California's 32-yr assault weapons ban overturned

An AR-15 at a New York gunshop

An AR-15 at a New York gunshop

The ruling came in Miller v. Bonta, where Judge Roger T. Benitez found California's "assault weapons" ban unconstitutional.

"Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive", U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez wrote, claiming that the California statutes banning "assault weapons" are "arbitrary and capricious". Benitez issued a permanent injunction Friday so the law can not be enforced.

Judge Benitez stayed his ruling for 30 days, to allow California Attorney General Rob Bonta time to appeal and seek a stay from the Court of Appeals.

California Governor Gavin Newsom was outraged at that comparison and the legal decision overall. But Benitez said the guns are overwhelmingly owned for legal purposes.

"Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a ideal combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment", he wrote. "Good for both home and battle", the judge said, introducing his ruling on the case. He called the ruling a "disgusting slap" in the face to those who have lost loved ones to gun violence. But it should be obvious that barring total extinction of the Second Amendment, no amount of "common sense" gun control laws will prevent criminals from misusing guns. The court decision is subject to a 30-day stay, during which California's attorney general who called Friday's ruling, quote, "fundamentally flawed" can file an appeal.

California was the first state in the nation to ban the sale of "military-style assault weapons" in 1989.

Mass shootings have also taken place in Florida, Indiana, California, Colorado and Georgia, in a surge in violence that President Joe Biden has branded an "epidemic". "Instead, the firearms deemed "assault weapons" are fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles". "This historic victory for individual liberty is just the beginning, and FPC will continue to aggressively challenge these laws throughout the United States".

Arguing the case before Friday's ruling, the plaintiffs" ruler George M Lee said: "The government can not ban the constitutionally-protected firearms at issue in this case.

Calling the existing state law "tyrannical", the pro-gun Firearms Policy Coalition said it was a first step in "restoring" gun rights across the country. "Those arms are unsafe and exclusively useful for military purposes", it reads. The banned "assault weapons" are not bazookas, howitzers, or machine guns. "This is an average case about average guns used in average ways for average purposes".

Multiple killed, injured in shooting at California transit facility, suspect dead
Cassidy fired 39 rounds and appears to have targeted some of his victims, according to the Santa Clara Sheriff's Department. All nine were shot and killed while at work, at the Valley Transportation Authority, allegedly by a coworker.

"One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter", he wrote. Knives or cutting instruments accounted for 1,476 murders, rifles accounted for 364 murder victims, and "firearms, type not stated" accounted for 3,281 victims, the data shows.

James Miller, a California resident who has a concealed carry permit, sued the state's top law enforcement official in 2019 over the laws, alleging they violate his Second Amendment rights.

Still, an AR-15 style rifle has been the weapon of choice for the most violent mass killings in modern history, including in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh; the Route 91 Harvest musical festival in Las Vegas; a massacre at a church in Texas; the Pulse nightclub in Orlando; a high school in Parkland, Florida; and the Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT.

"The Heller test asks: is a modern rifle commonly owned by law-abiding citizens for a lawful goal?"

The lawsuit said California is "one of only a small handful states to ban numerous most popular semiautomatic firearms in the nation because they possess one or more common characteristics, such as pistol grips and threaded barrels".

Back in 2017, Benitez reuled that the almost longtime ban on the sales and purchases of magazines holding more than 10 bullets.

It was upheld in August by a three-judge appellate panel, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in March that an 11-member panel will rehear the case.

The state also is appealing Benitez's decision in April 2020 blocking a 2019 California law requiring background checks for anyone buying ammunition.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.