Gun enthusiasts argue Calif. unlawfully delayed background checks

The state delayed hundreds of thousands of background checks because of COVID-19.

California is facing a lawsuit for delaying gun-buyer background checks past the 10-day statutory limit due to COVID-19. 

Gun enthusiasts are arguing in an appellate case that the state exceeded its authority by delaying the background checks. 


The big picture: California delayed over 220,000 gun purchases due to how the Department of Justice interpreted the allowed application turnaround time for background checks. 

  • The state court of appeal is set to hear oral arguments on Wednesday in San Diego, and has 90 days to issue a decision.
  • The trial court previously ruled that the agency did not have the authority to delay background checks for reasons other than those stated in the statute.
  • This case is separate from a federal case challenging the 10-day waiting period and is one of several lawsuits challenging various gun laws in California.

Go deeper: Gun advocates argue that these laws are unconstitutional attempts to prevent lawful purchase and use of guns, while the state argues that they are public safety measures.

  • The case also raises the issue of how the landmark US Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen is being interpreted in California.
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