In a resounding win for West Coast gun owners, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court threw out the California high-capacity magazine ban Friday, calling it unconstitutional. A three-judge panel said the rule violates Americans’ right to bear arms.
Judges Rule California High-Capacity Magazine Ban Unconstitutional
The ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld an earlier decision by U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez in Duncan v Becerra. That decision ruled California’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds violated the Second Amendment. The National Shooting Sports Federation, NSSF, among others, also submitted an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs’ challenge.
“This is a tremendous victory for all who value the rule of law and preservation of individual liberties protected by the U.S. Constitution,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President of General Counsel. “The firearm industry trade association was confident that possession of these accessories is protected by the Second Amendment and that California overreached to infringe upon the fundamental civil liberties of law-abiding citizens. This serves as notice to antigun politicians that their campaign to trample on constitutional rights and advance a radical agenda to deny citizens’ their Second Amendment rights will not go unchallenged.”
“California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs strikes at the core of the Second Amendment — the right to armed self-defense. Armed self-defense is a fundamental right rooted in tradition and the text of the Second Amendment. Indeed, from pre-colonial times to today’s post-modern era, the right to defend hearth and home has remained paramount,” wrote Judge Kenneth K. Lee.
“California’s law imposes a substantial burden on this right to self-defense,” Lee continued.
The ruling obviously represents a big step for California as far as gun rights are concerned. The Associated Press reported:
California Rifle & Pistol Association attorney Chuck Michel called it “a huge victory” for gun owners “and the right to choose to own a firearm to defend your family.”
The ruling has national implications because other states have similar restrictions, though it immediately applies only to Western states under the appeals court’s jurisdiction.
California AG Xavier Becerra didn’t confirm whether he would ask the full appellate court to reconsider the ruling, reported nbcnewyork.com. However, industry experts expect continuing litigation to keep the California high-capacity magazine ban legally considered unconstitutional.