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‘No American tradition’

By Katelynn Richardson,

  A federal judge issued an injunction on Friday blocking a California gun law that bans magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, a George W. Bush appointee, found the law to be unconstitutional, noting such magazines are “possibly the most commonly owned thing in America” in the realm of firearms. Benitez called the law “extreme,” noting there is “no American tradition of limiting ammunition capacity.”

“This case is about a California state law that makes it a crime to keep and bear common firearm magazines typically possessed for lawful purposes,” he wrote. “Based on the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment, this law is clearly unconstitutional.”

“There have been, and there will be, times where many more than 10 rounds are needed to stop attackers,” Benitez later said. “Yet, under this statute, the State says ‘too bad.’”

To allow California Attorney General Rob Bonta sufficient time to appeal, the injunction will not take effect for 10 days. Bonta tweeted Friday that he would “immediately appeal” what he called a “dangerous decision.”

“The Supreme Court was clear that Bruen did not create a regulatory straitjacket for states — and we believe that the district court got this wrong,” Bonta said in a statement.

Approximately 48% of gun owners have owned weapons that hold more than 10 rounds, according to survey statistics cited by the judge.

Benitez previously blocked the law in a 2019 decision that was reversed on appeal to the 9th Circuit, but the Supreme Court sent the case back to be heard in light of its decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen.

The Supreme Court held in its 2022 Bruen ruling that laws regulating firearms must be consistent with the Nation’s “historical tradition of firearm regulation.

Bonta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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