CA Judge Halts High-Capacity Magazine Ban

( – United States District Judge Roger Benitez has once again struck down a California law that bans people from owning guns with a magazine that can hold more than 10 bullets at once. Benitez first struck it down in 2017, but ultimately was overruled via the appeals process. The Judge made his ruling on Friday September 23, the same day that President Joe Biden made a statement calling for an outright ban on what he calls “assault weapons” as well as a ban on high-capacity magazines.

Judge Benitez made clear in his ruling that he finds the Californian magazine restriction to be in contradiction to the American constitution in that it violates the Second Amendment, which gives ordinary Americans the right to bear arms. In his 71-page verdict he explained that the ban on such magazines did not fit with the history or context of the Second Amendment and referred to the legal precedent set by the 2022 lawsuit of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association vs. Bruen. In the Bruen case, the Supreme Court found that gun laws should be rooted in the American tradition and history of the Second Amendment.

Benitez observed that there was no American tradition of limiting the ammunition capacity of a weapon, and that having a magazine with more than 10 rounds in could be lifesaving in a defensive situation. He noted that at no point did prior American lawmakers ban other developments in gun technology, stating that at no point were lever-action rifles banned for being more effective than older, single-shot rifles.

President Biden has again stressed his intention to ban so-called “assault weapons” as well as magazines of a capacity greater than 10 bullets, declaring that if somebody requires 80 bullets in their gun, they “shouldn’t own a gun”. Biden is not the first to argue in favor of greater restrictions on high-capacity weaponry. In 1994 a federal ban on certain types of firearms and magazines with a capacity of greater than 10 bullets came into force but was soon overturned as it was ruled to be unconstitutional.

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