California Ban on Assault Weapons Overturned
Photo by Jay Rembert via Unsplash
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez overturned California’s 32 year assault rifles ban on June 4, ruling the ban was unconstitutional.
“The banned ‘assault weapons’ are not bazookas, howitzers or machine guns… the firearms deemed ‘assault weapons’ are fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles,” said Judge Benitez in the decision.
“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.”
This is not the first pro-gun law that Judge Benitez has been involved in. In 2017, he blocked a law that would have banned high-capacity magazines, ruling that it would have violated gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, who is known to be in favor of stricter gun control, called the ruling a “direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians.”
According to California Attorney General Rob Bonta, it is likely that the decision will be appealed “We will fight this ruling and continue to advocate for and defend common sense gun laws that will save lives,” General Bonta said in a statement.
Many gun activists in California are taking this decision from Judge Benitez as a win.
“The decision itself is a net positive for the gun community… It’s gonna have to work its way through the Ninth Circuit. So, it’s like baby steps,” a gun rights advocate, who chose to remain anonymous, told Scriberr News.
Thies anonymous advocate said that they have taken the move as a positive one. The source also noted that the term “assault” weapon is used to scare people and that’s how the ban did not change much about the functionality of guns that were affected.
Most importantly, they do not believe that the decision will impact the safety of Californians.
“Every day in America, an average of more than 300 people are shot, and more than 100 die. We don’t have to live like this,” Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement,
“The overwhelming majority of Americans, even at this hyperpolarized moment, support common sense gun safety laws. We need to pass these laws now.”
Feuer said he is supportive of Bonta’s decision to appeal and that he will support it in the 9th Circuit.
Despite assault weapons being banned in California for three decades, there have been a number of mass shootings, which anti-gun activists cite as an increased threat.. In 2015 there was a mass shooting in San Bernardino where an AR-15 used was modified to accept high-capacity magazines, making it illegal in the state.