Plaintiffs can proceed with their case as it relates to the US firearms sales background check system.
A federal appeals court in California ruled on Friday that the state’s ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines was constitutional. This ruling vindicates the California attorney general’s office, which defended the law and said the state’s 2013 ban on high-capacity magazines was based on legitimate concerns that limited access to “this class of devices” could reduce the public’s risk of “mass shootings and terror attacks”.
A July 4th mass shooting occurred in California’s Redlands city, which was founded in 1905. A man reportedly who had been living out of his truck opened fire at a party, killing two individuals and injuring 14. It is believed the assailant was armed with an AR-15 rifle.
California passed the magazine ban in 2013. The measure also prohibited the sale or purchase of large-capacity ammunition magazines (which are defined as those capable of holding more than 10 rounds), and expanded California’s ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines and the purchase of any magazine with more than 10 rounds to handgun owners.
The California Rifle and Pistol Association and Second Amendment Foundation sued over the ban in December 2013, claiming that the statute violated the equal protection rights of lawful gun owners by imposing its restrictions on them in an unconstitutionally different manner. The group claimed that the state’s denial of a license to possess a large-capacity magazine was an arbitrary deprivation of the right to bear arms because handgun owners could merely turn in their magazine for a license to own a handgun.
At the hearing, Judge Harry Pregerson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals pointed out that while the attorney general has the discretion to impose other limitations on gun ownership, having an exception for handguns meant that “the defendant has the discretion to implement his scheme as to handguns because handguns are permitted under the scheme.”
Judge Pregerson cited another case he had decided in which the District of Columbia, determined it was unconstitutional to prohibit handgun owners from selling handguns that had previously been sold to another person. The judge noted that while it was good to show that laws limiting the sale of previously owned weapons didn’t interfere with the Second Amendment rights of non-gun-owners, it was unfair for weapons that had already been purchased to be used by gun owners for purposes of prohibited activities.
Judge Pregerson determined that he found no rational relationship between a ban on the sale of firearms with previously-purchased magazines and the reasonable interest of the California Attorney General in limiting ammunition purchases and taking the opportunity to link it to preventing gun violence.
The case was heard on 21 October, which was the deadline that California residents who purchased magazines before July 1, 2013, have to request a waiver to their liability. Friday’s decision means that the ban can now be fully enforced.
The ban was challenged in December 2017 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which argued that the law is unconstitutional because it bans possession of a firearm’s entire component parts, not just the firearm components, as it was able to do with its approval of permit to purchase firearm parts, or, in other words, the differences in material on a firearm are insignificant in the overall context of a gun.
The ATF argued that these blocks fall under the bans on the types of firearm materials that the 9th Circuit found were unconstitutional.
The law’s appellate panel agreed and the state can now fully enforce the ban.