California v. BrownAnnotate this Case
Defendant Kenneth Wesley Brown was convicted of possession of a "short-barreled shotgun." Defendant had been found in possession of the weapon in his home. California's statutory definition of "short-barreled shotgun" includes a shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches long or with an overall length of less than 26 inches, regardless of the length of the barrel. The barrel of defendant's shotgun was one quarter inch longer than the minimum length of 18 inches, but the overall length was 25 and a half inches - too short by half an inch. He appealed, contending the statute, on its face and as applied, violated the Second Amendment's right to bear arms and equal protection. He also claimed the trial court erred in denying his motion for acquittal due to the insufficiency of evidence, and made instructional errors. Upon review, the Court of Appeal concluded that California's ban on shotguns with an overall length of less than 26 inches did not violate the Second Amendment or equal protection. The Court also rejected defendant's other contentions.