The National Rifle Association plans to sue the state of California if Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill restricting the sale of some commonly used hunting rifles, raising the stakes as the deadline approaches for the governor’s decision.
“Our right to keep and bear arms has never been as seriously threatened in California as it is today,” said the NRA Institute for Legislative Action in a Tuesday website post. “After years of incrementally adopting gun control measures, this year the legislature decided to propose new laws adopting everything on the gun-ban lobby’s wish list.”
Sitting on Mr. Brown’s desk are a dozen gun-control bills passed by the Democratic-dominated state legislature that foes have described as an attack on hunters and outdoors enthusiasts. The bills include measures to ban lead ammunition and restrict ammunition-magazine capacity to 10 rounds.
The Democratic governor has until Oct. 13 to sign or veto the bills, or allow the bills to become law without his signature.
The “worst of the worst” is SB 374, according to the NRA, which would change the definition of assault weapons to include any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine or rifles with fixed or tubular magazines over 10 rounds.
Any firearm meeting this definition would have to be registered as an “assault weapon” by July 1, 2015. The new classification would encompass “classic hunting rifles like the Remington Woodsmaster, Browning BAR, and the Ruger 99/44, among many others,” said the NRA post.
Gun-rights advocates argue that the classification would violate the Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).
“By banning millions of the most common hunting, sporting and self-defense rifles in existence, SB 374 is in direct conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller decision,” said the NRA post. “In Heller, the Court made it clear that arms ‘typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes’ or those ‘in common use’ are constitutionally protected.”
The sweeping gun-control package has also drawn criticism from a coalition of California labor leaders, who are urging the governor to veto the ban on lead ammunition.