OOIDA Files Suit Over California's Ammunition Shipping Restriction

July 29, 2010

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The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has filed a joint lawsuit with The Calguns Foundation, the National Rifle Association, the Folsom Shooting Club and two individual truckers, to challenge California's ban on interstate shipment of handgun ammunition to the state.

The ban, which takes effect February 2011, will criminalize the delivery and transfer of handgun ammunition not done in face-to-face transactions. It also requires shipping companies to implement procedures to determine whether the recipient of a package containing handgun ammunition is covered by one of the exceptions in the law before delivering handgun ammunition in California.

The lawsuit, filed in Sacramento's Eastern District Federal Court, alleges that these provisions of the law violate the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act, which prohibits states and local municipalities from interfering with carriers' rates, routes or services. OOIDA says the law places a big burden on shippers and will make shipping ammunition to the state much more difficult and expensive.

"This isn't about firearms or ammunition," said Jim Johnston, OOIDA president. "Congress made an important decision to keep motor carriers free from a patchwork of burdensome regulation as we move America's goods to market. We cannot allow California to subject our members to criminal liability where the state has no right to meddle."

The OOIDA references a unanimous United States Supreme Court decision from February 2008, in which the court struck down a similar law in Maine regarding the delivery of cigarettes to Maine in Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport.

"It does not matter what the state's goal is or how honorable they believe their cause is," said Jason Davis of Davis & Associates, lead attorney on the case. "Rowe made it clear that a state cannot interfere with a carrier's rates, routes, or services. AB-962 does just that."

To read the complaint, click here.

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