The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for gun rights in a historic case resulting in the restoration of important Second Amendment rights in California. On Aug. 14, the court threw out California’s ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, noting the law violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The panel was split, 2-1.

Gun rights activists and supporters for several years have decried the state’s law as unconstitutional. The law, which was passed in 2000, made it illegal for an individual to possess a magazine holding 10 or more rounds for a firearm.

“Today’s decision in Duncan v. Becerra is a major victory for the Second Amendment, both in California and across the country,” Chuck Michel, president and General Counsel of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, said in a statement.

The CRPA filed the case and in 2017 a U.S. District Judge blocked the law. The CRPA argument was the state and its law prohibited “law-abiding citizens from manufacturing, obtaining, selling, transferring, or even possessing standard-issue magazines for firearms violates the constitution,” according to the statement on the CRPA website.

The court noted the state’s attempt to ban high-capacity magazines does not pass the strict or intermediate scrutiny tests and is a “heavy” burden on Second Amendment rights.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said his office is reviewing the case to determine if his office should appeal to the full 11-panel court.

While the news is a positive step in the right direction, gun owners cannot immediately purchase high-capacity magazines because a stay issued by the lower court judge remains in place, according to reports from Second Amendment groups and media.

The CRPA and other gun rights organizations are reviewing the order to determine the immediate impacts for FFLs (Federal Firearms License) and gun owners in California.

Steve Puterski

Author Steve Puterski

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