Association News
OOIDA sues California over interstate commerce

By Jami Jones
senior editor


The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, along with the National Rifle Association Inc. and The Calguns Foundation, filed a lawsuit in July against the state of California. The lawsuit seeks to repeal a law they say violates a federal protection of interstate commerce.

The suit alleging illegal regulation of interstate commerce was filed in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of California Sacramento Division in late July by OOIDA; OOIDA Members Erik Royce and Brandon Elias, both of California; Folsom Shooting Club Inc.; The Calguns Foundation Inc.; and the NRA.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law in 2009 that regulates the delivery of handgun ammunition starting in early 2011.

The law states that the “delivery or transfer of ownership of handgun ammunition may only occur in face-to-face transactions with the deliverer or transferor being provided bona fide evidence of identity from the purchaser or other transferee.”

The law presents the trucking industry with a myriad of problems, including dictating potential routes and service of the shipment – something OOIDA claims is a clear violation of the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994. The act contains a provision that prohibits states from passing laws that infringe on various aspects of interstate commerce.

“A state ... may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service” related to the transportation of property.

Congress enacted the law because “regulation of interstate transportation of property by the states had imposed an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce; [and] impeded the free flow of trade, traffic, and transportation of interstate commerce.”  The lawsuit outlines many of the systems and provisions the law would directly affect.

OOIDA and the other plaintiffs are asking the court to prevent enforcement of the law as well as attorney’s fees and any relief consistent with the injunction.

“This isn’t about firearms or ammunition,” said OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston.

“Congress made an important decision to keep motor carriers free from a patchwork of burdensome regulation as we move America’s goods to market. We cannot allow California to subject our members to criminal liability where the state has no right to meddle.” LL