UPDATED 10:22 AM PT — Tuesday, April 2, 2019
“Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts.”
Those were the first words in the decision by San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, who ruled on Friday to strike down a law that would force gun owners to turn over their magazines with a capacity over 10 rounds or face criminal charges.
California’s ban on purchasing high-capacity magazines has been in effect since the year 2000, however, those who already owned the magazines could do so without punishment. This changed with the passage of Proposition 63 back in November of 2016, which introduced penalties on those who possessed them.
The judge referred to the law as “severe and arbitrary,” saying the legislation violates the Constitution. The 86 page decision cited the Second Amendment as well as the landmark 2008 Supreme Court decision known as District of Columbia v. Heller, which holds that law-abiding, responsible citizens have the right to use firearms in defense of their homes.
California has some of the nation’s strictest gun laws, and Second Amendment advocates — including the NRA — have celebrated the decision as a “major win” against gun-control efforts in the state.
However, this may not be the end of the dispute over the issue. The office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has said they are reviewing the decision, and are evaluating their next move.