The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday struck down California’s ban on high-capacity magazines on the basis that its restrictions violate the Second Amendment — noting that it would criminalize half the magazines in the U.S.
The state’s law bans possession of large-capacity magazines (LCMs) that hold more than 10 rounds. The court’s three-judge panel said that while the law has a “laudable goal of reducing gun violence,” it must also comply with the Constitution, reported FOX.
“California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs infringes on the fundamental right to self-defense. It criminalizes the possession of half of all magazines in America today,” the majority in the 2-1 ruling stated.
“It makes unlawful magazines that are commonly used in handguns by law abiding citizens for self-defense. And it substantially burdens the core right of self-defense guaranteed to the people under the Second Amendment,” Judge Kenneth Lee wrote in the majority opinion. “It cannot stand.”
Lee said that while the law was passed “in the wake of heart-wrenching and highly publicized mass shootings” the law was too sweeping.
It upholds a 2017 ruling by San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, who blocked a new law that would have barred gun owners from possessing magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra did not immediately say if he would ask the full appellate court to reconsider the ruling by the three judges, or if he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, KPBS reported.
He also did not immediately say if the state would seek a delay of the ruling to prevent an immediate buying spree. Sales are currently on hold based on a stay by the lower court and cannot immediately resume.