Why California’s Waiting Period to Purchase a Firearm Will Be Upheld

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Yesterday a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in a case which seeks to exempt persons who have a concealed carry permit (CCW) or a California Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from having to wait the full ten days before those persons can take possession of a newly purchased firearm.

Sort of.

The plaintiffs in the case, who prevailed in the district court, told the 9th Circuit Appellate panel that they have no problem if the state requires them to wait thirty days should something come up while a background check is conducted by the California Attorney General’s Department of Justice.

The plaintiffs in the National Rifle Association challenge to San Francisco’s “high capacity” magazine ban (Jackson v. San Francisco) made the same type of fatal error. The NRA said that it is constitutional to ban high capacity magazines but ten rounds is too small a number for the limit the state can place on magazines.

second admendment burden
Are waiting periods a burden on the Second Amendment?

That concession was all that was required for the court of appeals to uphold the district court’s denial of the preliminary injunction in that case.

The NRA subsequently dropped its lawsuit against the San Francisco ordinances.

By conceding that the state can both require background checks to purchase a firearm and require that even persons who possess an CCW and/or COE can be required to wait up to thirty days to take possession of a newly purchased firearm the plaintiffs have opened the door for the court of appeals to decide that the ten day waiting period does not burden the Second Amendment right of the plaintiffs but if there is a burden, that burden is minimal (de minimis).

The case challenging the waiting period requirement, Silvester v. Harris, was brought by the CalGuns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation.

The three judge appellate panel consisted of Chief 9th Circuit Chief Judge Thomas and 9th Circuit Judges Schroeder and Nguyen. Thomas was appointed by Clinton, Schroeder by Carter and Nguyen by Obama.

Charles Nichols is the President of California Right To Carry.CaliforniaRightToCarry.org