California Dodges Bullet By Halting High-Capacity Magazine Ban

The Golden State has dodged a bullet by reneging its plan to implement a statewide high-capacity magazine ban forbidding residents from possessing firearm magazines exceeding 10 rounds. The law would have gone into effect tomorrow, July 1st.

A federal judge — U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez– issued a preliminary injunction yesterday in Duncan v. Beccera, which put a stay (or blocked) the high-capacity magazine ban law set to be implemented tomorrow. This is a case being brought by San Diego gun owners and the California Rifle & Pistol Association with support from the National Rifle Association. The ban was passed last year by the Democrat-dominated California state legislature in Sacramento.

“If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property,” Benitez wrote. “That is a choice they should not have to make.”

The NRA issued a statement in support of the injunction.

“California’s attempt to ban the possession of standard capacity magazines is unconstitutional, and an affront to law-abiding gun owners who have safely, and lawfully owned these tools for decades,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “This injunction is a huge win for California gun owners who have long-suffered under a state government hostile to the Second Amendment.”

Senate Bill 1446–which was passed after the San Bernardino terrorist attack–would have made the possession of a high-capacity magazine a punishable offense. Had the bill gone into effect on July 1, the law would have made it a crime and offense punishable by a fine of $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and $500 for the third or subsequent offense. Moreover, anyone in lawful possession of a large (or high-capacity) magazine before July 1st would have to surrender their magazines to local law enforcement. As of 2000, California currently bans magazines exceeding 10 rounds.

These attempts to ban bullets or high-capacity magazines is largely rooted in misunderstanding about the purpose of having extra bullets on hand with respect to self-defense. Since magazines and other “scary” firearms components are maligned and chastised by elites in entertainment, media, and academia, politicians have knee-jerk reactions to ban gun components they are unfamiliar with–by setting their sights on law-abiding gun owners while ignoring criminals who violate gun laws in place.

Nevertheless, this is an encouraging step in the right direction for gun owners in my home state of California. Let’s hope their case gets further consideration and that Second Amendment rights can be restored there.

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