California's 10-day waiting period for gun purchases was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, in a decision issued on Monday.
The 10-day waiting period law means that gun purchasers in California must wait a minimum of ten days before they can take possession of the purchased guns.
Federal District Court Judge Anthony Ishii ruled that the wait violates the Second Amendment rights of people who already own a firearm. The lawsuit was brought in 2011 by gun owners who had already gone through the process, and were cleared to own those guns. Ishii - appointed by President Bill Clinton - ruled the state law makes it unreasonable to go through the wait again.
The laws were challenged by California gun owners Jeffrey Silvester and Brandon Combs, as well as the Calguns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation. They argued the 10-day waiting period adds additional costs and disruptions for firearms owners, and that it prevents them from exercising their constitutional Second Amendment rights.
"We are happy that Second Amendment rights are being acknowledged and protected by our courts," said Donald Kilmer, lead attorney for the plaintiffs. "This case is one more example of how our judicial branch brings balance to government in order to insure our liberty. I am elated that we were able to successfully vindicate the rights of our clients."
Under the court order, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) must change its systems to accommodate the unobstructed release of guns to firearms buyers who pass a background check and possess a California license to carry a handgun. Or who hold a "Certificate of Eligibility" issued by the DOJ and already possess at least one firearm known to the state.
State Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) had argued - unsuccessfully at it turned out - that the law served as a cooling-off period in order "to prevent individuals from performing impulsive acts of violence to others or to themselves."