Judge Kills "Ghost Gun" Lawsuit

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

The city of San Diego has passed its so-called ghost gun ordinance that heavily restricts the construction of firearms by private citizens. Unsurprisingly, this triggered a lawsuit. After all, this is a clear infringement of people’s Second Amendment rights.

The lawsuit hoped to stop the ordinance from going into effect.

Unfortunately, the judge killed any hopes of that happening.

A federal judge Wednesday denied a request by local gun owners to block San Diego’s recently signed ordinance banning so-called “ghost guns” in the city.

The lawsuit filed last month in San Diego federal court, hours after Mayor Todd Gloria signed the ordinance, sought to block enforcement of the ban prohibiting the possession, purchase, sale, receipt and transportation of non-serialized, unfinished frames and receivers, and non-serialized firearms, all of which are commonly known as ghost guns.

The Eliminate Non-serialized Untraceable Firearm — or E.N.U.F. — Ordinance goes into effect Saturday.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Firearms Policy Coalition, San Diego County Gun Owners PAC and San Diego residents James Fahr, Desiree Bergman and Colin Rudolph, alleges the ban violates the Second Amendment rights of law- abiding San Diegans.

“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, the coalition’s senior director of legal operations.

U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant issued a written ruling denying the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction in the matter, stating that San Diegans can still acquire self-manufactured guns that are serialized and purchased from licensed sellers.

Except, I don’t know of any less than 80 percent receivers that are serialized. Maybe they exist, but if not, the judge is basically saying that because it’s theoretically possible for something to exist that complies with the law, then there’s no issue with the law in the first place.

Only someone who spent that long in college could have such muddled thinking.

Regardless, this is far from the end of the line on opposing this ordinance. This could well end up in federal court, where it’ll go up the Ninth Circuit. We know how that will shake out, too. Judge Benetiz will rule against the city, the en banc review will overturn his ruling, then it’ll end up before the Supreme Court.

With the Court clearly interested in Second Amendment cases once again, it’s possible the whole “ghost gun” issue will be resolved long before Congress is somehow able to ram through some kind of bill to kill the practice.

Meanwhile, San Diego hasn’t really done anything to make anyone safer.

Criminals will simply import the kits from outside the city and/or state and keep cranking out these kinds of firearms without any regard for the law.

I mean, they’re criminals. That’s kind of in the job description.

“But they’ll get caught.”

Maybe. But then someone else will pick it up and start making the things. You’re not about to stop this behavior among the bad actors of society.

All you’ll do is stop law-abiding hobbyists from doing something they enjoy that puts absolutely no one at risk. Let’s hope this does eventually get smacked down and smacked down hard.

Nov 29, 2021 4:30 PM ET