California appellate judge overturns assault weapons ban

San Diego (CNS) – On Monday, the Federal Court of Appeals panel set aside the San Diego federal judge’s ruling indefinitely, which overturned California’s three-year-old assault weapons ban.

The order of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel was in response to challenges to the state’s ruling earlier this month.

“This puts our offensive weapons law into effect, while the appeal process continues,” State Attorney General Rob Bonta wrote in response to the action on his Twitter account. “We will not stop defending these life-saving laws.”

In early June, U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez issued a 94-page ruling that overturned the state’s ban on offensive weapons.

Benitez wrote in the ruling: “Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapons and home defense equipment.” “Whether it’s family or battle, AR- 15 are all multifunctional guns that are located at the intersection of the types of guns that are protected in the District of Columbia v. Heller and the United States v. Miller.”

Bonta condemned this comparison. He said: “It has no legal or factual basis to equate the guns used in many of the most deadly mass shootings in this country with the Swiss Army knife. The prohibition of offensive weapons will not end all gun violence. But it is an important tool for California to protect the safety of Californians, and it also respects the right of law-abiding residents who choose to own guns.”

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by local gun supporters and marks the third time in recent years that Benitez has blocked state laws related to guns or ammunition. The judge had previously ruled that California banned large-capacity magazines and required background checks on the purchase of ammunition. In each case, it was found that the state gun laws violated the Second Amendment rights of Californians.

In the offensive weapons ruling, Benitez wrote, “The state’s definition of illegal military rifles illegally deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons that are normally allowed in most other states.”

At a press conference in San Francisco and Bonta announcing the appeal, Governor Gavin Newsom severely condemned Benitez and his history of repealing California gun laws, saying that the judge was “a wholly-owned gun lobby and the National Rifle Association. Subsidiaries,” also criticized the timing of the ruling, which was issued on the National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The Gun Policy Coalition, which is the basis for the lawsuits of Benitez’s ruling, has pledged to “actively file lawsuits on appeal, and will take all actions to defend the court’s legal and historically correct decisions in the Supreme Court of the United States.”

The FPC disputed Newsom’s “shameless and relentless personal attacks” on Benitez, which the organization said “demonstrated (Newsom’s) deep and continuing disrespect for the rule of law, the judiciary, the constitution, and the human rights of California citizens.”

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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