From the CalGuns Foundation:
Truckers and gun owner groups file lawsuit against California to void handgun ammunition shipping ban
AB-962 Pre-empted By Federal Laws That Regulate Interstate Shipping
For Immediate Release: 7/28/2010
Redwood City, CA – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has joined with the Calguns Foundation, the National Rifle Association, the Folsom Shooting Club and two individual truckers to challenge California’s soon to be implemented ban on the interstate shipment of handgun ammunition to California.
Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 962 into law. Starting in February 2011, the law will criminalize the delivery and transfer of handgun ammunition not done in face-to-face transactions. The law requires shipping companies to implement procedures to determine whether the recipient of a package containing handgun ammunition is covered by one of the exceptions in the law before delivering handgun ammunition in California. This places a big burden on the shippers, and will make shipping ammunition to California much more difficult and likely more expensive.
The new lawsuit, filed today in Sacramento’s Eastern District Federal Court, alleges that these provisions of the law violate the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act, which prohibits states and local municipalities from interfering with carriers’ rates, routes, or services.
“This isn’t about firearms or ammunition. Congress made an important decision to keep motor carriers free from a patchwork of burdensome regulation as we move America’s goods to market” said Jim Johnston, OOIDA President. “We cannot allow California to subject our members to criminal liability where the state has no right to meddle.”
California depends on the efficient movement of goods by carrier into California. “California legislators have become accustomed to trampling the rights of California’s gun community. However, this time they’ve taken that recklessness into a field that will hurt every Californian. AB-962 will slow down everyone who orders goods online or buys goods at a retail store,” said Gene Hoffman, Chairman of The Calguns Foundation.
In February 2008, a unanimous United States Supreme Court struck down Maine’s directly analogous law regarding the delivery of cigarettes to Maine in Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport. “It does not matter what the State’s goal is or how honorable they believe their cause is,” stated lead attorney, Jason Davis of Davis & Associates. “Rowe made it clear that a state cannot interfere with a carrier’s rates, routes, or services. AB962 does just that.”
“At Sacramento Valley Shooting Center, we currently provide handgun ammunition sales to the public,” said Jim Bass, President of Folsom Shooting Club. “Should the shipping restrictions in AB-962 take effect, we have no way to prove to shippers that we are a handgun ammunition vendor under the law.”
This case follows a Second Amendment and Commerce Clause challenge entitled State Ammunition v. Lindley, and a California State Court Challenge to the vagueness and other requirements of AB-962 brought by the NRA-CRPA Foundation Legal Action Project.
The delivery prohibitions of AB-962 take effect in February 2011; Plaintiffs in this case will be moving quickly to obtain an injunction before the shipping portions of the law takes effect.
The case is filed as OOIDA et. al v. Lindley, U.S. Dist. Ct. E.D. C.A. 2:10-at-01095. A copy of the complaint is available from http://ia360709.us.archive.org/23/items/gov.uscourts.caed.211363/gov.uscourts.caed.211363.1.0.pdf .
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 154,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo., area.
The Calguns Foundation (http://calgunsfoundation.org) is a non-profit legal defense fund for California gun owners. The Calguns Foundation works to educate government and the public and protect the rights of individuals to acquire, own and lawfully use firearms in California.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.
The Folsom Shooting Club Inc. was incorporated in 1951 and currently operates Sacramento Valley Shooting Center at Sloughhouse CA. Sacramento Valley Shooting center provides ranges for private, government and public use with rifles, handguns and shotguns. FSC and its 1500 members constantly work with law enforcement, the military, youth and wildlife groups and members of the public to promote safe and proper handling of firearms for sporting, recreational and personal use.
I’ll have more after I have a chance to read the complaint.
UPDATE: A report on the lawsuit from Land-Line Magazine – The Business Magazine for Professional Truckers.