‘Clearly unconstitutional’: Federal judge overturns California’s ‘high capacity’ magazine ban

Second Amendment

A federal judge has put a halt to California’s ban on “high capacity” magazines for firearms after calling it “clearly unconstitutional” by way of restricting arms that are “in common use.”

California’s Proposition 63 titled “Firearms and Ammunitions Sales” was passed in 2016 with 63% voting in favor of the legislation.

Invoking mass shootings along with school shootings, the 2016 law sought to restrict individual residents from owning “military-style large-capacity ammunition magazines” because “no one except trained law enforcement should be able to possess” them.

Any person who was found in possession of one of such a magazine was subject to a misdemeanor along with a $100 fine for each violation and up to one year in prison.

Federal District Judge Roger Benitez decided that the law was unconstitutional, reportedly for the second time. The law was also struck down in 2020 by the same judge, RedState reported, only to be reinstated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

“The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution ‘guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,'” Benitez wrote in his 71-page ruling.

“The guarantee protects ‘the possession of weapons that are “in common use,”‘ or arms that are ‘typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.’ These are the decisions this Court is bound to apply,” the federal judge continued.

“This case is about a California state law that makes it a crime to keep and bear common firearm magazines typically possessed for lawful purposes. Based on the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment, this law is clearly unconstitutional. The detachable firearm magazine solved a problem with historic firearms: running out of ammunition and having to slowly reload a gun. When more ammunition is needed in case of confrontation, a larger the magazine is required.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom quickly took to his X account to label the judge an “extremist, right-wing zealot with no regard to human life.”

“Wake up, America. Our gun safety laws will continue to be thrown out by NRA-owned federal judges until we pass a Constitutional Amendment to protect our kids and end the gun violence epidemic in America,” Newsom warned.

Judge Benitez is a George W. Bush appointee.

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