Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Log In

A valid email is required.
Password is required.
Posted: 7/5/2001 6:47:13 AM EDT
[url]http://www.calnra.org/calgunruling.html[/url] California's Assault Weapon Ruling It's not about stopping a gun ban, but how to implement it. by Ralph Weller CalNRA.org Contributing Editor July 3, 2001 - Several days after the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of the defendant in the case J.W. Harrott v. County of Kings (Kings County), I finally got around to reading it. Rulings like this simply don't draw my attention much anymore. It's probably some form of judicial burnout. It's the same tired story repeated endlessly in the California court system. Nevertheless, I went about the boring task and came to the same conclusion as in the past on other rulings. The California court system doesn't care about your right to own a firearm. They only care about how to go about implementing the gun ban. The Ruling: The Supremes ruled last week that a court cannot determine during trial proceedings that a firearm that is not listed in the 1989 California Assault Weapon law, aka Roberti-Roos law, is in fact an assault weapon. The 1989 law requires the California Attorney General to initiate a court proceeding to have specific makes and models added to the list. In other words, a judge ruling in a criminal trial cannot arbitrarily add firearms to the list during the trial and make the defendant an instant felon. The issue the court's majority focused on was whether a reasonably prudent citizen can somehow decipher from markings on the firearm in question and, by using California's Assault Weapons Guide, whether the firearm they own falls under the 1989 law as a "series" firearm. The government, which vehemently defended their position, would require citizens to guess whether their firearm was an assault weapon. The court said that's not the role of the citizen to determine the intent of the legislature. The court made no mention of the fact that no one can purchase one of these firearms or even transfer it between private parties. Nor was any mention made by the court that when the assault weapon ban was expanded by the California legislature in 1999, it makes absolutely certain that none of these firearms exist down the road. The death of the registered owner requires the person who inherited the firearm to have it destroyed by the government or face felony weapons charges.
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 6:49:31 AM EDT
(continued) In a nutshell, the assault weapon laws devised in 1989 and expanded in 1999 are bans on the ownership of firearms. Yet the court, caught up in the details of who has authority under the law to expand it, failed to see the "forest for the trees." The Dissenting Opinion Even more disturbing was the dissenting opinion by Judge C.J. George who said in his opinion: "By today’s decision, the majority eviscerates a key provision of California’s Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA) that is directed at a type of assault weapon commonly used by drug dealers and gang members, the “AK series” semiautomatic rifle." Judge George is obviously a politician in training who knows nothing other than what he sees on ABC, CBS and NBC. What the ruling "eviscerates" are honest citizens inadvertently committing a crime. He disagreed that the Attorney General is required to initiate judicial proceedings to have firearms added to the list. Judge George believes that anyone arrested for owning a semi-automatic rifle and charged with an illegal weapons charge by an over zealous district attorney, who probably doesn't know the butt from the barrel-end of a rifle, is a felon simply because a judge in a criminal proceeding decides that his firearm is an assault weapon. With Judges working at lower court levels with the mindset of California Supreme Court Judge C.J. George, be thankful the majority ruled against Judge George. That's about the only good thing that came out of this ruling. It's judicial activists like Judge George who would throw honest citizens at the mercy of interpreting the intent of the legislature. Good god, half the people in the legislature don't have a clue what they're doing. How would a mere citizen figure it out? If they guess right, they walk. If they guess wrong, it's a felony charge. Double yikes! Judges like George should be removed from the bench. The Same Tired Old Conclusion It seems the California court system has 'successfully' ruled on another gun law case. It was not based on whether the law is a firearm ban and unconstitutional, but how the government will carry out the ban on firearms ownership.
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 6:50:36 AM EDT
(continued) The ruling: Doesn't allow you to purchase a firearm that has been banned. Doesn't make some firearms legal again. Doesn't end registration. Still requires your family to turn in your so-called assault weapon to the government for destruction when you die. Still will ban the ownership of these particular brand of firearms by the next generation of Californians. Doesn't do anything except to determine who within the government has the right to ban firearms. The 1989 and 1999 laws remains intact. The gun ban lives on in California. This case only clarifies the methodology in which the government will enforce it. It's a sad commentary on California politicians and the judicial system.
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 7:20:15 AM EDT
I don't know how people live out there. Talk about communists. [V]
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 7:58:45 AM EDT
[b]"In other words, a judge ruling in a criminal trial cannot arbitrarily add firearms to the list during the trial and make the defendant an instant felon. "[/b] Isn't there something in the Constitution against creating a law for someone who is incarserated JUST to convict that man on more charges??? BISHOP
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 8:11:50 AM EDT
El Post Facto means that you cannot convict someone of a crime that was not illegal when the action took place. For example, say Kali banned possession of ALL AR15s retroactive to 1986. The Kali DOJ then took the 1989 Roberti-Roos registration lists and started prosecuting people, based on their registration papers. THAT would be El Post Facto and would be unconstitutional. Of course, the Kali Kops and legislature would have a few more problems than 9 Supreme Court Justices getting very pissed. They'd probably be running for their lives. Kharn
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 8:50:00 AM EDT
EX POST FACTO
Link Posted: 7/5/2001 9:00:52 AM EDT
Chain: So many people complain about an activist Court making law. You complain that the Court didn't rule on the Constitutionality of the law and other gun control provisions. It's my understanding of the case that that wasn't the focus of the case. The case concerned the areas addressed in the decison, nothing more. For the Court to have diverged into the areas you describe..Constitutionality, registration, etc,that would have been a good example of an activist Court. Courts hear specific disputes over laws; they don't make Law.
Top Top