California gun magazine ban struck down by federal court

by WorldTribune Staff, March 31, 2019

California’s ban on firearm magazines which hold more than 10 rounds was struck down by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on March 29.

Judge Roger T. Benitez concluded that the restriction on magazine round capacity in the state “as amended by Proposition 63, burdens the core of the Second Amendment by criminalizing the acquisition and possession of these magazines that are commonly held by law-abiding citizens for defense of self, home, and state.”

Judge Benitez continues: “The statute hits at the center of the Second Amendment and its burden is severe. When the simple test of Heller is applied, a test that persons of common intelligence can understand, the statute fails and is an unconstitutional abridgment. It criminalizes the otherwise lawful acquisition and possession of common magazines holding more than 10 rounds – magazines that law-abiding responsible citizens would choose for self-defense at home. It also fails the strict scrutiny test because the statute is not narrowly tailored – it is not tailored at all.”

The NRA’s legislative arm said Benitez’s decision “is not likely to be the last word on the case.”

“The state will likely appeal to the Ninth Circuit, which has proven notably hostile to the Second Amendment in past decisions,” the NRA-ILA said on its website. “Nevertheless, the thoroughness of Judge Benitez’s analysis should give Second Amendment supporters the best possible chance for success in appellate proceedings, particularly if the case ultimately lands before the U.S. Supreme Court.”

California has banned selling or purchasing magazines with more than a 10-round capacity since 2000. Anyone who possessed these magazines prior to the law was grandfathered in and were allowed to keep the magazines. Three years ago, however, voters approved a measure to do away with the provision and the NRA filed a lawsuit.

Other legislatures around the country have imposed magazine capacity limits, including New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Colorado, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

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