Duncan v. Becerra, 081420 FED9, 19-55376

Docket Nº:19-55376
Opinion Judge:LEE, Circuit Judge:
Party Name:Virginia Duncan; Richard Lewis; Patrick Lovette; David Marguglio; Christopher Waddell; California Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., a California corporation, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Xavier Becerra, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of California, Defendant-Appellant.
Attorney:John D. Echeverria (argued), Deputy Attorney General; Mark R. Beckington, Supervising Deputy Attorney General; Thomas S. Patterson, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Xavier Becerra, Attorney General; Office of the Attorney General, California, Los Angeles, California; for Defendant-Appellant. Er...
Judge Panel:Before: Consuelo M. Callahan and Kenneth K. Lee, Circuit Judges, and Barbara M. G. Lynn, District Judge. LYNN, District Judge, dissenting:
Case Date:August 14, 2020
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Virginia Duncan; Richard Lewis; Patrick Lovette; David Marguglio; Christopher Waddell; California Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., a California corporation, Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

Xavier Becerra, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of California, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 19-55376

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

August 14, 2020

Argued and Submitted April 2, 2020 Pasadena, California

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California Roger T. Benitez, District Judge, Presiding D.C. No. 3:17-cv-01017-BEN-JLB

John D. Echeverria (argued), Deputy Attorney General; Mark R. Beckington, Supervising Deputy Attorney General; Thomas S. Patterson, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Xavier Becerra, Attorney General; Office of the Attorney General, California, Los Angeles, California; for Defendant-Appellant.

Erin E. Murphy (argued), Paul D. Clement, Kasdin M. Mitchell, and William K. Lane III, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Washington, D.C.; C.D. Michel, Sean A. Brady, and Anna M. Barvir, Michel & Associates P.C., Long Beach, California; for Plaintiffs-Appellees.

Scott D. Danzis, Thomas C. Villalon, Rafael Reyneri, and Nora Conneely, Covington & Burling LLP, Washington, D.C.; Jonathan E. Lowy and T. Tanya Schardt, Brady, Washington, D.C.; for Amicus Curiae Brady.

Jonathan K. Baum, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Chicago, Illinois; Mark T. Ciani, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, New York, New York; for Amici Curiae California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians; American Academy of Pediatrics, California; and California Academy of Family Physicians.

Karl A. Racine, Attorney General; Loren L. Alikhan, Solicitor General; Caroline S. Van Zile, Deputy Solicitor General; Sonya L. Lebsack, Assistant Attorney General; Office of the Solicitor General, Washington, D.C.; William Tong, Attorney General, Hartford, Connecticut; Clare E. Connors, Attorney General, Honolulu, Hawaii; Brian E. Frosh, Attorney General, Baltimore, Maryland; Burbir S. Grewal, Attorney General, Trenton, New Jersey; Letitia James, Attorney General, New York, New York; Keith Ellison, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; Kathleen Jennings, Attorney General, Wilmington, Delaware; Kwame Raoul, Attorney General, Chicago, Illinois; Maura Healey, Attorney General, Boston, Massachusetts; Hector Balderas, Attorney General, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Dana Nessel, Attorney General, Lansing, Michigan; Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Salem, Oregon; Josh Shapiro, Attorney General, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Thomas J. Donovan Jr., Montpelier, Vermont; Robert W. Ferguson, Attorney General, Olympia, Washington; Peter F. Neronha, Attorney General, Providence, Rhode Island; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General, Richmond, Virginia; for Amici Curiae District of Columbia, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

Dennis J. Herrera, City Attorney; Aileen McGrath, Co-Chief of Appellate Litigation; City Attorney's Office, San Francisco, California; for Amicus Curiae City and County of San Francisco.

Michael N. Feuer, City Attorney; James P. Clark, Kathleen Kenealy, Blithe Smith Bock, and Danielle L. Goldstein, Office of the City Attorney, Los Angeles, California; for Amicus Curiae City of Los Angeles.

Antonio J. Perez-Marques and Antonio M. Haynes, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, New York, New York; Eric Tirschwell, Mark Anthony Frassetto, and William J. Taylor Jr., Everytown Law, New York, New York; for Amicus Curaie Everytown for Gun Safety.

Scott A. Edelman, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Los Angeles, California; Vivek R. Gopalan and Matthew C. Reagan, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, San Francisco, California; Kathryn M. Cherry, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Dallas, Texas; Hannah Shearer and Hannah Friedman, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, San Francisco, California; for Amicus Curiae Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

James E. Hough, Jamie A. Levitt, and Cesar A. Francia, Morrison & Foerster LLP, New York, New York, for Amici Curiae Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, Equality California, and Gays Against Guns.

Nezida S. Davis, Bakari Law LLC, Decatur, Georgia; Stephen P. Halbrook, Fairfax, Virginia; for Amici Curiae National African American Gun Association Inc. and Pink Pistols.

