Gun owners seek injunction against California law authorizing sharing of personal information for research

An group of anonymous gun owners (“the plaintiffs”) filed a federal Complaint Wednesday against California Attorney General (AG) Rob Bonta to prevent enforcement of Assembly Bill 171 (AB171), signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in September, which allows the state to share personal information of gun owners with gun violence research organizations.

The plaintiffs allege that the law is unconstitutional under Article IV of the California Constitution, and the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution.

The plaintiffs entered personal information into a state registry maintained by the California Department of Justice called the Automated Firearms System in accordance with California law for owning and/or possessing a firearm. According to the Complaint, that personal information includes “name, address, place of birth, telephone number, occupation, California driver’s license or ID number, race, sex, height, weight, hair color, eye color, and, in some instances, social security number.”

The new law amends some of the state’s firearm privacy laws allowing the California AG to disclose this information to the Firearm Violence Research Center at UC Davis and “any other ‘bona fide research institution.'”

The Complaint alleges that the amendments made by the new law “violate and infringe on the rights of Plaintiffs and millions of other law-abiding citizens under the federal and state constitutions, and state statutes.”

As such, the plaintiffs are requesting the court declare the law unconstitutional or otherwise prevent the enforcement of the law.