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Hanson v. District of Columbia

May 7, 2009

TRACEY HANSON ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Document Nos. 7, 12

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GRANTING THE DEFENDANTS'MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE AND DENYING AS MOOT THE DEFENDANTS'MOTION TO STAY PENDING BRIEFING

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the court on the defendants' motion to consolidate. The plaintiffs, residents of the District of Columbia ("the District"), challenge the constitutionality of the rule prohibiting certain handguns from being manufactured, sold, given, loaned, exposed for sale, transferred or imported into the District. The defendants enacted the rule in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S.Ct. 2783 (2008) ("Heller I"). The defendants ask the court to order that the instant action be consolidated with Heller v. District of Columbia, Civil Action No. 08-1289 ("Heller II"). The plaintiffs oppose the motion. Because the court determines that the relevant factors weigh in favor of consolidating the two cases, it grants the defendants' motion. As a result, the court denies as moot the defendants' motion to stay the proceedings pending briefing on the motion to consolidate.

II. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

A. Heller I and the District's Response

In Heller I, released on June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court held that "the District's ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense." 128 S.Ct. at 2821-22. Following the release of the Heller I decision, the District enacted the Firearms Control Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 ("the Firearms Control Act"), 55 D.C. REG. 8237-39 (Aug. 1, 2008), the Inoperable Pistol Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 ("the Inoperable Pistol Act"), 56 D.C. REG. 927-30 (Jan. 30, 2009), and the Firearms Registration Amendment Act of 2008 ("the Firearms Registration Act"), 56 D.C. REG. 1365-80 (Feb. 13, 2009). Section 504 of the Firearms Registration Act, approved on January 28, 2009, established that with a few exceptions, beginning January 1, 2009, a pistol that is not on the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale, (also known as the California Roster of Handguns Determined Not to be Unsafe), pursuant to California Penal Code § 12131, as of January 1, 2009, may not be manufactured, sold, given, loaned, exposed for sale, transferred, or imported into the District of Columbia.

Id. at 1377.

B. Heller II

The plaintiffs in Heller II brought suit on July 28, 2008, see Compl., Heller II (D.D.C. July 28, 2008), and filed a First Amended Complaint on July 29, 2008, see Am. Compl., Heller II (D.D.C. July 29, 2008), and a Second Amended Complaint on March 25, 2009, see 2d Am. Compl., Heller II (Mar. 25, 2009). The Second Amended Complaint alleges, inter alia, that "§ 504 of the [Firearms Registration Act], which prohibits pistols not on the California Roster, and D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(5), which prohibits registration of such pistols," infringe on the plaintiffs' Second Amendment right to bear arms. Id. ¶ 76.

C. The Instant Action

The plaintiffs in the instant action filed suit on March 9, 2009. Like the plaintiffs in Heller II, they challenge the use of the California Roster in the Firearms Registration Act as unconstitutional. See generally Compl. On March 30, 2009, the defendants moved to consolidate this action with Heller II. See generally Defs.' Mot. The plaintiffs ...


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