A federal judge has overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on “assault weapons,” ruling it unconstitutional and emphasizing the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
The judge cited the Supreme Court’s recent ruling against a New York gun control law, indicating that most restrictions on firearms should be deeply rooted in American history.
California’s Governor and Attorney General both expressed disapproval, vowing to appeal the decision.
“Guns and ammunition in the hands of criminals, tyrants and terrorists are dangerous; guns in the hands of law-abiding responsible citizens are necessary,” Benitez wrote.
“To give full life to the core right of self-defense, every law-abiding responsible individual citizen has a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear firearms commonly owned and kept for lawful purposes.”
“The State of California posits that its ‘assault weapon’ ban, the law challenged here, promotes an important public interest of disarming some mass shooters even though it makes criminals of law-abiding residents who insist on acquiring these firearms for self-defense. Nevertheless, more than that is required to uphold a ban.”
“Like the Bowie Knife which was commonly carried by citizens and soldiers in the 1800s, ‘assault weapons’ are dangerous, but useful. But unlike the Bowie Knife, the United States Supreme Court has said, ‘(t)here is a long tradition of widespread lawful gun ownership by private individuals in this country,’” Benitez stated.
“Californians’ elected representatives decided almost 35 years ago that weapons of war have no place in our communities. Today, Judge Benitez decided that he knows better, public safety be damned,” Newsom exclaimed.
“Weapons of war have no place on California’s streets,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta.
“This has been state law in California for decades, and we will continue to fight for our authority to keep our citizens safe from firearms that cause mass casualties,” Bonta vowed.
“In the meantime, assault weapons remain unlawful for purchase, transfer, or possession in California. The Supreme Court was clear that Bruen did not create a regulatory straitjacket for states. Once again, this district court issued a dangerous and misguided decision and I will work vigorously to reverse it on appeal. We will not stop in our efforts to protect the safety of communities to live without fear of becoming victims of gun violence, while at the same time respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
The judge stayed his injunction for 10 days, allowing the state to appeal, with the case now potentially reaching the Supreme Court.
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