On November 23, 2021, in a huge victory for both Polymer80 and the Second Amendment in Nevada, the Hon. Judge John P. Schlegelmilch of the Lyon County, Nevada District Court stated he would be issuing summary judgment in favor of Polymer80, Inc., in their lawsuit against Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, George Togliatti, Director of the Nevada Department of Public Safety, and Mindy McKay, Administrator of the Records, Communications, and Compliance Division of the Nevada Department of Public Safety. The judgment would invalidate and bar enforcement of major portions of Nevada Assembly Bill 286, on due process grounds under the Nevada state constitution.
Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui (D-Las Vegas) sponsored AB286 which passed on straight-party line votes in both the Nevada Assembly and Senate. Gov. Sisolak, a democrat signed AB286 into law in early June 2021. AB286 generally prohibits a person from possessing, purchasing, transporting or receiving any unfinished frame or receiver of a firearm, or assembling any firearm not imprinted with a serial number. Initial violations carry a criminal misdemeanor penalty; repeat violations can be punished by a felony charge.
In deciding to issue summary judgment, Judge Schlegelmilch held that a trial was not needed, and that Polymer80 was immediately entitled to both a Declaratory Judgment that AB286 was unduly and unconstitutionally void for vagueness, and a Permanent Injunction forever banning enforcement of key provisions in the new enactment for that reason. Judge Schlegelmilch, who upon Polymer80’s motion had preliminarily prevented enforcement of those provisions in July 2021, specifically found that Sections 3 and 3.5 of AB286 were unconstitutionally ambiguous in their language criminalizing, among other things, the possession, sale, transfer, transport, and manufacture of “unfinished frames or receivers.” Polymer80 had argued that this said criminalization would threaten its very existence. In that respect, the Court further found that the definition of an “unfinished frame or receiver” incorporated in those two Sections was exceedingly and unconstitutionally vague in its use and reliance upon various terms including, among others, “blank,” “casting,” and “machined body” that were undefined in the statute and did not have accepted common meanings.
In addition, the Court determined that the additional required component of the definition of “unfinished frame or receiver” mandating that a blank, casting, or machined body have reached such a stage of formation that “most of the major machining operations” needed to turn those items into a firearm had been completed was fatally vague and ambiguous. The Court ruled that those terms, alone and together, were so unclear and uncertain that they did not provide fair notice to a Nevadan of ordinary intelligence as to what specific conduct AB286 prohibited, rendering the bill unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Nevada Constitution. The Court also ruled that those vague terms encouraged and effectively authorized arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement against all Nevadans, in that AB286 left the interpretation and application of those nebulous terms entirely to the discretion of governmental authorities, which Nevada Supreme Court decisions have precluded. Finally, Judge Schlegelmilch indicated that he would be issuing a formal written Order in December 2021, encapsulating and memorializing his oral rulings, declaring the cited provisions of AB286 unconstitutionally vague, and barring their enforcement permanently.
“This is a significant victory for Polymer80, Nevadans, and our customers nationwide,” Polymer80 CEO Loran Kelley said. “AB286 is vague and unlawful legislation that targets our company specifically for conducting a lawful business. We will continue to challenge lawless attempts to curtail our rights and the rights of our customers. Polymer80 would like to thank our loyal customers, whose continued support allows us to keep fighting for Second Amendment rights across the country and our attorneys at Greenspoon Marder, LLP who worked tirelessly and never gave up this fight. Polymer80 strongly believes that the Second Amendment is a foundational principal in America that can never be violated. Continuing to fight those who strive to take it away is a core belief of our company. It’s one more example of our company motto, ‘Engage Your Freedom.’”
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Dayton, NV, Polymer80, Inc. designs and develops innovative firearms, components and aftermarket accessories that allow customers to participate in the build process, while expressing the right to bear arms. For more information on Polymer80 and its products visit https://www.polymer80.com/ or Click Here.