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The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in a divided 7-4 ruling, wrote that the ammunition ban is “a reasonable fit for the important government interest of reducing gun violence.”
“The statute outlaws no weapon, but only limits the size of the magazine that may be used with firearms, and the record demonstrates (a) that the limitation interferes only minimally with the core right of self-defense, as there is no evidence that anyone ever has been unable to defend his or her home and family due to the lack of a large-capacity magazine,” the ruling states.
The ruling upholds SB 1446 and Proposition 63, both enacted in 2016, that were implemented in response to mass shootings. Newsom called the ruling a “huge victory.”
The en banc panel of the San Francisco-based court acted after two of three judges on a smaller 9th Circuit panel last year ruled that the state’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 bullets violates the Constitution’s protection of the right to bear firearms.
Seven judges on the 11-member 9th Circuit panel were appointed by Democratic presidents.
Three Trump-appointed judges dissented in the ruling and argued “these magazines are lawfully owned by millions of people nationwide,” adding that if a similar law was enacted in every state it would “require confiscating half of all existing firearms magazines in this country.”
Associated Press contributed to this report