A California judge struck down a gun control law on Monday, the latest Second Amendment win to come out of last year's landmark Supreme Court decision upholding the right to bear arms.
California's Unsafe Handgun Act has effectively banned new handgun models from being sold in the state since 2013.
U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney ruled that the law's requirements burdened the exercise of Second Amendment rights by forcing gun owners to buy older, more dangerous firearms.
“Californians have the constitutional right to acquire and use state-of-the-art handguns to protect themselves,” he wrote. “They should not be forced to settle for decade-old models of handguns to ensure that they remain safe inside or outside the home.”
The law requires all new handguns to have a chamber load indicator, a magazine disconnect mechanism, and microstamping.
“No handgun available in the world has all three of these features,” the judge wrote. “These regulations are having a devastating impact on Californians’ ability to acquire and use new, state-of-the-art handguns.”
California and New York are the only states that require microstamping, which imprints tracking numbers on spent cartridges.
Chuck Michel of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, which filed the lawsuit, called the state's requirements "impossible to satisfy."
Previous challenges to the California law were unsuccessful, but the law was on shakier ground after the Supreme Court's landmark gun ruling last year in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which limited regulators to gun control measures that are consistent with "historical tradition."
Democrats in states like California and New York have responded to Bruen by doubling down on draconian gun restrictions.
Following the lead of New York governor Kathy Hochul (D) and others, California governor Gavin Newsom (D) is pushing a bill that would designate most public settings "sensitive places" where it is illegal to carry firearms. But guns rights supporters are cherishing the small victories.
“If we can hold on to this great Second Amendment win, people will be able to choose from among thousands of the latest, greatest, and safest handguns made today," Michel said.
California's attorney general Rob Bonta said the state wouldn't stop fighting to "save lives" by disarming law-abiding citizens.
“The fact of the matter is, California’s gun safety laws save lives, and California’s Unsafe Handgun Act is no exception,” Bonta said. “We will continue to lead efforts to advance and defend California’s gun safety laws."