costs under 42 U.S.C. § 1988; and

 

G. Granting such other and further relief that the Court may deem just and proper.

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  • 4 weeks later...

On September 21, Defense Distributed filed a first amended complaint, removing SAF as a plaintiff. Other than removing SAF (and adding a few typographical errors), there are no changes to the complaint.

 

Also Defense Distributed has moved for a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of SB 1327 and AB 1621. A motion hearing is set for October 24.

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/22/2022 at 7:27 AM, richp said:

Anyone know why?

 

The following is from an article discussing the denial of a preliminary injunction. Putting 2 and 2 together, I'd say Defense Distributed dropped the case rather than lose and have to appeal.

 

The Reload

The Reload said:

October 27, 2022

...

[George W. Bush appointee George H.] Wu determined the Second Amendment's text does not cover the building of firearms, ruling against gun-mill maker Defense Distributed (DD) in its challenge of AB 1621. The judge argued California's law banning the possession of unserialized firearms, as well as parts or specific tools used to make them, does not run afoul of gun-rights protections under the Supreme Court's Bruen decision.

 

"... [D]oes the 'Second Amendment's plain text' cover the issue here? No, it plainly does not. AB 1621 has nothing to do with 'keep[ing]' or 'bear[ing]' arms."

 

... Wu is among the first federal judges to grapple with the new test and possibly the first to determine the text of the amendment only covers owning and carrying guns, not making or selling them. ...

...

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