Pena v. Cid

Pena v. Cid (Lindley)

A number of months ago I wrote an article about the status of the California Handgun Roster and the challenge against it in the case of Pena v. Cid (…due to personnel changes at the California Dept. of Justice “Cid” was replaced with “Lindley”).

Thursday evening, the district court judge FINALLY issued her ruling.…

Not a good one!

Essentially, she said the roster is fine… “What is everyone complaining about?”

Well let’s take a look:

(If you have arrived here from our email, continue reading here:)

California sought to eliminate “Saturday Night Specials”… inexpensive firearms… ones that would supposedly frequently malfunction, but banning a specific set of firearms was not to be in the cards.Instead they came up with a consumer protection scheme where gun makers would submit their firearms for a thorough testing… 

They are loaded then dropped on the ground, before they would be allowed into California.

This was onerous… but not devastating for gun makers and gun buyers. 


Then, it was thought “Since we have this thing in place anyway… why not add a few ‘extra’ security features?!” 

So… California began adding the additional requirement that all new handguns sold to Californians be 

1) Drop tested… 

2) have a magazine disconnect safety (if their is a round in the chamber but no magazine in the well, the gun will not fire) and, 

3) a loaded chamber indicator.

Again.. not the most onerous things… just kinda a pain. 

If the gun you want does not have these features you could not outright buy them. There was the single shot exemption… a Kabukian dance around the regulation… but many were unaware of it… and at this point it is moot… the legislature closed off this pathway January 1st of this year.

Finally, the gunmakers had the last straw. 

Our Attorney General stated that all new additions to the roster must also have micro stamping technology in place. 

This would be the equivalent of saying that all new motorcycles sold in California must come with electro magnetic force fields that keep them from tipping over.

Gun makers declared that they would not be adding any new guns to the roster… and when the guns that were on the roster dropped off (they are only able to stay there for two years) they would not be renewed.

Apparently, this was fine with the judge.

A couple of things struck out at me in her decision though:

The buying of an off roster gun is not illegal, therefore the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue based on a failure to state a claim. Page 11 Lines 11-20: 

Yeah… apparently it is not illegal to buy an off roster handgun… just to sell one. 

The individual has nothing to fear! The evil gun store owner will go to jail. The fact that gun store owners don’t want to go to jail and therefore will not sell off roster guns is immaterial. If you can find one who will, you are legally allowed to buy a gun from him. 

(Good luck in finding that guy)

There also does not seem to be a problem since 1.5 million guns were sold since the law suit was filed. Page 17 lines 11-12: 

This is sophistry. 

There are no distinctions made between “on roster” or “off roster” guns. The fact that the Single Shot Exemption was to be closed at the end of 2014 caused a massive run on gun shops. 

Most of the firearms sold towards the end of 2014 were off roster because people knew that at least for a while there was no legitimate way to get the guns they would want. The fact that this even made it into her decision shows an utter lack of knowledge of the underlying problem with the roster.

The fact that on January 1 of 2016 there WILL BE NO GUNS ON THE ROSTER AT ALL only made a footnote mention Page 20 lines 23-28: 

The judge did acknowledge that no one is willing or able to add new guns to the roster, but this did not seem to worry her. If this becomes a problem in the future, in her mind another litigant can bring forward a new claim. 

Right now… any foreseeable harm is just speculative. 

The law enforcement exemption may not be as solid as a lot of cops think…. and some gun stores that sell to law enforcement may now be wary since they are on the hook… not the cop! Page 27 lines 6-7: 

Yeah… this is interesting. Most LEO’s… and for that matter most gun store owners have had an understanding that a badge allows you to buy an off roster gun. But she takes great pain in making sure everyone understands that the off roster gun is only to be used in furtherance of their official duties. Since the ownership of the gun does not make the LEO a criminal… (we already discussed that… it is the gun store owner who becomes the criminal if the weapon is not used in furtherance of their official duties). 

Will gun store owners be willing to sign off on a transfer to an LEO?

If you want to be treated as an American, leave California… set up residency in another state… then come back… you can bring your off roster guns with you! Page 26 Lines 7-20: 

OMG!!!! If you live in Arizona and decide to relocate to this utopia by the sea you can bring your guns with you. Of course? Why not? After all… it is your property. 

So… if you are planning to move to California stock up on your “off roster guns” then move. 

Better yet… if you have a home outside of Californian and declare that home your residency buy your guns and then just simply bring them back to your California address. 

The fact that your neighbor does not have the means to engage in the same action that you do, prevents him from acquiring the gun he wants is irrelevant. 


The next step is the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. After that the Supremes. It is going to be a long a winding road… and unless something happens fast…come January 1 a very quiet one for gun stores.


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