California has effectively banned semiautomatic handguns, tightening restrictions that are making gun enthusiasts feel that it’s an indirect and unconstitutional ban in the largest state of the U.S.
Retailers are now banned in California from selling new models of semiautomatic handguns not equipped to imprint the weapon’s make, mode and serial number on the cartridge. Microstamping technology helps law enforcement solve crimes and deter them.
Leading gun manufacturers like Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC) and Strum Ruger & Co. (RGR) say they won’t use the microstamping even if it means losing guns sales in California. Next week a federal judge in Sacramento, could decide whether the microstamping, that took effect in 2013, constitutes a de facto ban that violates the right to bear arms.
Appeals can make it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2008 it backed individuals right to own handguns, saying they were “quintessential self-defense weapons.” That decision in high court left plenty of room for gun-control backers to appoint new rules to advocate safety.
President Obama appointee, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, heard arguments on both sides’ request on ruling the legality of California’s gun regulations. In Fresno’s state court, the law is trying to be stopped by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute in a lawsuit.
Some state and local gun laws have been struck down by the U.S. courts have struck down only a handful of state and local gun laws in about 800 challenges since the Supreme Court’s ruling, Juliet Leftwich Legal director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco, said in a phone interview. The ones left intact included restrictions passed in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Supporters and critics of the new legislation will definitely ask the Supreme Court to narrowly define every detail as both sides seek their rights expanded and protected.
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