Standard-Capacity Magazines are Flooding California Following Landmark Ruling Striking Down Ban

For April Fools’ SureFire teased their next magazine, the SFMag-300. Real or fake, it’s legal in California. (Photo: SureFire/Facebook)

Call them mags, clips, clippazines or extendos, magazines are flooding into California following a monumental court ruling on Friday. In the ruling, Duncan v Becerra, Judge Roger T. Benitez struck down the entire California penal code section 32310, the state’s magazine ban.

The extremely long and detailed ruling spans 86 pages, arguing against every facet of the penal code. It declared that the laws regarding California’s 10-round magazine capacity limit – and the criminal penalties for violations – are arbitrary, capricious and ironic. And it tosses them all out.

Over the weekend vendors across the country called their attorneys to confirm what they heard was true – standard-capacity magazines are once again legal in California. Now standard-capacity magazines are headed to the Golden state in numbers impossible to count.

Many Californians are rushing to buy magazines under the impression that the ruling will be appealed and overturned. However, it might not be a simple task for anti-gunners to just slap this ruling down.

Judge Benitez makes thorough arguments against California’s magazine capacity limit and magazine ban in very clear legal terms. He goes on to argue against the penal code not just from a Second Amendment perspective, but from a procedural perspective starting with the Heller test and moving on to Turner and ultimately the Takings Clause.

The ruling holds that magazines including magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition are arms in accordance with the Second Amendment. Magazines are fundamental firearm components and therefore must be protected by the Constitution.

Benitez went on to point out that, in self-defense situations, 10 or 11 rounds is provably not enough ammunition to count on in gunfights, and that even early militiamen were required to possess 20 rounds or more at a minimum.

He also pointed out that the law, which arguably exists to prevent mass shootings, has not prevented any mass shootings. In the ruling he pointed out that mass shooters, who are rare even in California, a state of more than 39 million people, either commit their crimes with multiple legal firearms or, alternatively, illegally acquire higher-capacity magazines.

See Also: Compiled List of Companies Shipping Standard-Capacity Magazines to California

At the core of Benitez’s legal argument is the Heller test, which asks whether or not the arms, in this case, the magazines, are commonly used for lawful self-defense. Benitez points out that these magazines are extremely commonly used all across the country and must not be restricted under the Second Amendment.

He also argued that the law was unconstitutional because it made possession of magazines with capacities greater than 10 rounds a criminal offense. It’s one thing to try and ban a right; it’s another to criminalize its practice. Criminalizing Second Amendment practices is a violation of the Second Amendment, goes the ruling.

This case seems to shut down every argument for the magazine ban in very strong terms, including throwing out so-called expert testimony citing “Mother Jones” magazine articles. “This is federal court,” said Benitez.

Ultimately Benitez’s ruling looks crafted to make anyone who wants to overturn it to perform a lot of legal and mental gymnastics. And it’s clearly taking a stand to fight at the Supreme Court level if necessary.

For now, one reason to get out there and buy mags and drums isn’t because this ruling is on shaky ground, it’s because, at this rate, vendors are going to sell out of magazines completely.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • maddog April 11, 2019, 11:13 am

    ca will appeal to the ninth district court which has been bought and paid for by the ca politicians. if the appeal went to a federal court outside of ca we would stand a better chance. ca takes tax payer money to buy local judges to place ridiculous laws against the tax payers.

  • Beachhawk April 7, 2019, 3:00 am

    Good for Judge Benitez! He is obviously not a man to be easily cowed by the liberal bullies in the California statehouse.

  • Scotty Gunn April 6, 2019, 1:21 pm

    300 round mag? I’ll take two so i can tape them together and make liberals go insane.

  • Ronald fredette April 5, 2019, 3:39 pm

    I have no reason to go into a Dick store always went there for hunting supplies so if they are so against it I guess Walmart or a good sporting store will be where I spend my money including camping and fishing supplies see ya later you will end up just like so many box stores in the past

  • Clint W. April 5, 2019, 2:10 pm

    Judge Roger T. Benitez – I don’t know who this guy is, but hooray! He seems to know how to read and comprehend what the Founding Fathers and the Constitution intended, at least this time.

    • deanbob April 6, 2019, 9:33 am

      It is not surprising how many hypocrite judges declare Trump’s actions unconstitutional and those same judges’ ideological BLINDNESS allows them to to ignore “…shall not be infringed.” when they limit others’ capacity to adequately protect themselves. Does one need any more proof that the various bands related to guns are political?

