Court Attacks Gun Rights

2nd Amendment

( – In a new decision attacking American’s 2nd Amendment rights, a federal appeals court reversed a lower court’s ruling and reinstated California’s assault weapons ban, which has been in effect for 34 years.

The initial ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez had deemed the ban unconstitutional, arguing that it infringed on citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

Specifically, Judge Benitez said that the law prevented people who respect the law from practicing their Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

However, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals challenged this decision by Judge Benitez.

In a 2-1 majority, the appellate court halted Benitez’s injunction, siding with California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s appeal to uphold the ban. Bonta, a Democrat, expressed his approval of the court’s decision, labeling the lower court’s ruling as “dangerous and misguided.”

This sentiment was particularly resonant given the recent mass shooting in Maine, resulting in 18 casualties. Bonta stated, “Weapons of war do not belong on our streets.”

California’s legislation places restrictions on firearms that it categorizes as “assault weapons.” Such weapons are identified based on certain tactical features or configurations deemed to increase their danger.

The state implemented this ban in 1989, pioneering the move to prohibit these specific firearms.

In his recent ruling, Judge Benitez emphasized that many modern semiautomatic rifles, like the AR-15, are popularly owned by law-abiding citizens nationwide. He argued that these rifles are “virtually the same” as other legal semiautomatic weapons in California. Benitez articulated, “Modern semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 platform rifle are widely owned by law-abiding citizens across the nation. Other than their looks (the State calls them ‘features’ or ‘accessories’) these prohibited rifles are virtually the same as other lawfully possessed rifles.”

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time Judge Benitez has challenged California’s weapons ban. In 2021, he made a similar ruling against the ban. However, the appellate court set aside that decision and directed Benitez to reconsider the issue. Additionally, Judge Benitez had previously declared the state’s prohibition on high-capacity ammunition magazines unconstitutional. Yet, the ban persisted after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld it.