Unconstitutional law ‘turns millions of responsible, law-abiding people trying to protect themselves into criminals…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) With a recent ruling in their favor on high-capacity magazines, California gun owners are now firing back against the state’s assault weapons ban.
A group of San Diego residents on Thursday sued Attorney General Xavier Becerra, as well as the state’s Bureau of Firearms, saying the law violated their Second Amendment rights, the San Diego Union–Tribune reported.
The residents were backed by the San Diego County Gun Owners Political Action Committee.
In overturning a 2016 ban on clips that held more than 10 bullets, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez wrote in March that the law “turns millions of responsible, law-abiding people trying to protect themselves into criminals.”
Benitez’s ruling is currently being challenged in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the ban remains in effect until the state has exhausted its legal options.
That suit is being defended by the suit’s original plaintiffs, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, which is an offshoot of the National Rifle Association.
In the meantime, the San Diego gun owners, all of whom hold conceal-carry permits in the county took issue with the arbitrary prohibition of “assault weapons,” which would essentially be any legally-owned semi-automatic firearm paired with a high-capacity clip.
If both of the components are considered legal, the plaintiffs’ attorney, John Dillon, said there is no reason that the weapons themselves should be banned.
Like Benitez, the judge presiding over the case, U.S. District Judge John Houston, is a President George W. Bush nominee.
The gun advocates said the term “assault weapon” was a loaded word, used by anti-gun leftists as a “pejorative … to suggest that there is an inherently unlawful or illegitimate basis for owning otherwise common firearms,” according to the lawsuit.
The state’s legal definition of an “assault weapon” has routinely shifted through the years. Under the current law, residents may own such weapons if they were registered prior to June 30, 2018.
However, they may not be sold, transferred or manufactured, and new ownership is also prohibited. Moreover, the high-capacity magazine law banned their possession outright.