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Boland v. Bonta


Defending California’s Unsafe Handgun Act.

Court: Ninth Circuit

Issue at Stake: Safety features

Summary: Boland v. Bonta is a Second Amendment challenge to California’s regulations prohibiting the commercial sale of new models of semiautomatic pistols that lack a magazine-disconnect mechanism, chamber-load indicator, or microstamping capability.

Everytown filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit in defense of California’s law. It raises four main points in arguing why the regulation is constitutional under the approach to Second Amendment cases set out in New York Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen. First, it argues that plaintiffs have not met their burden to establish that the Second Amendment’s plain text covers their proposed conduct. Second, it explains that the court should center its historical analysis on 1868 as opposed to 1791, and should also consider earlier and later laws. Third, the brief explains that the government only needs to show that modern and historical laws are “relevantly similar” (rather than identical) to demonstrate consistency with tradition under Bruen. Finally, the brief urges the court against dismissing the state’s historical analogues as outliers, because even a small number of laws can be sufficient to establish a tradition of firearm regulation.

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