Judge blocks California’s high-capacity magazine ban

second amendment3

Score one for the Second Amendment.

From ABC News: A federal judge on Thursday blocked a California law set to take effect Saturday that would have barred gun owners from possessing high-capacity ammunition magazines.

The judge ruled that the ban approved by the Legislature and voters last year takes away gun owners’ Second Amendment rights and amounts to the government taking people’s private property without compensation.

California law has prohibited buying or selling the magazines since 2000, but until now allowed those who had them to keep them.

“Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property,” San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez wrote. (Judge Benitez was appointed by George W. Bush.)

He issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law from taking effect while he considers the underlying lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association-affiliated California Rifle & Pistol Association.

Meanwhile, a Sacramento-based judge on Thursday rejected a similar challenge by several other gun owners’ rights organizations, creating what Ari Freilich, staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, called “dueling opinions” that may be sorted out on appeal. “Unfortunately this law will be delayed but we are confident it will go into effect, and soon,” he said.

He called the San Diego lawsuit and ruling part of an effort by the NRA “to delay and dismantle California’s law brick by brick.”

Had the ban taken effect, owners would have been required to get rid of their magazines by sending them out of state, altering them to hold no more than 10 bullets, destroying them or turning them into law enforcement agencies. Possession could have been punished by $100 fines or up to a year in jail.

Owners can now keep the magazines until a final ruling by Benitez or if an appeals court overturns his injunction, said Chuck Michel, attorney for the NRA and the California Rifle & Pistol Association.

“This court recognized that the Second Amendment is not a second-class right and that law-abiding gun owners have the right to own these magazines to defend themselves and their families,” Michel said.

State lawmakers approved the ban last year as part of a package of bills adding to what already were some of the nation’s strictest gun laws. Voters agreed in November when they approved Proposition 63, a measure that toughened the penalties by allowing violators to be fined or jailed.

Benitez said he was mindful of voters’ approval and government’s legitimate interest in protecting the public but added that the “Constitution is a shield from the tyranny of the majority.”

Gun owner’s constitutional rights “are not eliminated simply because they possess ‘unpopular’ magazines holding more than 10 rounds,” he wrote in a 66-page decision.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra criticized the decision but did not say what he will do next. “Proposition 63 was overwhelmingly approved by voters to increase public safety and enhance security in a sensible and constitutional way,” Becerra said in a statement. “I will defend the will of California voters because we cannot continue to lose innocent lives due to gun violence.”

Supporters say that magazines often holding 30 or 100 bullets are typically used in mass shootings and aren’t needed by hunters or civilian owners. “Clearly it escalates the lethality in any mass shooting when high-capacity magazines are involved,” said Amanda Wilcox, a spokeswoman for the California chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence whose daughter was fatally shot.

Forcing assailants to change magazines more frequently gives victims time to flee or subdue the shooter, Becerra argued in court filings.

He listed as examples the shooting in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people and injured 53; the terrorist assault that killed 14 and injured 22 in San Bernardino; the massacre of children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut; and the Arizona attack that killed six and wounded 13 including former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Moreover, the government wouldn’t own the magazines in the way it would property seized for a new highway or public building, he argued, since the magazines would be destroyed by law enforcement agencies.

Becerra said opponents’ Second Amendment challenge has repeatedly been rejected by other courts, allowing at least seven other states and 11 local governments to already restrict the possession or sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines.

DCG

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16 responses to “Judge blocks California’s high-capacity magazine ban

  1. Freedom:

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The annual deaths by firearms, many not unlawful, in the United States, a country of over 320 million in population, is unacceptable. Recent history shows us that the public must be disarmed, and by tyrannical rule if necessary. The number of deaths needed to impose that governance, over 100 million, is a very small price to pay. (Sarc.)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Got to hand it to Benitez , it took guts for him to make that ruling in the land of fruits and nuts .

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The right to keep and bear arms, and that includes ANY kind of arms, ANY kind of magazines, whatever one decides, are not “second amendment rights,” dang it! These are GOD GIVEN, INALIENABLE RIGHTS – all the 2nd A does is recognize that fact, period! We the people have these rights by birth, and they are INALIENABLE, end of story! Even if the Constitution was to be altered and some libtard, socialist-communist-fascist-totalitarian concocted amendment would right the 2nd A out, the right to keep and bear arms, self-defense, Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, free speech, etc., would still be ours! The Constitution and Bill of Rights, governments, federal or local, judges, legislators, the whole herd, do NOT give us any rights, RECOGNIZES them, RECOGNIZES they are our by birth, God given, INALIENABLE, period. Let’s not get confused here lest we end up enslaved beyond the point of no return. ANY regulation is abuse, and contradicts the principle that any and all such right “shall not be infringed.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. (Sorry for the typos! Rushed comment… Argh! Sick of abuse and violation of our Liberties!)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Maybe California should ban Criminals, thugs and Gangs instead of magazines then the citizens won’t feel the need for them!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Let’s get real here,..

    The,..’criminal element’,.. is not going to turn in their hi-capacity magazines, so the only people that this ban on such magazines, will effect, are the law abiding citizens, who would never dream of committing a gun crime,..

    So,..what’s the point of the ban,.?

    What’s the point, indeed,.?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly-and so it goes with ANY anti-gun law.
      ANY MANNER OF GUN CONTROL (including the peripherals of guns-i.e. magazines, ammunition, sizes, types, requirements, permits, registries, etc) IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Kevin J Lankford

    Let them make their laws, I will stand or die by our Constitution.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Let me get this straight. The government can own magizines of any capacity but citizens are not able to own the same. If you want to restrict me then make it a fair fight. The government can’t have them as well. Screw thes idiots. If guns 9and their accessories are are illegal then only the government and criminals will have them.

    Liked by 1 person

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