California ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Is Unconstitutional, Judge Rules

Gun Rights

This week, a federal judge ruled that a California law banning so-called “assault weapons” is unconstitutional as it violates the Second Amendment. 

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego conceded that sporting rifles like AR-15s are used by those who commit crimes. However, these kinds of guns are also owned by law-abiding citizens who have firearms to protect themselves. 

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“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,” Benitez reportedly wrote. “Nevertheless, more than that is required to uphold a ban.”

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Reportedly, in 2021, Benitez wrote that the state’s “assault weapons ban,” which was enacted over 30 years ago, was a “failed experiment.” And, in a separate decision, he ruled that the state cannot ban gun owners from owning detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammo. 

According to The Hill, Benitez cited the Supreme Court’s decision last year to overturn a New York gun law that required permit applicants to show “proper cause” before they could be licensed to carry a concealed weapon, as Townhall covered. The ruling came down 6-3 with Justice Clarence Thomas penning the majority opinion. Thomas wrote that the Second Amendment should not be treated differently than other rights outlined in the Bill of Rights.

Predictably, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration came out against the decision.

“Today, a right-wing, NRA puppet — Judge Roger Benitez— tried to strip away CA’s three-decade-old assault weapon ban — comparing an assault rifle to a knife,” Newsom wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, adding that Benitez is “an absolute disgrace.”

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“This is exactly why America needs a constitutional amendment to enshrine commonsense gun safety reforms,” Newsom added. Townhall reported how Newsom has proposed a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would enact sweeping gun control measures nationwide.

In a statement, California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) said the state would appeal.

“Weapons of war have no place on California’s streets,” Bonta said. “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.” 

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