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California Supreme Court Just Gave Us a Timely Reminder of How Important Kennedy's Replacement Is

July 9, 2018, at Townhall

By John R. Lott, Jr.


The California Supreme Court just gave people who believe in self-defense a timely reminder of the importance of who replaces Justice Anthony Kennedy. At the end of June, the California court banned the sale of any semi-automatic handgun models made since May 2013.  Since 2013, there are 50 percent fewer handgun models available for sale in California. It is just a matter of time until no more new semi-automatic handguns can be legally sold. 

The California court decided that even if a gun control law is “impossible” to obey, that doesn’t invalidate it.  It ignored the state’s Civil Code that declared, “[t]he law never requires impossibilities.” The court raised no concerns about its decision eventually leading to gun bans.

In a closely related case in federal court California argued that “safety” regulations could ban all guns but one handgun and it would still be Constitutional.

A regulation that requires reliable “dual microstamping” is preventing the sale of new handgun models. Microstamping is when a gun’s firing pin imprints on each cartridge a microscopic set of characters that identify the gun’s make, model and serial number. 

Older models are still available, but any change in the gun’s design or material, no matter how trivial, can make the gun classified as a new model, thus causing the gun to be banned. As suppliers or manufacturing processes change, it is inevitable that even guns that are essentially the same as the older models will be banned.

Gun control advocates claim that this would solve crimes. When a semi-automatic gun is fired, the bullet’s brass casing is ejected from the gun. If police can collect the casing, they can figure out which gun was used in the crime.

With Justice Kennedy’s replacement, it may be now or never for restraining liberal judges who are supporting measures that amount to gun bans.

California is pushing a useless regulation that won’t accomplish anything. Even if the technological challenges can be overcome, criminals can easily prevent shootings from being traced back to their guns.  The only victims of this regulation are law-abiding citizens trying to buy semi-automatic handguns for self-defense. Justice Kennedy’s replacement will need to be a stalwart defender of the Second Amendment for there to be any chance of stopping states such as California from banning guns. 

This and other regulations provide an insight into what gun control advocates’ real goals are. So much for the claim by these activists that they aren’t really interested in banning all handguns.

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