SACRAMENTO, CA — A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that California’s ban on high-capacity magazines was unconstitutional and violates the right to keep and bear arms.
Previously, the magazine ban outlined in Proposition 63 prohibited ownership and use of magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
According to the Associated Press, Appellate Judge Kenneth Lee noted that the law was passed “in the wake of heart-wrenching and highly publicized mass shootings,” but reiterated that that does not justify a ban that “is so sweeping that half of all magazines in America are now unlawful to own in California.”
Additionally, according to Courthouse News Service, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez stated that “nothing in the Second Amendment makes lethality a factor to consider because a gun’s lethality, or dangerousness, is assumed.” He added that “The Second Amendment does not exist to protect the right to bear down pillows and foam baseball bats. It protects guns and every gun is dangerous.”
California Rifle & Pistol Association called Friday’s decision “a huge success” for gun owners “and the right to choose to own a firearm to defend your family…”
Further, this ruling has national implications, as it sets a precedent for other states that have similar restrictions (though it currently only applies to western states under the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction).
Firearm owners in California should stay tuned for updates about when they can actually buy high-capacity magazines. While this is a big success, the law still needs to work through further legal proceedings, which may take a while to unfold.