U.S. District Court Blocks Firearms Marketing Ban Bill

A controversial California State Assembly Bill (AB-2571), which would prohibit marketing of hunting, shooting sports and firearms in general geared toward minors, took a hit today when the U.S. District Court issued an order that put a halt on the legislation.

The Sportsmen’s Alliance, one of the groups that has fought against the bill becoming a reality, released the following statement:

Victory! California AB-2571 “Youth Marketing” Law Blocked!

Today, U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd signed an order enjoining the state of California from enforcing AB-2571, which was signed into law in June 2022.?

The Sportsmen’s Alliance was the first organization to alert California hunters and gun owners of the extreme dangers of the bill when it was introduced. In spite of our dire warnings, Governor Newsom continued to push for its passage, even though it obviously would ban youth hunting programs, education and shooting activities throughout the state. Newsom attempted to characterize the bill as a safety measure, but it was clearly drafted to crater the future of hunting and firearm ownership in the state, and hunting organizations scrambled to figure out how to continue youth programs once this draconian bill was signed into law by Newsom.

The Sportsmen’s Alliance, together with a coalition of hunting organizations, filed suit against the law, seeking to overturn its blatant disregard of Constitutional protections, including a direct assault on the First Amendment at its core. Even though the coalition lost at the district level initially, a three-judge panel of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rightly recognized that banning truthful advertisements related directly to our hunting heritage and our Second Amendment rights was in violation of the First Amendment.

But Newsom and Attorney General Bonta refused to take the loss. Instead, they asked for the case to be reheard “en banc” before 11 judges on the Ninth Circuit. But not a single one of the 29 active judges on the Ninth Circuit voted to rehear the case. This is both telling and quite remarkable in the Ninth Circuit. 

“The Ninth Circuit forced California to accept what was obvious all along,” said Michael Jean, Litigation Counsel for the Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation. “California banned truthful and non-misleading speech because it did not like the content. The First Amendment forbids that, and today’s order ensures that California cannot enforce this statute going forward.”

Today’s order only enjoins the state from enforcing the statute until the court can fully consider the merits of the case. The Sportsmen’s Alliance looks forward to continuing the challenge while the law is put on hold, vowing to protect California’s hunting heritage against the continued onslaught by Newsom and others in their constant quest to undermine hunters at every turn.

The case is captioned Safari Club International v. Bonta. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is also a party to the case and the National Rifle Association of America contributed.

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance

Working in all 50 state legislatures, the Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing, trapping and recreational shooting – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public and youth education, legal defense in state and federal court and research to guide the decision-making process of all involved. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance as www.sportsmensalliance.orgFacebookTwitter and Instagram.