Pena v. Lindley, No. 15-15449 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the state in an action challenging three provisions of California's Unsafe Handgun Act (UHA). The UHA requires that new models of handguns meet certain criteria, and be listed on a handgun roster, before they may be offered for sale in the state.
Assuming that the UHA implicated purchasers' rights to bear arms, the panel held that the UHA passed constitutional muster. The panel applied intermediate scrutiny and held that the Act only regulates commercial sales, not possession, and did so in a way that did not impose a substantial burden on purchasers. The panel held that the requirements for a chamber load indicator and a magazine detachment mechanism reasonably fit with California's interest in public safety; California met its burden of showing that the microstamping requirement was reasonably tailored to address the substantial problem of untraceable bullets at crime scenes and the value of a reasonable means of identification; the panel rejected plaintiffs claim that they had a constitutional right to purchase a particular handgun; and the provisions did not violate the Equal Protection Clause.