10 Day Waiting Period Burdens 2nd Amendment Says Judge

If I were to ask you what state has the most liberal judges of any state, how would you answer?  If I were asked that question, I would immediately, without hesitation, answer California.  Various California judges have repeatedly ruled for homosexuals, against Christians, against families and against the constitutional rights of the people.

That’s why I was so pleasantly surprised when I heard about the ruling of a federal judge in California.  Several groups have filed legal action against California’s mandatory 10 day waiting period for gun purchases.  The waiting period states that even though a person has already obtained a License to Carry or a Certificate of Eligibility, they must wait ten days from when they purchase a gun to the time they are allowed to physically take possession of the gun.

California State Attorney General Kamala Harris filed for a dismissal in the lawsuit on behalf of the state.  The case is being heard by the US District Court for the Eastern District of California.  In response to Harris’s request for the dismissal, Senior Judge Anthony Ishii issued an 11 page decision in which he wrote:

“[Harris] argues that the WPL (Waiting Period Law) is a minor burden on the Second Amendment, [but] plaintiffs are correct that this is a tacit acknowledgement that a protected Second Amendment right is burdened.”

“The court concludes that the WPL burdens the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”

“[There] has been no showing that the Second Amendment, as historically understood, did not apply for a period of time between the purchase/attempted purchase of a firearm and possession of the firearm.”

Ishii’s ruling was greeted with joy by the organizations filing the lawsuit.  Gene Hoffman, Chairman of Calguns, a pro-firearms organization commented:

“[It is] refreshing to see lower federal courts taking the burden of intermediate scrutiny or strict scrutiny seriously.”

“California has such a byzantine scheme of gun control that it can’t justify making people who already own firearms registered with the state of California wait 10 days to buy a new gun after they complete a background check.  We look forward to bringing some common sense back to how the law-abiding buy and sell registered guns in California.”

Alan Gottlieb, Executive Vice President of Second Amendment Foundation, saw Ishii’s ruling as an important step towards gun rights, saying:

“Judge Ishii’s comparison of the waiting period to a prior restraint is significant.  He further stated that Harris, in her motion to dismiss the case, had not shown that the waiting period law is effective in reducing gun-related violent crime, or in keeping guns out of the wrong hands where the government has already issued that purchaser a License To Carry or a Certificate Of Eligibility.”

This means the case challenging the legality of the 10 day waiting period will move forward.  If Judge Ishii’s early ruling to dismiss the dismissal request is any indication, the burden of proof squarely lands on the shoulders of Attorney General Harris to prove that there is any benefit to the 10 day waiting period.  Without any proof, which there doesn’t seem to be any at this time, the court should rule that it is a burden to the Second Amendment, thus making it unconstitutional.