The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled on Tuesday that California’s ban on handgun advertisements violates the First Amendment.
The ruling involved Tracy Rifle and Pistol (TRAP), Ten Percent Firearms, Sacramento Black Rifle, Inc., and PRK Arms, all of whom were supported by the Second Amendment Foundation, the Calguns Foundation, and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees.
The case was brought when Sacramento Black Rifle, Tracy Rifle and Pistol, and others were told aspects of their logo violated the state’s ban on advertising handgun sales with photographs and/or images of handguns. CBS Sacramento reports that Rob Adams, owner of Sacramento Black Rifle, was told he was breaking the law by having an a pistol embedded with an “R” in his company logo.
Adams said, “It’s a clear violation of the First Amendment, you know, advertising. It’s censoring.”
California argued that the ban on handgun advertisements helps reduce suicides and crime, but court rejected these arguments, ruling that California did not provide evidence sufficient to support these claims Judge Troy L. Nunley wrote, ” In the absence of evidence and with no common-sense relation, the Government has not met its burden of demonstrating that § 26820 directly and materially advances that interest. In sum, the Government fails to show that § 26820 has any effect on handgun suicide or crime.”
Nunley also addressed the issues put for by Sacramento Black Rifle owner Rob Adams, writing, “California may not accomplish its goals by violating the First Amendment.” He noted, “The Supreme Court has rejected this highly paternalistic approach to limiting speech.”
Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb commented on legal victory, saying, “A state cannot legislate political correctness at the expense of a fundamental, constitutionally-delineated civil right. We were delighted to offer financial support to this case.”
The case is Tracy Rifle and Pistol, LLC, v. Harris (No. 2:14-cv-02626).