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2nd Amend. Litigation Updates & Legal Discussion Discuss California 2A related litigation and legal topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 08-26-2011, 5:27 PM
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Default NRA & CRPA FOUNDATION FILE LAWSUIT CHALLENGING FIREARM SALES “FEES”

August 26, 2011 – Attorneys for the National Rifle Association (NRA), California Rifle & Pistol Association Foundation (CRPA Foundation), Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods, and individual Fresno residents and firearm owners have filed a lawsuit challenging the “fees” the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) imposes on firearm purchasers. The lawsuit, Bauer v. Harris, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California (Fresno), alleges that the excessive “fees” being charged by DOJ to purchase a gun create an unconstitutional infringement on the exercise of rights protected under the Second Amendment.

A copy of the complaint is viewable at www.calgunlaws.com

Over the years the fees imposed on firearms purchasers have gone up dramatically, despite the fact that technological advances have caused the cost of doing background checks on gun purchasers to go down. A multi-million dollar surplus has built up. But rather than reduce the fees, the state has instead sought to continually expand the programs that the money can be used for. The lawsuit alleges that the DOJ illegally uses the revenues from the mandatory “fees” for general law enforcement activities that are completely unrelated to the valid regulation of lawful firearm purchases, and that DOJ is illegally overcharging gun buyers. In doing so, DOJ places an unconstitutional precondition on the exercise of fundamental Second Amendment rights in California. Essentially, the state is unconstitutionally funding general police work unrelated to lawful firearm purchases off the backs of law abiding gun owners.

The lawsuit also alleges that DOJ’s imposition of the fees are not really “fees” at all under California law, but are actually disguised taxes that are invalid and unenforceable since they were not adopted by the Legislature by a 2/3rds vote. Plaintiffs are asking that the statutes authorizing the “taxes” be declared void.

The suit was prompted in part by pending Senate Bill 819 (Leno), which seeks to add yet another program that can be funded by the gun purchase fees to the already long list of programs being funded by fees imposed on gun buyers. Specifically, SB 819 would allow for funds from these “fees” to finance regulation of the “possession” of firearms, meaning prosecution of all gun possession crimes could be subsidized by law-abiding gun owners. If SB 819 becomes law, that would strengthen Plaintiffs’ lawsuit by making it even more obvious that the DROS “fees” violate the Second Amendment, and are actually illegal “taxes” under California law.

The lawsuit is being funded by the NRA / CRPA Foundation Legal Action Project (LAP). LAP is a joint venture between the Nation Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) to advance the rights of firearms owners in California. Through LAP, NRA/CRPA attorneys fight against ill-conceived gun control laws and ordinances, and educate state and local officials about available programs that are effective in reducing accidents and violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

To see a partial list of the Legal Action Project’s recent accomplishments, visicst www.crpafoundation.org To contribute to the NRA / CRPAF Legal Action Project (LAP) and support this and similar Second Amendment cases, visit www.crpafoundation.org or www.nraila.org. Please register at www.calgunlaws.com to receive updates on this and other litigation as it is made available.

Last edited by sbrady@Michel&Associates; 08-26-2011 at 5:29 PM..
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2011, 5:31 PM
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Kudos to y'all. Go get them!

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Old 08-26-2011, 5:38 PM
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Old 08-26-2011, 5:49 PM
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Wow Herb Bauer!
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Old 08-26-2011, 5:50 PM
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Hallelujah !!
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Old 08-26-2011, 5:51 PM
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Awesome!
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Old 08-26-2011, 5:52 PM
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fantastic news! Nice to see my hard earned dollars that I give to NRA and CRPA at work. Thank you very much!
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Old 08-26-2011, 5:56 PM
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Nice. Git 'em.
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Old 08-26-2011, 5:59 PM
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Outstanding news. A great way to take it to those who are penalizing citizens for daring to exercise their rights.
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Old 08-26-2011, 6:03 PM
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Love it!
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  #11  
Old 08-26-2011, 6:06 PM
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Outstanding. The tax required to transfer a gun is ridiculous. It seems like this case could complement the Kwong suit in NY. They charge $340 there.
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  #12  
Old 08-26-2011, 6:07 PM
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If DROS fees were found to be an illegal tax, would that mean they need to be refunded? Would they just stop charging new fees from then on? Or is this something specifically up to the judge to decide how to proceed?
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Old 08-26-2011, 6:15 PM
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This is FANTASTIC!

I hope they challenge the BOE requirement of CA FFLs to collect CA sales tax on out of state transfers. I think this is total BS!
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Old 08-26-2011, 6:19 PM
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Very good............
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Old 08-26-2011, 6:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrady@Michel&Associates View Post
The lawsuit also alleges that DOJ’s imposition of the fees are not really “fees” at all under California law, but are actually disguised taxes that are invalid and unenforceable since they were not adopted by the Legislature by a 2/3rds vote. Plaintiffs are asking that the statutes authorizing the “taxes” be declared void.
Sweet... more of this. This strategy might be effective on the recycling 'fee' when you purchase televisions, laptops and monitors as well- unless that was actually called a tax and passed by 2/3rds vote...
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Old 08-26-2011, 6:30 PM
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Awesome! Great work. So do I get all of the money I paid into DROS back when we win?
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Old 08-26-2011, 7:27 PM
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Man, I can't imagine how much money this will cause the state to loose if it goes thru. I gotta say though, I'm happy this is finally happening.
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Old 08-26-2011, 7:42 PM
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So if they really are found to be illegal fees then can I get reimbursed for all the guns I had to DROS while I lived in CA?
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Old 08-26-2011, 7:54 PM
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So if they really are found to be illegal fees then can I get reimbursed for all the guns I had to DROS while I lived in CA?
Probably not. The state would probably stop collecting, grudgingly, but it'll never *give* back money.

