The Coastal Post - May, 1998

California Gun Ban Dealt Serious Blow

Stating that California's Roberti-Roos gun ban "defies rationality," the California Third Appellate Court of Appeal struck a serious blow to anti-gun zealots by striking down a key portion of the law. The court

ruled as unconstitutional a provision of the law allowing the state's Attorney General -with a judge's consent-to add guns to the list of banned firearms. The court even went so far as to suggest that the

entire law unconstitutionally "violates equal protection" because the 75 banned firearms are indistinguishable from other guns not affected by the law.

"The court's ruling is a great victory for California's law-abiding gun owners," said Mrs. Tanya K. Metaksa, NRA's chief lobbyist. "It is also a decision that repudiates the whole gun ban movement in California and across the country. The court wisely recognized what NRA has been saying for years: Whether it is Roberti-Roos or the President's own gun ban, these laws ban only the way some guns look, and bans on such meaningless cosmetic features make for meaningless legislation.

In its ruling, the court asserted, "...even assuming that 'ugliness' constitutes an unstated but valid 'harm' the Legislature sought to alleviate, the Act defies rationality. As indicated, the term 'assault weapon' itself adds nothing to our discussion because a gun only becomes an 'assault weapon' by virtue of its inclusion on the assault weapons list, not because of any objective quality that discriminates between 'assault weapons' and other semi-automatic guns."

While this is great news, this issue is far from over in California. The March 6 edition of the Los Angeles Times reports that Attorney General Dan Lungren will appeal the ruling. Also, the recently amended AB 23, Assemblyman Don Perata's (D) effort to replace Roberti-Roos with language defining what a so-called assault weapon, rather than listing prohibited firearms by name, is on the move in Sacramento. Of course, should Perata's bill pass, it would affect far more firearms than the original ban. NRA will continue to work to defeat this measure.

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