Gun-rights groups are pushing back against California’s recent law banning any firearm advertising appearing to be “attractive to minors.”
A coalition of gun-rights groups is demanding a pause on the enforcement of the state’s new law as part of a suit announced last week. The coalition, which includes the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on Wednesday to stop the Golden State’s restrictions on firearm advertisements and activities. The groups argued the new law impacts more than just gun advertisements and infringes on both First Amendment and Second Amendment rights.
“It is critical to the success of SAF that its promotional material, publications, and messages about the ‘right to keep and bear arms’ be permitted to reach a broad public audience, including minors and young adults,” Alan Gottlieb, SAF’s founder, said in a statement.
The groups argue AB 2571, which Governor Gavin Newsom (D.) signed on June 30th, violates the rights to free speech, assembly, and association. An injunction would prevent enforcement of the law and provide relief to industry members while the case proceeds.
AB 2571 was crafted in response to the Supreme Court declaring “proper cause” standards for attaining a carry license to be unconstitutional. California legislators struck back by passing wide-reaching gun-control legislation, including the law preventing firearm industry members from advertisements that could in some way appeal to minors. The law includes fines of up to $25,000 for each offense.
“Not content to merely restrict unlawful access to and use of firearms, Governor Newsom and the state of California now seek to prevent the Second Amendment community from passing down their traditions and ideals to the next generation,” the groups said in their motion.
One focus of the injunction is an outreach initiative aimed at people who play video games, especially those centered around firearms. Called “2A Gaming,” the program, sponsored by SAF, seeks to initiate fans of video games into the larger firearms community. As such, the initiative could be interpreted as appealing to minors that exist in gaming communities.
“Part of the purpose of 2A Gaming is to persuade gamers, whose experience with firearms may – at first – be limited to digital experience, to seek out friends and shooting clubs to obtain the necessary training and make that first trip to a range for a live fire experience,” Gottlieb explained.
The injunction also noted the law would block the sale of merchandise and the promotion of legal programs and activities such as educational programs, firearm safety courses, and youth shooting events. The groups argue the law’s broad application would have a massive impact on both the firearms industry and gun-rights advocates alike and must be prevented from going into effect.
“We’re filing because a right delayed is a right denied,” Gottlieb said.