That's like asking the mob collection man for your money back..
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Old 08-26-2011, 8:17 PM
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Old 08-26-2011, 8:21 PM
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If they gave money back it would be like a "settlement", which is not being asked for...just STOP collecting of fees that are not spent wisely for gun safety or any related issues.; it would just make the collection of those fees null & void. They could still justify SOME fee; maybe closer 1 or 2 per cent of the transaction BEFORE state tax??
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Old 08-26-2011, 8:57 PM
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There goes the NRA not doing anything for Californians again.
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Old 08-26-2011, 9:00 PM
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two thumbs way up!
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Old 08-26-2011, 9:02 PM
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Sweet, sweet, sweet!

Thanks CRPA & NRA! Here's comes a few more pesos!
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Old 08-26-2011, 9:03 PM
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There goes the NRA not doing anything for Californians again.
those lazy guys over at the NRA just ignore CA you'd think they'd do something with all the money we send them but instead they treat us like mushrooms keep us in the dark and feed us full of ....


I've often wondered why we couldnt take the DROS system and fees on
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Old 08-26-2011, 9:04 PM
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Probably not. The state would probably stop collecting, grudgingly, but it'll never *give* back money.

That's like asking the mob collection man for your money back..

The mob guy is more dependable/trustworthy than CA DOJ & legislature
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Old 08-26-2011, 9:28 PM
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Well jokes on CA where I do my absolute best to always purchase on amazon and avoid p***ing my hard earned money into the CA sales tax coffers to buy illegals their chocolate milk at school.
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Old 08-26-2011, 9:38 PM
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Great news!
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Old 08-26-2011, 9:56 PM
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They could still justify SOME fee; maybe closer 1 or 2 per cent of the transaction BEFORE state tax??
Unless it costs more to do a background check on a guy buying a $1000 gun than a check on the guy buying a $200 gun basing the fee on gun cost is illogical and probably illegal.

Database searches are so cheap. At $.03 per look up or some such even checking 30 criminal/civil databases should be less than $1 fee for a background check.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:44 PM
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Oh, now you're hittin' 'em where it hurts...

...the revenue stream!
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  #31  
Old 08-26-2011, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKM View Post
I feel like I may be a member of a class.
A class that may bring a certain action? It'd be funny to watch, hell I might even join in, but its not likely to go far since the fees would have been presumed to be lawful up until being struck down. I doubt we'd ever get a retroactive settlement. Even if we could, since the money has already been spent, the harm it would do to our state would be bad enough that it would hurt us as the class bringing the action anyway. That would basically cancel the effect out, the tax payers suing to collect and then paying for the damages as a result.

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Originally Posted by ddestruel View Post
I've often wondered why we couldnt take the DROS system and fees on
Until recently they were charging us for a privilege, since McDonald they are charging us for a right.

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Originally Posted by dantodd View Post
Unless it costs more to do a background check on a guy buying a $1000 gun than a check on the guy buying a $200 gun basing the fee on gun cost is illogical and probably illegal.

Database searches are so cheap. At $.03 per look up or some such even checking 30 criminal/civil databases should be less than $1 fee for a background check.
THIS! Think about the bandwidth that we all use up viewing live video streams, downloading photos, surfing forums, sending emails, etc. Even if your not a technologically savvy person, you've got a decent understanding that a simple text based query like a background check doesn't cost much at all.
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:09 AM
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Very nice.
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Old 08-27-2011, 1:08 AM
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Very nice. Don't you guys ever sleep?
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Old 08-27-2011, 1:09 AM
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Love it.
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Old 08-27-2011, 2:16 AM
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What I want to know is why can every other state make a phone call for the background check and be done in less than 5 minutes?

What does CA have making this process unable to work?
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Old 08-27-2011, 3:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrsquared79 View Post
What I want to know is why can every other state make a phone call for the background check and be done in less than 5 minutes?

What does CA have making this process unable to work?
Umm, the DROS fee and 10 day wait. There is nothing stopping FFL's in CA from being able to do the same thing as every other state, except stupid CA laws and bureaucratic nonsense.
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Old 08-27-2011, 4:06 AM
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Awesome!
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  #38  
Old 08-27-2011, 5:20 AM
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OMG! As a connoisseur of "Saturday Night Special"/"Junk Guns", this is music to my ears.

When the DROS fees are worth more than the gun is to most people, it becomes pretty pricey to get them.
The handgun roster makes it hard enough!

Thanks for tackling this. If you guys win this, I am willing to say it will be the biggest win yet for California gun owners. Easily.

Also, it might create some more nice case law on fees=illegal taxes. Which, as a fiscal conservative, I also appreciate.
Two birds with one stone in my opinion!
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Old 08-27-2011, 6:14 AM
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Outstanding!, my only question is, how long is this going to take? some of us, whom are subjects in the DPRK, are not young anymore. I would like to see some wins in these cases before I expire and the DPRK confiscates most of my estate in taxes.
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Old 08-27-2011, 6:24 AM
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Interesting.
MD charges $10 to process the paperwork for handguns and black rifles, but many dealers will add $5-10 for their own benefit. I put the gun down and walk out as soon as they say "Plus $20 for the state fee."
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