A federal judge struck down California’s ban on firearm magazines holding more than 10 rounds Friday as unconstitutional, “arbitrary and capricious.”
The ban, which was adopted through a 2016 proposition, had gone through various appeals until the US Supreme Court sent the case back to lower courts following its 2022 ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association vs. Bruen. The landmark decision requires that firearm regulations don’t impede on the language of the Second Amendment and be “consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition.”
US District Judge Roger T. Benitez in Friday’s decision said the ban on high-capacity magazines fails to meet that standard and that “there is no national tradition of prohibiting or regulating firearms based on firing capacity or ammunition capacity.”
Benitez wrote that one “government solution to a few mad men with guns … makes into criminals responsible, law-abiding people wanting larger magazines simply to protect themselves.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a statement called the decision “politics, pure and simple,” noting Benitez’s record for rolling back gun control legislation.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a notice of appeal, vowing to “fight for our authority to keep Californians safe from weapon enhancements designed to cause mass casualties.”
The injunction on the ban will be stayed for 10 days, according to the decision.
The president and general counsel for the California Rifle & Pistol Association, Chuck Michel, whose group originally filed the case along with several private gun owners, praised the ruling, saying “the clock is ticking” on “absurdly restrictive laws” that violate the Constitution.
Billy Clark, litigation attorney at Giffords Law Center, told CNN he was confident the decision will be overturned and called large capacity magazine regulations “commonsense and constitutional.”
CNN’s Jeremy Harlan contributed to this report.