It’s legal to own an AR-15 in the state of California again.
A federal judge overturned California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” on Thursday, allowing the trade and possession of the weapons, according to Breitbart.
U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez struck down the state’s ban in a 79-page ruling.
Benitez’s decision came in response to litigation from the Second Amendment Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition, as well as other individual plaintiffs.
In his ruling, Benitez cited the lawful of use of semi-automatic rifles in defense of life — questioning why such incidences were less publicized than tragic mass shootings.
“We hear constantly about mass shootings for days and weeks and on anniversaries.”
“But how often do we celebrate the saving of the life of Jane Doe because she was able to use a semi-automatic weapon to defend herself and her family from attackers?”
Benitez further pointed out that violent crime involving the use of these weapons is exceedingly rare in California.
“In California, while modern semiautomatics are not rare, they are rarely the problem.”
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“For example, in 2022, only three ‘assault weapons’ were used in violent California crimes, according to the Attorney General’s annual report, ‘Firearms Used in the Commission of Crimes.’”
Benitez accused the California legislature of ignoring the Second Amendment in the crafting of the 1989 law that forbade the new sale and possession of the weapons, calling the existing arrangement “constitutionally untenable.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom lashed out at Benitez in a tweet following the ruling, accusing him of being an “NRA puppet.”
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.
An absolute disgrace.
This is exactly why America needs a constitutional amendment to enshrine commonsense gun safety…
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) October 19, 2023
This isn’t the first time the federal judge has taken aim at California’s gun control laws.
Benitez earlier struck down California’s ban on the new sale of standard-capacity magazines.
“U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez delivered another scathing rebuke to the state of California on Thursday, just weeks after declaring the state’s ban on “large capacity” magazines unconstitutional. This time around it was the state’s ban on “assault weapons” that was before the…
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 19, 2023
Benitez is staying the application of his ruling for ten days in order to give California Attorney General Rob Bonta an opportunity to appeal.