Update from the National Shooting Sports Foundation:
Duncan v. Becerra – Important Industry Advisory
We have been asked by California retailers, distributors and ammunition magazine manufacturers across the industry whether Friday’s landmark decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Duncan v. Becerra means they can now sell to California consumers, ship to California retailers or manufacture in the state for commercial sale in the state ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition (so-called “Large Capacity Magazines” or LCM). The short answer is “NO.”
While the holding in Duncan is a tremendous victory for the Second Amendment, members of the industry should continue to refrain from selling or shipping into California LCMs until after the appeal proceeding is concluded or the stay is modified or lifted. This is because the U.S. District Court’s Order Staying In Part Judgment Pending Appeal, dated April 4, 2019, remains in effect “pending final resolution of the appeal from the Judgment.” The appellate proceedings have not concluded or been finally resolved, so the stay remains in place.
Stay tuned. NSSF will update you on developments, including when the appeal is over and you can sell standard-sized magazines in California.
The West Coast-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling affirming an earlier decision that declared California’s 10-round magazine capacity limit unconstitutional. The decision said that “large-capacity magazines” are protected by the Second Amendment.
“California’s law imposes a substantial burden on this right to self-defense,” wrote Judge Kenneth Lee in the opinion. “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,” Lee continued. “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.”
“It makes unlawful magazines that are commonly used in handguns by law-abiding citizens for self-defense,” he said. “And it substantially burdens the core right of self-defense guaranteed to the people under the Second Amendment. It cannot stand.”
The Firearms Policy Coalition, which filed a brief in the case, “Strongly supports this lawsuit and filed an important legal and history brief in support of the plaintiffs at the 9th Circuit,” said the FPC in a statement.
“[Our] brief argued that so-called “large-capacity” magazines are inherent components of functional firearms, that such magazines are ‘in common use’ for lawful purposes, and are constitutionally protected.
“A weapon that is ‘unusual’ is the antithesis of a weapon that is ‘common,'” argued the FPC. “Thus, an arm ‘in common use’ cannot be ‘dangerous and unusual’ and is therefore protected.”
“While this was not our case, this is a victory for all gun owners and the majority opinion reflects our arguments in an amicus brief we submitted along with several other organizations,” said the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb. “Most importantly, the panel majority used strict scrutiny to make its determination, and that is a huge milestone.”
“The 9th Circuit, led by a Trump-appointed judge, rules that ban on magazines with more than 10 rounds is unconstitutional,” said the NRA in a statement. “This case will have repercussions nationwide.”
The 2-1 ruling may be pushed into higher courts for more deliberation. And part of the court’s April 2019 stay remains in effect, which creates some confusion for would-be magazine buyers and existing owners of legally purchased magazines with larger than 10-round capacities.
While the court agrees that the magazine ban is unconstitutional, there are still older laws on the books that will need to be addressed concerning the manufacture, transfer or importation of these magazines in California once the final appeal of the original judgment is heard.