The authoritarian gun grabbing Democrats in California just suffered a huge setback that almost no one saw coming.
Last week, the usually Left-leaning 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a magazine ban imposed by the Democrat super-majority legislature and governor was an obvious violation of the Second Amendment, handing the state’s gun owners an unexpected and rare victory.
Today the California Rifle & Pistol Association received the much-anticipated ruling in the long-fought Second Amendment case Duncan v. Becerra. This is the same case that led to “Freedom Week” where thousands of Californians were able to lawfully purchase standard capacity magazines much like the rest of the country.
CRPA has been fighting since the 30,000+ member-driven organization filed the case back in 2017, and has led the fight through the courts with the assistance of the National Rifle Association.
“Today’s decision in Duncan v. Becerra is a major victory for the Second Amendment, both in California and across the country,” said Chuck Michel, president and General Counsel of the California Rifle & Pistol Association.
Two years ago a lower 9th Circuit court in San Diego also ruled in favor of the gun rights, but the state quickly appealed and so the judge was force to stay his ruling to allow gun owners to continue buying magazines that would hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
“After years of fighting, the Court decided in favor of our plaintiffs’ challenge against the state’s ban on standard capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds,” Michel added.
The appeals court ruled, incredibly, that California’s efforts to ban magazines in excess of 10 rounds did not comport with the Second Amendment’s strict ‘shall not infringe provision and did instead impose an unconstitutional burden on California gun owners.
“This is a huge win specifically for the right to possess these valuable self-defense tools. But more generally, this case may present the Supreme Court with an opportunity to set things straight on the underlying issue of what the standard of review test should be when considering any Second Amendment challenge,” Michel said.
“The Supreme Court seems inclined to do away with the complicated subjective tests that many courts have wrongly applied in Second Amendment cases, in favor of a clearer more objective “originalist” approach that considers the text, history and tradition of a law to determine what infringements might be tolerated,” he concluded.
“Even well-intentioned laws must pass constitutional muster,” appellate Judge Kenneth Lee wrote for the panel’s majority. The ban “strikes at the core of the Second Amendment — the right to armed self-defense.” (Related: Federal judge rules Chicago’s ban on gun sales is unconstitutional.)
Noting that the ban was passed “in the wake of heart-wrenching and highly publicized mass shootings,” it nevertheless was not enough to justify a prohibition that “is so sweeping that half of all magazines in America are now unlawful to own in California.”
That said, the lower court’s stay remains in place so gun owners are not yet free to rush out and purchase higher capacity magazines (though they should be able to since the appeals court is higher than the lower court).
Gov. Gavin Newsom, who defended the ban when he was lieutenant governor, tried to make the case that majority rule trumps the Constitution.
“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 when asked about the appeals court ruling.
But our founders did not write a Constitution that permitted its provisions to be ignored or overturned by a majority vote.
Furthermore, it is absurd on its face to presume that the founders did not believe gun technology would ever advance beyond the single-shot muskets of the day, even if they could not envision the type of firearms technology available today.
This is an outstanding victory for gun owners in a deep blue state. They should relish it.