Feds Temporarily Block California Magazine Ban

U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez issued the preliminary injunction until the courts can determine the constitutionality of the magazine ban. (Photo: NRA-ILA)

A federal judge gave California gun owners a reprieve Thursday, temporarily blocking a new law that would have required the destruction or out-of-state transfer of any magazines over 10 rounds.

U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez issued the preliminary injunction until the courts can determine the constitutionality of the magazine ban.

“If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property,” Benitez wrote. “That is a choice they should not have to make.”

The magazine ban is the result of a November referendum in which 63 percent of Californians voted in favor of Proposition 63, a measure that, in addition to the magazine ban, also requires background checks for people buying ammunition, makes it a crime not to report lost or stolen guns, and provides a process for taking guns from people upon their conviction for a felony.

Proposition 63 would have required anyone in possession of a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds to transfer it to a federally licensed gun dealer, destroy it or turn it over to law enforcement. The measure was set to take effect July 1.

Proposition 63 was a part of a larger series of gun control measures – known popularly as “gunmageddon” – passed by the California legislature last year. The National Rifle Association and the California Rifle & Pistol Association are preparing a “series of carefully planned lawsuits” to challenge these provisions, according to a press release from the NRA-ILA.

“California’s attempt to ban the possession of standard capacity magazines is unconstitutional, and an affront to law-abiding gun owners who have safely, and lawfully owned these tools for decades,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action.  “This injunction is a huge win for California gun owners who have long-suffered under a state government hostile to the Second Amendment.”

NRA attorney C.D. Michel also welcomed the granting of the preliminary injunction.

“My clients are pleased the Court affirmed that the Second Amendment is not a second class right, and that law abiding gun owners have a right to choose to have these magazines to help them defend themselves and their families,” Michel said in a statement.

NRA attorneys argued that the magazine ban violates the Second Amendment, the due process clause, and the takings clause of the United States Constitution.

California state attorneys are also ready to continue the fight. State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra argued that the magazine ban is justified because “large-capacity magazines are disproportionately used in crime.” Considering the fact that any type of rifle – not only those that can accept > 10-round magazines – were used in 2 percent of homicides in 2014, it isn’t clear what Becerra means by “disproportionally used in crime.”

He nonetheless remains convinced that banning 20 and 30-round magazines will help decrease “gun violence” in The Golden State.

“Restricting large-capacity magazines and preventing them from ending up in the wrong hands is critical for the well-being of our communities,” he said in the statement. “I will defend the will of California voters because we cannot continue to lose innocent lives due to gun violence.”

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Andrew N. July 8, 2017, 1:07 am

    And California wonders why people are leaving in droves? As a Native, I am ashamed of what this State has become, and are heading BACK to the America we grew up in, either Wyoming, Montana, or Idaho, where Rights are still Rights.

  • Citizen Main July 7, 2017, 7:06 pm

    When the manure hits the air circulation equip we can then remember the people who have caused all this hurt and see to it they cannot have a moment’s rest for the rest of their selfish,pitifull,self serving existence.Until then……gather your loved ones and prepare for a long haul. To those of you Californians who have left you will return to a better place…..Keep the faith, God Bless. Peace. CM
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  • The Reality Checker July 7, 2017, 1:30 pm

    The assault on high cap magazines and semi auto rifles like the AR15 and AK47 by various levels of government or political entities has nothing to do with crime. Those items are what the people in power fear most in the hands of the public because they’re the weapons that have any chance against paramilitary government forces in the event an armed conflict comes about between the people and the government. That issue is total taboo for the scum in power so all we hear are the lies about how those mags (and rifles) pose such a danger to the public.

  • dstudie July 7, 2017, 12:42 pm

    Here’s hoping Ginsberg passes soon and Kennedy retires very soon. They have done a lot of damage to the SCOTUS. Kagan and Sotomayer are a disgrace and totally unqualified to judge anything.

  • Chris July 7, 2017, 9:11 am

    I know exactly what Becerra means by “disproportionally used in crime.”
    It means he’s a liar and has no use for the facts when they stand in the way of his agenda.
    He needs to be called-out on his lie, the public made aware of the facts, and then he needs to be sent packing, all of which the citizens of CA are capable of unless they prefer being spoon fed lie-after-lie and living with their heads shoved up to their shoulders in the sand.

  • SuperG July 5, 2017, 11:31 am

    Most judges of the 9th are either liberal octogenarians or septuagenarians, who reside in S.F. within gated communities with armed guards. They have no idea what the real world is about. Sadly too, is that I have to agree with you. Maybe one day when one of the grandchildren breaks down in East Palo Alto and is horribly victimized, then they’ll see the value of allowing the honest citizen to be armed in public.

  • Dilligaf July 1, 2017, 3:40 pm

    Commiefornia…….it’s amazing people still live there….especially gun enthusiasts

    • Edward Glenn July 7, 2017, 10:57 am

      We Calif gun owners are being relentlessly criminalized one law at a time. We lack enough voter strength to get any real representation. Part of the reason for that may be that so many of us who have become so fed up with the politics, and could do so, have already moved to a more gun friendly state. That would be almost anywhere else.

      • Dilligaf July 7, 2017, 12:19 pm

        Edward Glenn, I hate it for you bro. It’s sad when gun owners are being treated like criminals. I firmly believe that politicians don’t fight for the people at all but rather than their own personal beliefs. Keep fighting the good fight!

    • C. Aldridge July 7, 2017, 1:15 pm

      I’m hoping for the day when we can split California into West California for all the snowflakes, liberals, socialists, and whiners; and East California for all the normal people. Can’t come soon enough. Either that or I’m going to have to move out, which I don’t know how I’m going to do. Maybe I’ll get lucky and the San Andreas will break off that half of the state.

  • Mark N. July 1, 2017, 2:48 pm

    Sadly, the ink on the signature line on the opinion and order will be barely dry before the state files an emergency interlocutory appeal with the Ninth Circuit, a Circuit headed by an anti-gun zealot who will undoubtedly assure that the injunction is reversed not only on the procedural ground of the showing of necessity for a temporary injunction, but on the substantive grounds established by the trial court’s opinion as to the Second Amendment right to possess such magazines, and the takings claim. The sad fact is that bans on the ownership of AR rifles themselves have been affirmed by the Fourth Circuit in a Maryland case (state law ban) and the Seventh Circuit (county ban), both cases that were unsuccessfully appealed to the Supreme Court.

    The opinion, by the way, that runs about 60 pages, is a well thought out and well written opinion that not only affirms the correct reading of the Second Amendment under Heller and McDonald, but castigates the Ninth Circuit’s adoption of a judicial review standard in these cases that amounts, in this court’s opinion (and mine) to little more than that the courts will not question the wisdom of legislative enactments–which in law is called “rational basis” review, the lowest level of constitutional review.

    • Pixel Dust July 7, 2017, 7:48 am

      It’s a new SCotUS…

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