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December 3, 2021

Appeals Court Reinstates California’s Anti-2A Law

The Ninth Circuit once again lived up to its leftist reputation, reinstating a ban on magazines holding 10 or more rounds.

In a 7-4 decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a ruling by a three-judge panel that had previously declared unconstitutional a California law banning standard-capacity magazines (i.e., those that hold 10 or more rounds), which the state falsely reclassified as “high-capacity” magazines. It is, unfortunately, another ruling that chips away at the basic rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment, and it comes from the same court that ruled earlier this year, “There is no right to carry arms openly in public; nor is any such right within the scope of the Second Amendment.”

Last year, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit had ruled that California’s “high-capacity” magazine ban violated the Supreme Court’s District of Columbia v. Heller decision. “Millions of ammunition magazines able to hold more than 10 rounds are in common use by law-abiding responsible citizens for lawful uses like self-defense,” noted District Court Judge Roger Benitez. “This is enough to decide that a magazine able to hold more than 10 rounds passes the Heller test.” Again, those magazines are standard for millions of weapons manufactured each year in the United States.

Well, the case went en banc and the larger leftist faction of the Ninth Circuit, the appellate court with the highest percentage of decisions reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, overruled the three-judge panel. Writing for the majority, Judge Susan Graber dubiously asserted, “The ban on legal possession of large-capacity magazines reasonably supports California’s effort to reduce the devastating damage wrought by mass shootings.”

The Golden State’s governor agreed. “Weapons of war don’t belong on our streets,” declared Democrat Gavin Newsom. “This is a huge victory for the health and safety of all Californians.” On the contrary, this latest infringement on Californians’ Second Amendment rights serves as yet another reason to move out of the Golden State, especially if one resides in lawless San Fransisco.

In his dissenting opinion, Judge Patrick Bumatay wrote: “These magazines are lawfully owned by millions of people nationwide and come standard on the most popular firearms sold today. The Constitution protects the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms typically possessed for lawful purposes.”

The Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on two Second Amendment cases may have ramifications for this decision from the Ninth, including an upcoming ruling on a New York carry law. And as our Nate Jackson concluded in commenting on the aforementioned ruling about bearing arms, “Obviously, it’s time for the Supreme Court to provide some clarity on an amendment that is abundantly clear to originalists but has been treated as a second-class right.”

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