On March 29th, 2019 CA gun owners were finally vindicated in a huge victory regarding our 2nd amendment rights. This landmark decision ruled that: “California Penal Code § 32310 is hereby declared to be unconstitutional in its entirety and shall be enjoined.” Upon reading every word of this 86-page order - which addressed a preliminary injunction that was ordered against enforcing Prop 63 in 2017 - I found that it was overwhelmingly and inarguably conclusive.
In his strongly-worded findings, US District Judge Roger Benitez relied upon thorough and convincing evidence provided by the plaintiffs to determinately proclaim that the attempts by CA law makers to ban possession of high-cap magazines is unconstitutional! This order determined that “Regardless of current popularity, neither a legislature nor voters may trench on constitutional rights.” (Insert standing ovation here!) As I read through these findings I was riveted to every single page as evidence and examples were given over and over in support of not only the constitutionally guaranteed right we have as gun owners to protect our “hearth and home” in whatever way we deem necessary, but also as it repeatedly found that the reasoning for a ban on high-cap magazines was unjustifiable. This was concreted, to use just one example, by statements like: “If the “too lethal” standard is followed to its logical conclusion, the government may dictate in the future that a magazine of eight rounds is too lethal. And after that, it may dictate that a gun with a magazine holding three rounds is too lethal since a person usually fires only 2.2 rounds in self-defense. This stepped-down approach may continue until the time comes when government declares that only guns holding a single round are sufficiently lacking in lethality that they are both “safe” to possess and powerful enough to provide a means of self-defense.”
Although it conclusively exonerates “law abiding, responsible citizens” from needing to ditch their high-caps, it also hints at possibly allowing gun owners to once again legally obtain high-cap magazines - I will be monitoring further exploration of this ruling as to the specifics of whether this will also be determined in this order.
Yet another paragraph hinted at the possibility of a future revisiting of the CA “Assault Rifle” laws as the order repeatedly reviewed and cited the findings from a 2011 case (Heller v. District of Columbia) where it stated that: “Over the last three decades, one of the most popular civilian rifles in America is the much maligned AR-15 style rifle. Manufactured with various characteristics by numerous companies, it is estimated that more than five million have been bought since the 1980s. These rifles are typically sold with 30-round magazines. These commonly-owned guns with commonly-sized magazines are protected by the Second Amendment and Heller’s simple test for responsible, law-abiding citizens to use for target practice, hunting, and defense.” I won’t be holding my breath for this to happen just yet, but it left an inkling of hope that this could be reconsidered at some point in the future… one can hope!
Any summary I can write about this outstanding 86-page conclusion could not do it justice. This written order also addresses any argument you might hear about why we “need” more than 10 rounds. If you are even slightly interested in educating yourself about this topic, the 2nd amendment, firearm-related statistics, undeniable court findings supporting responsible gun owners, or even if you just need a good read, then I highly recommend reading the findings for yourself.
**I also covered the original injunction from 2017 in my Blog “Hi-Caps” in CA” if you want further reading on the background of this bill.