California Department of Justice (DOJ) has engaged in (a) sort of unbridled improper exercise of power


By —— Bio and Archives--January 4, 2018

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BELLEVUE, WA – Attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation and its partners in a challenge to the California Department of Justice regulations on so-called “assault weapons” have filed an amended complaint in the case, and are also seeking an injunction against the new regulations.

The case is known as Holt v. Becerra. It was filed in Superior Court in Riverside County.


SAF is joined by The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) and five individual California residents. The amended complaint adds Craig Stevens as an individual plaintiff. He is currently serving with the California Army National Guard and is presently deployed to the Middle East.

Stevens legally built his firearm and when he learned his National Guard unit was to be activated, he began requesting a DOJ-issued serial number per state statute. He never received a reply, and after several phone calls to the Department, he was told the agency was not issuing serial numbers. He then utilized the voluntary registration procedure, which the DOJ accepted, but the agency subsequently refused to allow Stevens to register the firearm as an “assault weapon.”

In seeking the injunction, the plaintiffs note that they “are forced to bring this action because the California Department of Justice (DOJ) has engaged in (a) sort of unbridled improper exercise of power in promulgating and enforcing the broad and sweeping set of ‘assault weapons’ regulations that it successfully pushed through (the Office of Administrative Law), with no oversight or public input at all.”

“As we explain in the amended brief,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “California DOJ has exceeded its authority by issuing regulations that ‘fundamentally alter the statutory landscape governing ‘assault weapons’ which the Legislature has established.’ State agencies simply can’t make things up as they go along.”

The 57-page amended complaint details specifically how the California DOJ exceeded its authority and asserts that the defendants, “acting under color of state law, are and have been propagating customs, policies, and practices that constitute an unconstitutionally vague regulatory scheme.”

“SAF and its partners simply can’t turn a blind eye to this situation,” Gottlieb said. “California DOJ must follow the rules, and it is clear to all of us that they haven’t.”



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