9th Circuit Court – California Ban on High Capacity Magazines Shot Down

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 ruling today, said that California’s ban on large capacity magazines “strikes at the core of the second amendment.” The decision by a three judge panel upholds the ruling of Judge Roger Benitez from 2017.

“California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs infringes on the fundamental right to self-defense. It criminalizes the possession of half of all magazines in America today…

It makes unlawful magazines that are commonly used in handguns by law abiding citizens for self-defense. And it substantially burdens the core right of self-defense guaranteed to the people under the Second Amendment. It cannot stand…

Even well-intentioned laws must pass constitutional muster…California’s law imposes a substantial burden on this right to self-defense … Even law-abiding citizens, regardless of their training and track record, must alter or turn over to the state any LCMs that they may have legally owned for years — or face up to a year in jail.” Appellate Judge Kenneth Lee, 9th circuit court (Fox)

Mercury News reported:

Starting in 2000, it became illegal to manufacture, import or sell large-capacity magazines in California. But in 2016, as cities across the U.S. reeled from mass shootings, the state legislature made possessing large-capacity magazines illegal. Californians strengthened the provisions of that law with jail time a few months later when they passed Proposition 63.

Broadening that original 2000 law effectively rendered nearly half of available weapons illegal across the state, Lee said, even though such weapons are not considered unusual.

“Magazines enjoy Second Amendment protection for a simple reason: Without a magazine, many weapons would be useless, including ‘quintessential’ self defense weapons like the handgun,” Lee added.

There are few alternatives now for the state of California: 1 – appeal to the Supreme Court, or 2 – ask for a stay in the ruling to prevent a buying spree as occurred last time the court ruled against the state. Sales are currently under a stay after Benitez’ ruling. California AG Becerra will probably not just lie down and take this without a fight.

The ruling only has jurisdiction over Western states: Alaska, California,Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Arizona. But it’s unclear how it will affect the states that already have such bans – such as those back East.

Featured photo: 9th circuit court in San Francisco via Global Arbitration (file)


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