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Renna v. Bonta


Defending California’s Unsafe Handgun Act.

Court: Ninth Circuit

Issue at Stake: Safety features

Summary: Renna v. Bonta is a challenge to California’s Unsafe Handgun Act (“UHA”). The plaintiffs allege that certain provisions of the UHA, including its chamber load indicator, magazine disconnect mechanism, and microstamping capability requirements, violate the Second Amendment.

Everytown filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit in defense of California’s law. It raises four main points in arguing why the UHA 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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