SACRAMENTO –-(Ammoland.com)- Today, attorneys for 5 gun California dealers have filed a motion for summary judgment to strike down a state law that bans the on-site advertising of handguns outside of gun store in a federal First Amendment civil rights. California Penal Code section 26820, first enacted in 1923, bans gun stores from putting up signs advertising the sale of handguns — but not shotguns or rifles.
Tracy Rifle and Pistol, a firearm retailer and indoor shooting range located in San Joaquin County, was cited by Attorney General Kamala Harris’ Department of Justice for having pictures of three handguns in window signs that can be seen outside the store. An adjacent window image at Tracy Rifle, which shows a photograph of an AR-15 rifle, was not cited by the DOJ.
The lawsuit claims that the State’s restriction violates First Amendment rights by severely restricting truthful, non-misleading commercial speech. “Section 26820 imposes a content- and speaker-based burden on protected expression that is, in practice, viewpoint-discriminatory, and imposes an intolerable burden on the right of firearms dealers to advertise accurate information about the sale of handguns,” the lawsuit’s complaint alleges.
“The First Amendment prevents the government from telling businesses it disfavors that they can’t engage in truthful advertising,” said lead counsel Bradley Benbrook. “This case follows a long line of Supreme Court cases protecting such disfavored businesses from that type of censorship.”