FPC Launches Lawsuit Against San Diego's "Ghost Gun" Ban

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

Mid-September Cam reported on the San Diego City Council voting to ban “unserialized gun parts”. The city council had previously voted in August and subsequently again a couple of weeks ago to ban the sale and distribution of 80% lowers. California law already provides for strict regulation of so-called “ghost guns”, a misnomer used to scare the unwitting public. With the council attacking the Second Amendment rights of San Diego citizens, the Firearms Policy Coalition teamed up with San Diego County Gun Owners and filed a lawsuit on September 24th. From their press release:

Mere hours after San Diego, California Mayor Todd Gloria signed Ordinance no. O-2022-7 into law, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) last night filed a new Second Amendment lawsuit challenging the new ban that prohibits individuals in the City from home-building firearms, including the possession of parts and materials necessary to self-manufacture constitutionally protected arms. The confiscatory terms of the Ordinance additionally require that all persons who have any of the banned items dispossess themselves of the items within 30 days. FPC Law also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction today to block enforcement of the law.

The complaint and application for temporary restraining order in Fahr v. San Diego can be found at FPCLegal.org.

The matter of home manufacture of firearms has fallen under scrutiny recently with the anti-freedom caucus seeking to stigmatize the legitimate practice of home firearm fabrication. The anti-freedom crowd seems to think that a serial number is some sort of magic security blanket which will protect the public at large. What the progressive gun-grabbers don’t tell the public is that firearm serial numbers have been ground off of firearms since the practice started. A serial number is a nothing idea that only law abiding gun owners care about maintaining. Criminals certainly have no issues defacing firearms. Further, the anti-freedom caucus will never concede that the practice of building one’s own firearm predates the founding of the Union, and was pivotal in our deliverance from a tyrannical government (ironic).

In California, the process to build one’s own firearm already has in place a system requiring people to serialize their finished product after fabrication. During the commentary period in August, Wendy Chou Hauffen, the CEO of San Diego County Gun Owners made the following statements against the passage of the ordnance corroborating that fact:

There are already many required steps for law-abiding gun owners to build their own firearms in California. Your proposed ordinance changes the order of those steps. The serialization would now come before the purchase of the raw material a builder uses to make a firearm. In other words, the metal or plastic purchased to build a firearm has to be serialized before it can be purchased.

This step is not required for criminals. It is never legal for a prohibited person to possess a gun, no matter how they obtain it. Criminals will continue to break firearms laws. It will result in the punishment and charges against people who are not career criminals and think they are following the law. Criminals do not care about serialization of guns. They are likely to simply remove the serial number if a gun they posses has a serial number.

The press release continues:

“The right of individuals to self-manufacture arms for self-defense and other lawful purposes is part and parcel of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and an important front in the battle to secure fundamental rights against abusive government regulations, like San Diego’s unconstitutional ban,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations. “FPC will continue to aggressively work to defend the People’s rights and property in this case and dozens of others throughout the United States.”

“Throughout American history and our nation’s traditions of robustly exercising the right to keep and bear arms, people have been free to personally manufacture, construct, or otherwise assemble arms in common use for lawful purposes, including lawful self-defense and defense of others,” the complaint begins. “The Second Amendment right necessarily includes and thus guarantees the ability of ordinary law-abiding citizens to self-manufacture firearms in common use for self-defense and other lawful purposes.” The complaint also details founding-era examples where “many colonies relied on and incentivized people outside of the firearms industry to produce firearms,” including ones from New Hampshire, New York, and North Carolina.

These efforts of the Firearm Policy Coalition and San Diego County Gun Owners need to be applauded. Rogue governmental bodies need to be kept in check. Until the whole of the Second Amendment is fully respected by all governmental agencies, bodies, politicians, and executives, we need to keep supporting the groups that are safeguarding our rights. I’ll be watching closely the progress of this case and hope to report back with good news in the future.

Dec 08, 2021 12:30 PM ET