A federal appeals court has overruled the banning of high capacity magazines, calling it unconstitutional. Originally, the ban was against magazines that held more than ten rounds of ammunition. These were commonly referred to as large-capacity magazines, or high-capacity magazines. This law has been a constant source of controversy for the state.
Unconstitutional gun laws
However, judges ruled on Friday, that banning magazines is unconstitutional. The ruling stated that these laws directly infringes on the Second Amendment. The original ban was to make the sale of any magazine holding more than ten rounds illegal. The state wide ban had been in place since 2000. Those who already owned these magazines were allowed to keep them, but new sales were prohibited. Although, “California legislature passed Senate Bill 1446 that prohibited possession of LCMs outright after July 1, 2017.” An 81 page report is available here, detailing the entire proceedings.
“California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs (large-capacity magazines) infringes on the fundamental right to self-defense,” stated Judge Kenneth K. Lee. Furthermore, he stated “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.”
DUNCAN V. BECERRA
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was tasked to decide the matter. In a 2-1 ruling, the judges voted that ten-or-more round magazines were not “unusual arms.”
Though, the judges noted their concern on rising gun violence. They ultimately felt as though the ban would do more harm than good. Judge Lee wrote “We are keenly aware of the perils of gun violence.”
Implications moving forward
There has been no clear indication when the decision will go into effect, but it is already making waves. Panel Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn disagreed with the decision, citing other areas with similar restrictions. Some critics fear this ruling could be used in future cases tasked with deciding legality of certain weapons, and accessories.
As a result, the panel was careful to not draw parallels to “assault style weapons” with their ruling. The Judges stated “We do not opine on bans on so-called ‘assault weapons,’ nor do we speculate about the legitimacy of bans on magazines holding far larger quantities of ammunition. Instead, we only address California’s ban on LCMs as it appears before us.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office was not happy with the decision. Several angry critics have been extremely vocal. Specifically, about the “dangers” of recent gun sales. Since the start of quarantine, the sale of firearms has increased dramatically. An estimated 2 million guns have been sold since then. Local sporting and hunting goods stores have been in a constant state of “sold out.”
The need to keep your family safe seems more relevant than ever. Times are increasingly stressful and uncertain. The future is loaded with more questions than it ever has been before. Which is why it is important to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. It is also equally important to not allow individuals to take advantage of these times. As a result, we have reported on other proposed gun laws believed by many to be unconstitutional.
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*editors note: To clarify, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a federal court. California law makers did not make this decision.*