      When will someone in Hawaii challenge their 5 round magazine limitation?

  • Tom April 5, 2019, 12:22 pm

    I feel much safer when a bad guy has to reload after only ten rounds. Dang! I got that backwards. The GOOD Guys have to reload after only ten. The bad guys have all the hi-cap toys because they didn’t turn them in.

  • AJ April 5, 2019, 12:03 pm

    As much as I love the fact that someone is fighting back against the Idiocracy in California, this may also backfire. Making the argument that mags are “arms” may open up a window that allows Dems to push background checks on mags. Now I agree that they are necessary components of firearms, and therefore protected by way of the 2nd amendment, but they are still components. This ruling could very well allow a sitting Democrat to force the issue that mags should be controlled as firearms. And I can see them attempting a push for “hi-caps” to be regulated by the NFA if they can’t push moronic legislation through.

    Hopefully this makes a difference, as the judge is completely correct, but I also hope there aren’t attempts made to take him out of context. As I’m sure there will be.

    • deabbob April 6, 2019, 9:36 am

      If they can, you can bet money they will. Their ideology seems to dictate it.

  • John April 5, 2019, 11:17 am

    Don’t get excited folks , the uneducated lefties want it all and will not stop . Be prepared stock up . We are at war for our God given rights .

    • deanbob April 6, 2019, 9:41 am

      Too many do not understand what the founders meant by ‘natural rights’. I can speak out – no matter what. If there is a law against it, I can still do it (and may get imprisoned)! A mother bear naturally fights to defend her cubs. I have that same natural right to defend my family and myself. If I use a 10 round capacity mag in a state that limits that capacity to 5 does not mean I still don’t have that self defense right.

  • joefoam April 5, 2019, 8:30 am

    The decision written by Benitez was well written and pointed out the obvious flaws in the ban. It’s a shame he was opposed by the sitting AG and had to issue an injunction. All you folks that were hoping that it will stick are now in legal limbo. Remember this event next election cycle, this is the same guy who wants to decriminalize illegal immigration.

  • Godfrey Washington April 5, 2019, 7:31 am

    Nice to see the citizens are becoming as well armed as the bad guys have been this whole time…

  • Tim April 5, 2019, 6:42 am

    While I live in a very gun friendly state with no restrictions. I hope this spreads like wildfire. I would like to see the oppressive laws in states like NY, NJ, CT and HI shot down.

  • Rangemaster11B April 5, 2019, 4:43 am

    Effective 1700 hours, Friday, April 5th, Judge Benitez has stayed his injunction, pending appeal by CA DOJ. Previously owned magazines are still protected, as are any imported into the state during the past week that the injunction was in force.

    • deanbob April 6, 2019, 9:46 am

      What a waste of California taxpayer money – all to help this person further his political career. Whether it is at the state or federal level, the cost of litigation against the people is not cheap; but it is (essentially) unlimited – or so the politicians/bureaucrats behave.

  • Robert Smith April 5, 2019, 2:04 am

    there is no reason for the communists in Kalifornia to deny citizens the rights enjoyed by most all other states…you sure don’t see them disarming their security teams?? and i want to see where any of these bullobama laws have ever reduced crime…but we all know thats not the objective…

  • Mark N. April 3, 2019, 1:10 am

    The problem is not that manufactures and retailers will run out, it is the distinct possibility that a stay will be granted, if not by Judge Benitez, then by the Ninth Circuit if Benitez declines to do so. A stay will reinstate the challenged law pending appeal. The moment a stay is issued, the spigot gets shut off for at least the next two years, if not longer.
    A motion for stay was filed by the State in the District Court Monday and an opposition was filed today. Judge Benitez will likely rule on the request by the end of the week. If he denies it, the State will file a motion for stay in the Ninth circuit by next Monday.

    • Justin April 5, 2019, 4:53 am

      The stay was granted. Effective Friday 4/5/19 at 1700hrs.

      • Trip3 April 5, 2019, 10:03 am

        So, to be clear, because of the grant of a stay, you still cannot possess large capacity magazines in California?

        • Rocketman April 5, 2019, 10:22 am

          No, The ban on possession that was overturned is still overturned. Possession is still legal and not enforceable for now. The stay is on purchase and import. As of 5:00pm tonight.

  • Bobs your uncle April 2, 2019, 10:36 pm

    Cool, law abiding Californian citizens now get some of the same rights criminals have enjoyed for years

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