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Bruen Decision Prompts California Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) Case Reconsideration

California officials remove “good cause” language from permit applications, then pursue equally unconstitutional provision by recommending local law enforcement determine whether those seeking permits are “responsible citizens.”

Bruen Decision Prompts California Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) Case Reconsideration

(Flowgraph illustration and Guy J. Sagi photo / Shutterstock)

Since last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the widely publicized Bruen case striking down New York’s restrictive concealed carry permitting system, we’ve already seen things changing in other states—not the least of which is the anti-gun mecca of California.

Just a day after the high court’s decision, California officials removed the “good cause” language from their permit applications. Unfortunately, California Attorney General quickly set in motion an equally unconstitutional provision by recommending local law enforcement in the state determine whether those seeking permits are “responsible citizens.”

More recently, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sent a critical case dealing with the Golden State’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” back to the District Court for reconsideration based on the new guidelines from the Bruen case.

The order, from Judges Andrew Hurwitz, Daniel Bress and Patrick Bumatay stated:

“The district court's judgment is vacated, and this case is remanded to the district court for further proceedings consistent with the United States Supreme Court's decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass'n, Inc. v. Bruen, 597 U.S. ____ (2022).”

The move drew a positive reaction from some on the pro-gun side of the ongoing debate, including the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC).

“The 9th Circuit appropriately understood the Supreme Court's Bruen decision to mean that the lower court's dismissal of the Rupp case was improper, and thus remanded that case for proceedings consistent with the new Second Amendment test,” Brandon Combs, FPC president, told Firearms News.

The case in question, Rupp v. Becerra, has been working its way through the court system for more than five years. In it, plaintiffs argue that California’s ban on many commonly used semi-automatic rifles is unconstitutional. 

In that case, the District Court last ruled that the AWB could stand, prompting an appeal to the 9th Circuit. Now, in the most recent action, the 9th Circuit sent that case back to the District court to reconsider.

According to FPC’s Combs, the Bruen decision also will affect another important Second Amendment case in California.

“We plan to move the 9th Circuit to lift the current stay of the judgment pending appeal in our Miller v. Bonta challenge to California's ban on so-called ‘assault weapons,’ which, if granted, would allow our favorable trial decision and judgment by Federal District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez—one that is already consistent with Bruen—to take effect,” Combs said. “We also plan to seek, in the alternative, that the Court expedite the appeal.”

As more and more states are forced to begin reconsidering Second Amendment cases based on the new Bruen criteria, we will continue to see just how big of a ruling this was for the future of the Second Amendment and, indeed, our country’s freedom.


About the Author

Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.

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