COURT RULING: California’s attempt to eliminate firearms industry in the state violates Commerce Clause
By Ava Grace // Feb 28, 2024

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) recently won a small skirmish in the big war against private ownership of firearms in California.

On Feb. 21, District Judge Andrew Schopler ruled in favor of the NSSF after the group sued California Attorney General Rob Bonta. The lawsuit stemmed from California's Firearm Industry Responsibility Act (FIRA) which, if upheld, would have extinguished all presence of the firearms industry in the Golden State. But according to the magistrate, FIRA – California's attempt to negate the Bruen ruling – was in violation of the Commerce Clause.

Schopler's 15-page decision ruled that FIRA violates the Commerce Clause because states cannot interfere with the commerce of other states. Only Congress has that power to "regulate commerce … among the several states," he stated, outlining an example to illustrate how the California law violated that federal clause.

"By way of example, suppose a Tennessee manufacturer makes youth-model rifles and AR-style long guns that are legal in its state, but meet California's definition of 'abnormally dangerous.' Imagine also that the manufacturer ships these arms to Yuma, Arizona (where it is reasonably foreseeable they may somehow enter bordering California).

"One day an Arizona retailer sells these guns to an Arizona buyer. Hours later, a thief steals the firearms and drives into California to commit a gun crime.

"Although the commercial transactions were conducted entirely out of state – and the lawful participants never set foot in California – the Tennessee manufacturer and Arizona retailer could both be sued under the 'abnormally dangerous' firearm provision."

Thus, Schopler concluded that given the "abnormally dangerous" firearm rule "reaches beyond California's borders and directly impacts out-of-state commercial transactions, it likely runs afoul of the Commerce Clause."

California still free to enforce other parts of FIRA

Despite the ruling, California is free to enforce other parts of FIRA. These include requiring anyone involved in the firearms industry to implement "reasonable controls" to keep firearms out of the hands of someone who might be inclined to commit a crime. (Related: The beneficial ownership information reporting rule and the surveillance state.)

Writing for the New American magazine, former investment advisor Bob Adelmann pointed out that Schopler's ruling was rather lacking. "There was no mention in his 15-page ruling of how the [FIRA] would hold members of the firearms industry liable for the criminal use of their products. He was [also] silent on the Second Amendment and the implications of prohibiting firearms that the law considered 'abnormally dangerous and likely to create an unreasonable risk of harm to public health and safety in California,'" he stated.

The judge gave the NSSF a deadline of March 13 to amend its lawsuit to include the unconstitutionality of the term "abnormally dangerous," how FIRA violates the Second Amendment and others. In turn, Bonta would have until March 27 to respond to that amended lawsuit.

"Gun owners will take the win, nevertheless, said NSSF General Counsel Larry Keane. "We are thankful the court enjoined [temporarily] the state from suing members of the firearm industry under this unconstitutional law."

Head over to for similar stories.

Watch Dan Bongino warn Americans that the "universal background check" will undermine their right to keep and bear arms below.

This video is from the Son of the Republic channel on

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