Ninth Circuit reverses lower court ruling that struck down California's magazine ban

By 
 October 15, 2023

Gun rights were dealt a blow this week when a court ruling that struck down California's 10-round magazine limit was reversed.

According to Breitbart, that decision came down this past Tuesday from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Judge pointed to 2022 Supreme Court ruling

It came in response to a finding late last month by U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez that the state's high capacity magazine ban violates the Constitution's Second Amendment.

Breitbart noted that this is the second time Benitez has ruled against the prohibition, as the judge previously did so in a 2017 case.

Since then, the Supreme Court found in Bruen v. New York Rifle & Pistol Association that for gun laws to be constitutional, they must be consistent with restrictions in effect when the Constitution was ratified.

Benitez argued that the ten-round magazine law did not meet this standard, writing, "There is no American tradition of limiting ammunition capacity."

Ninth Circuit says "public interest tips in favor of a stay"

The U.S. district judge went on to contend that detachable magazines "solved a problem with historic firearms: running out of ammunition and having to slowly reload a gun."

"There have been, and there will be, times where many more than 10 rounds are needed to stop attackers," Benitez pointed out before adding, "Yet, under this statute, the State says 'too bad.'"

However, the Ninth Circuit disagreed with his reasoning, stating that "public interest tips in favor of a stay" of Benitez's ruling.

They concluded that "the Attorney General has shown that California will be irreparably harmed absent a stay pending appeal by presenting evidence that large-capacity magazines pose significant threats to public safety."

Most district courts have upheld magazine bans

"If a stay is denied, California indisputably will face an influx of large-capacity magazines like those used in mass shootings in California and elsewhere," the court wrote.

"The public has a compelling interest in promoting public safety, as mass shootings nearly always involve large-capacity magazines, and, although the public has an interest in possessing firearms and ammunition for self-defense, that interest is hardly affected by this stay," the judges insisted.

The judges also recalled how "ten other federal district courts have considered a Second Amendment challenge to large-capacity magazine restrictions since Bruen was decided."

"Yet only one of those courts—the Southern District of Illinois—granted a preliminary injunction, finding that the challenge was likely to succeed on the merits," the ruling continued.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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