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Brady Blasts Trial Court Ruling Halting California’s Law on Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases

Washington, D.C., April 23, 2020 - Today, a federal district judge stopped enforcement of California’s law requiring background checks for ammunition sales. The unprecedented and controversial decision was issued by United States District Judge Roger T. Benitez, who granted the preliminary injunction in Rhodes v. Becerra.

Brady opposes this decision and vows to support the law on appeal.

Brady President Kris Brown explained:

“This decision is patently wrong and we expect that it will be reversed on appeal. The Second Amendment does not provide felons or domestic abusers with the right to buy ammunition or firearms, and it does not prevent states like California from requiring background checks that screen out prohibited purchasers. An unelected judge has — temporarily — deprived Californians of an important public safety law that they want and need, claiming an unprecedented, radical revision of the Second Amendment that is contrary to what the Framers intended, and to basic principles of democracy. While this judge suggests that purchasers who must simply undergo a background check to buy ammunition are the 'casualties,' of this law, the true victims will be the people endangered by this ruling. As we saw last August, this law stopped over 100 individuals from illegally purchasing ammunition and likely deterred many more. This law works. It is constitutional. And it protects Californians.

While this injunction is a disappointment, Brady remains dedicated to ensuring the safety of Californians. We are heartened that the judicial process will continue and optimistic that the judge’s error will be corrected on appeal. In recent years, gun laws in California that have been initially struck down, including by Judge Benitez, have been upheld later on appeal. This setback is concerning, but decades of precedent and public safety laws are on our side.”

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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