Gun Dealers Cite 1st Amendment In New Lawsuit

Normally when you hear about the politics of gun control, the debate is centered around the 2nd Amendment. That isn’t the case when it comes to a new lawsuit being filed on behalf of four California gun dealers, who say it is their First Amendment rights being violated by state law. The law in question makes it illegal for gun shops to make firearms – or even pictures of firearms – visible from outside the store.

Unlike most of the country’s silly gun laws, this one has been on the books a long time. It was enacted in 1923, and it specifically bans California gun merchants from putting up handgun advertisements in public view. While similar laws can be found in other states such as Pennsylvania and Texas, California seems to be the only one that bothers with strict enforcement. It was under this law that a San Joaquin gun store was cited for window signs that displayed pictures of handguns earlier this year. The store in question – Tracy Rifle and Pistol – is one of the plaintiffs in the suit.

Michael Baryla, the owner of Tracy Rifle, insists that his company has the right to advertise their products in a truthful manner. In an interview with, Baryla said, “I run one of the most heavily regulated and inspected businesses in existence, but it’s still illegal for me to show customers that I sell handguns until after they walk in the door. That’s about as silly a law as you could imagine, even here in California.”

While courts have decided that the First Amendment can be legally infringed when it comes to obscenities and slander/libel, attorneys representing the gun shop owners say no such limitations should apply to handguns. They argue that handguns enjoy deep protection under the Second Amendment, having been legally cited as one of the best forms of personal protection.

So clear is the issue, one would think the lawsuit would be a slam dunk. After all, how can even the most liberal idiot walking the streets not see the flagrant constitutional violations inherent in the law? Well, leave it to a Sacramento news station to find someone who disagrees. ABC News 10 spoke to someone named Richard Hoang, who said, “I don’t think they need to advertise in the front of their stores. I think from the standpoint, people will go inside and look for guns they want to buy.”

While Hoang seems to have little to add to the conversation, he does in fact say it all. When it comes to disputes about constitutional freedoms – particularly as they relate to guns – one side brings the founding document itself while the other side brings their day-dreamy, moronic musings. Under Hoang’s “logic,” there might as well be a law against advertising jewelry, toys, cars, and anything else that might accidentally offend someone.

Sadly, that’s all too often the kind of logic liberal judges use to promote their agenda from the bench.

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