BREAKING: 9th Circuit Strikes Down California Ban on High-Capacity Magazines

In a ruling that has left California’s Leftists ‘triggered’ and Second Amendment advocates with their mouths agape, a three-judge panel of the typically liberal 9th Circuit Court on Friday tossed out the Golden State’s ban on large capacity firearms magazines.

No, this isn’t a joke. You read that right. Tossed it out. And they did so not on a ‘technicality’ but straight up because a majority of judges found the law unconstitutional. As in, a violation of the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms.”

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The Associated Press reports:

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday threw out California’s ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s protection of the right to bear firearms.

“Even well-intentioned laws must pass constitutional muster,” Appellate Judge Kenneth Lee wrote for the panel’s majority. California’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 bullets “strikes at the core of the Second Amendment — the right to armed self-defense.”

He noted that California passed the law “in the wake of heart-wrenching and highly publicized mass shootings,” but said that isn’t enough to justify a ban whose scope “is so sweeping that half of all magazines in America are now unlawful to own in California.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if California Attorney General Xavier Becerra planned to appeal the ruling to the full 9th Circuit or if he would take his case directly to the U.S. Supreme Court where, frankly, given Chief Justice John Roberts’ sudden desire to become the ‘swing vote,’ the outcome is far less certain than it ought to be.

Either way, the case has national implications because other states have implemented similar bans.

Here’s more of Lee’s ruling:

Armed self-defense is a fundamental right rooted in tradition and the text of the Second Amendment. Indeed, from pre-colonial times to today’s post-modern era, the right to defend hearth and home has remained paramount.

California’s law imposes a substantial burden on this right to self-defense. The ban makes it criminal for Californians to own magazines that come standard in Glocks, Berettas, and other handguns that are staples of self-defense. Its scope is so sweeping that half of all magazines in America are now unlawful to own in California. Even law-abiding citizens, regardless of their training and track record, must alter or turn over to the state any LCMs that they may have legally owned for years — or face up to a year in jail.

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The state of California has latitude in enacting laws to curb the scourge of gun violence, and has done so by imposing waiting periods and many other limitations. But the Second Amendment limits the state’s ability to second-guess a citizen’s choice of arms if it imposes a substantial burden on her right to self-defense. Many Californians may find solace in the security of a handgun equipped with an LCM: those who live in rural areas where the local sheriff may be miles away, law-abiding citizens trapped in high crime areas, communities that distrust or depend less on law enforcement, and many more who rely on their firearms to protect themselves and their families. 

California’s almost blanket ban on LCMs goes too far in substantially burdening the people’s right to self-defense.

How refreshing to see a federal court actually making reference to the founding nature of an amendment contained in the Bill of Rights in its ruling.