Court rules California’s ban on high-capacity magazines is unconstitutional

California Democrats were disappointed with a surprise Friday court decision — but gun rights advocates are celebrating a huge victory.

A federals appeals court panel just halted California Democrats’ efforts to go after the Second Amendment by upholding a lower court’s decision on the ban of large-capacity magazines.

The ruling

In 2016, the state of California passed legislation that banned the possession of large-capacity magazines (LCM). The legislation defined an LCM as anything that held more than ten rounds.

This created a significant problem for gun owners in that some of the legally owned weapons they currently had came with stock magazines that held more than 10 rounds.

That issue was at the heart of the ruling issued by the 9th  U.S. District Court of Appeals, the Daily Caller reported.

In the majority opinion, Appellate Judge Kenneth Lee wrote, “California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs strikes at the core of the Second Amendment — the right to armed self-defense. Armed self-defense is a fundamental right rooted in tradition and the text of the Second Amendment.”

Now what?

This decision could have a significant impact on a piece of legislation that dates back to 2000 for the state of California.

That year, the state prohibited the manufacture, importation, and sale of LCMs but chose to stay away from ownership at that point. LCM ownership was banned in the 2016 Senate Bill 1446.

Law-abiding gun owners at the time were forced to give up their LCMs by either selling them to a licensed dealer, handing them in to the police, or destroying them.

Lee, in his opinion, wrote, “Magazines enjoy Second Amendment protection for a simple reason: Without a magazine, many weapons would be useless, including ‘quintessential’ self-defense weapons like the handgun.”

In spite of the court’s decision, Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom continues to defend the legislation that has now failed at two levels in the courts.

“I think it was sound, I think it was right, and…the overwhelming majority of Californians agreed when they supported a ballot initiative that we put forth,” he said.

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