Judge Denies Injunction, Allowing Lawsuit Against San Jose Gun Ordinance to Proceed

A  U.S. District Court judge on Wednesday denied a request from gun rights organizations for a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of San José’s new law requiring gun owners to obtain liability insurance, pending resolutions of the group’s lawsuit seeking to void the law.

The San Jose City Council last month already voted to suspend enforcement of the law until three lawsuits have been resolved.

The San José City Council approved the gun control measures in January of 2022, making it the first city, state, or jurisdiction in the U.S. to impose such a mandate on gun owners. Several similar proposals have emerged in other cities and states since San José’s introduction of their measure, according to the city.

U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman denied the gun organizations’ motion to issue a preliminary injunction, holding that at this early stage in the case, the insurance requirement bears sufficient resemblance to 19th century surety laws as to satisfy the Supreme Court’s standard for “historic consistency.”

Freeman also ruled that the fee mandate was not yet ready for review until the city sets a specific fee amount. She indicated that the imposition of a fee itself does not run afoul of the Second Amendment, because “the Supreme Court… expressly contemplated regulations that may permissibly include fee payments, so long as the fees were not so ‘exorbitant [so as to] deny ordinary citizens their right to public carry.’”

Tamarah Prevost, representing the city in the lawsuit defense, said the court’s order this week “is a preliminary positive development, in that it prevents one gun rights group from immediately blocking San José’s groundbreaking law. We will continue to defend the city on a pro bono basis against other attacks to this law, which we believe is firmly constitutional.”

San José Mayor Sam Liccardo praised Freeman’s  ruling as an “important step forward for sensible gun regulation.”

“We need bolder, more impactful, and more creative solutions than the half-measures that have emerged from Congress,” he said in a statement..    “Cities have become the nation’s laboratories of policy innovation, and we hope that our efforts will spur others to follow suit, and save lives.”

Three lawsuits have been filed since the council passed the January, when San Jose became the first city in the U.S. to require its residents to purchase liability insurance for their weapons. The law also mandated a $25 fee to be paid by gun owners to a nonprofit to help cover the cost of gun violence in the city.

But shortly after the San Jose City Council’s historic vote, a lawsuit was filed in federal court by the National Association for Gun Rights and San Jose resident Mark Sikes. Two subsequent lawsuits have been filed since.

The ordinance was supposed to go into effect Aug. 8 with a 30-day window to allow gun owners to purchase insurance. But on July 1, the city manager’s office suspended the implementation for the foreseeable future, according to a recent city memo.

The council directed the city to halt implementation of the fee until after the legal challenges have been fully resolved – at least until sometime in 2023.

Liccardo had proposed the liability insurance requirement following a mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in 2019.

3 Comments

  1. Another warning about registering firearms, specifically with a ‘Non-Profit’ chosen by San Jose.
    Any resident that thinks complying with the unconstitutional Firearms Fee & Insurance scheme SJ passed recently should think twice before you provide any data to CA local or state officials.

    The last thing we need is more administrative burden from what hypocritical Gov Newsom calls
    “Freedom” when he begs taxpaying residents to return to California.

    What they do not know cannot hurt them.

    (June 28th, 2022)
    “Massive Trove of Gun Owners’ Private Information Leaked by California Attorney General”

    “The office of CA’s Attorney General Rob Bonta released the Personal Information
    of Thousands of CA gun owners and concealed carry permit holders to the public this week”

    “The June 28 DOJ leak compromised the private information of thousands of Permit Registrants between 2011 and 2021.
    Bonta’s office also expressed concern that data from 5 other gun registries,
    the Assault Weapon,
    Dealer Record of Sale,
    Firearm Certification System, and
    Gun Violence Restraining Order registries, could have been compromised.”

    “We believe that AG Rob Bonta is either massively incompetent, incredibly negligent, or willing to criminally leak information that he does not have the authority to leak,”

    “This is so egregious that he should resign.
    He has placed tens of thousands of Law Abiding Citizens in California in harms way.
    That is not excusable with an ‘I’m sorry.'”

    “The information, taken from the state’s database of concealed carry permit holders, included thousands of gun owners
    FULL NAME,
    Date of Birth,
    HOME ADDRESS,
    License Plate Numbers
    race,
    when their concealed carry permit was issued, and what type of permit it was. ”

    “The leaked private information of gun owners is likely to increase the risk criminals will target their homes for burglaries
    – something the state’s dashboard reports happened 145,377 times in 2020 alone.”

  2. The city deserves to be sued for its open defiance of as well as disdain to contempt for, to open (fear and) loathing of, the Constitution and related gun rights. The same deserves to be done against activists pushing for such disgusting, flagrantly subversive laws and other activities depriving people of their guaranteed gun rights, down to harassing the law-abiding in any such manner, including indirectly through doing it to gun stores and gun ranges, or high taxes or new fees, for example.

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