Attorneys for the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA), filed the third in a series of planned lawsuits that challenge California’s recently enacted anti-gun restrictions collectively known as “gunmageddon” among gun owners.
This latest lawsuit, titled Villanueva v. Becerra, challenges the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recently enacted “assault weapon” regulations. These regulations were pushed through to finalize the implementation of new laws passed in 2016 (AB 1135 and SB 880) banning the sale, transfer, and possession of certain rifles and pistols equipped with magazine locking devices, typically known as “bullet buttons.” These firearms were previously not considered “assault weapons,” but must now be registered as such with DOJ. California gun owners own thousands—potentially hundreds of thousands—of such firearms.
Prior to their enactment, the NRA and CRPA attorneys repeatedly warned DOJ and the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) of the many flaws with the regulations, and that by enacting them without any input from the public, DOJ would be violating California’s Administrative Procedure Act (APA) – which requires DOJ to first obtain and consider public input on any proposed regulation. Unsurprisingly, DOJ ignored those warnings, and instead pushed their regulations through without seeking or accepting any public input.
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