Class Action Lawsuit Against the California DOJ Over Its Refusal to Process Legal Sales of Franklin Armory’s Title 1 Firearm

Franklin Armory works hard to bring a variety of legal firearms to its customers in California. California firearms law is a complicated area, and California politicians have made it very difficult for firearms manufacturers to do business by imposing numerous restrictions on the firearms and parts they produce. So complying with all these often non-sensical laws is a costly endeavor for any firearm manufacturer wanting to do business in California.

Franklin Armory, Inc. designed, developed, and began the manufacture of a series of firearms called the "Title I" that, before August 6, 2020, was legal to transfer, possess, and own in California, but are neither "rifles," "shotguns," or "pistols" as the state defines those terms. Before August 6, 2020, Franklin Armory lawfully took preorders from buyers across the state who were interested in obtaining a Title 1 firearm as soon as they became available. Indeed, thousands of Californians put deposits down for the purchase of one or more centerfire Title 1 firearms. Franklin Armory has made it a priority to deliver on these pre-orders to their customers -- but they can’t – because the California Department of Justice ("DOJ") refused to process the lawful transfers of those firearms, as it statutorily mandated to do, waiting to correct known deficiencies in its systems until well after it had successfully worked with the legislature to pass Senate Bill 118, which effectively designated Franklin Armory's centerfire Title 1 firearm as an "assault weapon" in California.

Now, it is unlawful to possess a centerfire Title 1 unless it was possessed before September 1, 2020, and registered before January 1, 2022. Having successfully "run out the clock" on Franklin Armory's customers' ability to take possession of their Title 1 firearms before the September 1, 2020 deadline imposed by SB 118, Franklin Armory's customers were indefinitely barred from taking possession of the firearms they legally began to purchase before SB 118 was adopted and took effect. 

This is wrong. And we are suing the DOJ to make it right. 

We believe the DOJ's conduct violates its duty to accept and process all applications for the lawful transfer of lawful firearms, and it violates each purchaser's rights under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. So on behalf of the thousands of people who put a deposit down to purchase a centerfire Title 1, this class action lawsuit seeks to declare the DOJ's conduct unlawful and to compel the DOJ to fulfill its obligations and process all Title 1 purchases that were begun before any subsequent prohibitions, restrictions, and/or limitations.

There is nothing you need to do in order to join the lawsuit. You are a member of the proposed class by virtue of making an earnest money deposit for the purchase of one or more centerfire variants of Franklin Armory's Title 1 series of firearms before August 6, 2020. There are no costs or fees for plaintiffs, participants, or members of the proposed class. 

Class Action Complaint Against California Department of Justice, Attorney General Bonta, and Bureau of Firearms Chief Lopez



Download a copy of the Class Action Complaint filed against the California Department of Justice, Attorney General, and Bureau of Firearms Chief today! The case, filed on September 17, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California alleges violations of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and the Fourteenth Amendment rights to substantive and procedural due process for the DOJ's failure and refusal to accept and process applications to purchase centerfire Franklin Armory, Inc. Title 1 type firearms as mandated by the State of California.The class action seeks declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of all class members ordering defendants to allow class members to finalize the transfers of the centerfire Title 1 firearms for which they made deposits before August 6, 2020. 

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