A federal judge declared California’s high-capacity magazine ban unconstitutional for the second time on Friday, citing the lack of a historical basis for the law.
For over twenty years, selling or buying high-capacity magazines has been illegal in California. Voters in 2016 supported Proposition 63, which prohibited the ownership of such magazines. Proposition 63 has been the catalyst for many court cases.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez wrote in his decision, “Removable firearm magazines of all sizes are necessary components of semiautomatic firearms. Therefore, magazines come within the text of the constitutional declaration that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Because millions of removable firearm magazines able to hold between 10 and 30 rounds are commonly owned by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, including self-defense, and because they are reasonably related to service in the militia, the magazines are presumptively within the protection of the Second Amendment. There is no American history or tradition of regulating firearms based on the number of rounds they can shoot, or of regulating the amount of ammunition that can be kept and carried.”
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said, “The decision affects Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s defense against a lawsuit challenging a similar ban in his state, which is also in the Ninth Circuit, as well as bans in other states. Ultimately, we expect this issue will have to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
To give California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office time to request a stay, Benitez postponed enforcement of his injunction for ten days.