California dreamin’ for a stay. Injunction stands on privacy law challenge.

California dreamin’ for a stay. Injunction stands on privacy law challenge.
AP Photo/Steven Senne

The matter of personal information being protected is supposed to be a no brainer. Afterall, a certain high profile case surfed on so-called right to privacy for decades to justify the Constitutionality of something that had very little to do with the Fourteenth Amendment. I digress, as that opinion was overturned earlier this year, but that does not mean that people’s privacy in general should be violated at the hands of a government that’s hostile to a certain class of people. California has exercised its bigoted ways on freedom lovers for decaces and a recent injunction against one of their awful laws was just denied a stay.


The case is Barba, v. Bonta and has to do with the dissemination of gun owner’s personal information to non-governmental agencies. According to the Second Amendment Foundation an appeals panel denied the state’s request for a stay against a recent injunction against the unconstitutional provision.

A California appeals court panel has unanimously denied a request from state Attorney General Rob Bonta for an immediate stay of an injunction in a case brought by the Second Amendment Foundation in a challenge of the state law allowing the state Department of Justice to share personal information about firearms owners with private researchers.

Bonta claimed the law, AB 173, “does not create a serious invasion of privacy.” The trial court disagreed, granting a preliminary injunction to the plaintiffs, thus placing a hold on enforcement of the information sharing law. The case is known as Barba, v. Bonta.

SAF is joined in the lawsuit by the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., California Gun Rights Foundation, San Diego County Gun Owners PAC, Orange County Gun Owners PAC, Inland Empire Gun Owners PAC and a private citizen, Ashleymarie Barba. They are represented by attorneys Bradley A. Benbrook and Stephen M. Duvernay with the Benbrook Law Group, PC in Sacramento.


Alan Gottlieb, the founder and Executive Vice President of the Second Amendment Foundation, said “We’re delighted the appeals court panel unanimously rejected Bonta’s effort to set aside the preliminary injunction because the privacy of California gun owners is important, even if he thinks otherwise.”

Gottlieb expressed a very rational fear that many subscribe to in The Golden State noting, “Bonta is determined to supply gun owner information to biased researchers who, we believe, will use it to promote additional restrictions on their Second Amendment-protected rights.” Mr. Gottlieb was dismissive towards Bonta trying to explain away that gun owners’ information would be protected.

“That’s not the point,” Gottlieb said. “The point of our challenge is that this information is being shared at all, especially with non-government entities. This isn’t just about Second Amendment rights. California’s law clearly threatens the privacy rights of gun owners.”

The lawsuit was filed because of a change in the California Penal Code that required the state DOJ to share private information on millions of gun owners in the state, with the California Firearm Violence Research Center and others.

There have been many efforts in anti-freedom jurisdictions to dox and share personal identifying information of gun owners across the country. In the world of fighting dirty, this is about as low as it goes. Not only does the sharing of information about gun owners create a very dangerous situation for those who have been unmasked, the potentiality of such events works to further chill future exercise of such rights in others. The denial of the State’s request was more than reasonable and with every bit of judicial luck, with a dash of respect for civil liberties, the law will be repealed. A full repeal of the measure would allow gun owners to rest easy concerning the security of their personal information.


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