John Parker Sweeney, James W. Porter III, Marc A. Nardone, and Candice L. Rucker, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Washington, D.C., for Amicus Curiae National Rifle Association of America Inc.

Robert J. Olson, Jeremiah L. Morgan, William J. Olson, and Herbert W. Titus, William J. Olson P.C., Vienna, Virginia; Joseph W. Miller, Joseph Miller Law Offices LLC, Fairbanks, Alaska; Steven C. Bailey, Ramona, California; for Amici Curiae Gun Owners of America Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of California, California Constitutional Rights Foundation, Virginia Citizens Defense League, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, Policy Analysis Center, The Heller Foundation, and Restoring Liberty Action Committee.

Lawrence G. Keane and Benjamin F. Erwin, National Shooting Sports Foundation Inc., Newtown, Connecticut; Craig A. Livingston and Crystal L. Van Der Putten, Livingston Law Firm P.C., Walnut Creek, California; for Amicus Curiae National Shooting Sports Foundation Inc.

Dan M. Peterson, Dan M. Peterson PLLC, Fairfax, Virginia, for Amici Curiae Law Enforcement Groups and State and Local Firearms Rights Groups.

Joseph G.S. Greenlee, Firearms Policy Coalition, Sacramento, California; George M. Lee, Seiler Epstein LLP, San Francisco, California; for Amici Curiae William Wiese, Jeremiah Morris, Lance Cowley, Sherman Macaston, Clifford Flores, L.Q. Dang, Frank Federau, Alan Normandy, Todd Nielsen, California Gun Rights Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Armed Equality, San Diego County Gun Owners, Orange County Gun Owners, Riverside County Gun Owners, California County Gun Owners, and Second Amendment Foundation.

Donald E. J. Kilmer Jr., Law Offices of Donald E. J. Kilmer Jr. APC, San Jose, California, for Amicus Curiae Madison Society Inc.

John Cutonilli, Garrett Park, Maryland, as Amicus Curiae.

Before: Consuelo M. Callahan and Kenneth K. Lee, Circuit Judges, and Barbara M. G. Lynn, [*] District Judge.

SUMMARY[**]

Second Amendment

The panel affirmed the district court's summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs challenging California Government Code § 31310, which bans possession of large-capacity magazines ("LCMs") that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition; and held that the ban violated the Second Amendment.

The Ninth Circuit employs a two-prong inquiry to determine whether firearm regulations violate the Second Amendment: (1) whether the law burdens conduct protected by the Second Amendment; and (2) if so, what level of scrutiny to apply to the regulation. United states v. Chovan, 735 F.3d 1127, 1136 (9th Cir. 2013)

The panel held that under the first prong of the test, Cal. Penal Code § 32310 burdened protected conduct. First, the panel held that firearm magazines are protected arms under the Second Amendment. Second, the panel held that LCMs are commonly owned and typically used for lawful purposes, and are not "unusual arms" that would fall outside the scope of the Second Amendment. Third, the panel held that LCM prohibitions are not longstanding regulations and do not enjoy a presumption of lawfulness. Fourth, the panel held that there was no persuasive historical evidence in the record showing LCM possession fell outside the ambit of Second Amendment protection.

Proceeding to prong two of the inquiry, the panel held that strict scrutiny was the appropriate standard to apply. First, the panel held that Cal. Penal Code § 32310 struck at the core right of law-abiding citizens to self-defend by banning LCM possession within the home. Second, the panel held that Section 32310's near-categorical ban of LCMs substantially burdened core Second Amendment rights. Third, the panel held that decisions in other circuits were distinguishable. Fourth, the panel held that this circuit's decision in Fyock v. City of Sunnyvale, 779 F.3d 991 (9th Cir. 2015), did not obligate the panel to apply intermediate scrutiny.

The panel held that Cal. Penal Code § 32310 did not survive strict scrutiny review. First, the panel held that the state interests advanced here were compelling: preventing and mitigating gun violence. Second, the panel held that Section 32310 was not narrowly tailored to achieve the compelling state interests it purported to serve because the state's chosen method - a statewide blanket ban on possession everywhere and for nearly everyone - was not the least restrictive means of achieving the compelling interests.

The panel held that even if intermediate scrutiny were to apply, Cal. Penal Code § 32310 would still fail. The panel held that while the interests expressed by the state qualified as "important," the means chosen to advance those interests were not substantially related to their service.

Chief District Judge Lynn dissented, and would reverse the district court's grant of summary judgment. Judge Lynn wrote that the majority opinion conflicted with this Circuit's precedent in Fyock, and with decisions in all the six sister Circuits that addressed the Second Amendment issue presented here. Judge Lynn would hold that intermediate scrutiny applies, and Cal. Penal Code § 32310 satisfies that standard.

OPINION

LEE, Circuit Judge:

In the wake of heart-wrenching and highly publicized mass shootings, the state of California barred its citizens from owning so-called "large capacity magazines"...

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