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  1. John Stewart
  2. Shooting Sports
  3. Thursday, 15 December 2016

At issue in this case was a California law establishing a ten-day waiting period for all lawful purchases of guns. Specifically, Plaintiffs challenged the application of the full ten-day waiting period to those purchasers who have previously purchased a firearm or have a permit to carry a concealed weapon and who clear a background check in less than ten days.

After a bench trial, the district court entered judgment for Plaintiffs. The Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded for entry of judgment in favor of the State, holding that, applying intermediate scrutiny analysis, the law does not violate Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights because the ten-day wait is a reasonable precaution for the purchase of a second or third weapon, as well as for a first purchase.

Court Description: Civil Rights / Second Amendment. The panel reversed the district court’s bench trial judgment and remanded for entry of judgment in favor of the state of California in an action challenging a California law establishing a 10-day waiting period for all lawful purchases of guns. The panel first stated that this case was a challenge to the application of the full 10-day waiting period to those purchasers who have previously purchased a firearm or have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and who clear a background check in less than ten days. The panel held that the ten-day waiting period is a reasonable safety precaution for all purchasers of firearms and need not be suspended once a purchaser has been approved. 

The panel determined that it need not decide whether the regulation was sufficiently longstanding to be presumed lawful. Applying intermediate scrutiny analysis, the panel held that the law does not violate plaintiff’s Second Amendment rights because the ten-day wait is a reasonable precaution for the purchase of a second or third weapon, as well as for a first purchase. 

Concurring, Chief Judge Thomas agreed entirely with the majority opinion. He wrote separately because in his view the challenge to California’s ten-day waiting period could be resolved at step one of the Second Amendment jurisprudence. Judge Thomas determined that as a longstanding qualification SILVESTER V. HARRIS 3 on the commercial sale of arms under District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), a ten-day waiting period was presumptively lawful. Therefore, it was unnecessary to proceed to the second step intermediate scrutiny examination of the law.

Case: Silvester v. Harris, No. 14-16840 (9th Cir. 2016)

John Stewart Managing Editor - 4x4Voice - 4x4Wire - MUIRNet.net Natural Resources Consultant - California Four Wheel Drive Association - http://www.cal4wheel.com Board of Directors - BlueRibbon Coalition http://www.sharetrails.org

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