Federal Appeals Court Reconsiders Ruling that Struck Down California’s Ban on High-Capacity Magazines

A Federal appeals court announced on February 25, 2020 that it will reconsider a three-judge court’s split ruling in 2020 that threw out California’s prohibition on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Such a decision could have decisive impact in other states dealing with similar cases. An 11-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is planning to rehear the case. This comes in response to two members of the three-judge appellate panel ruling in August that California’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 bullets is a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s protection of the right to bear arms.

The third member of the panels claims that the ruling butts heads with decisions in six other federal appellate courts nationwide and with a 2015 ruling by a different panel of the 9th Circuit itself. There is a strong desire for another ruling from both sides of the political aisle, which shows how the federal courts are changing.

The 9th Circuit was previously known for its liberal policies but has drifted rightward with former President Donald Trump’s recent appointments. Gun rights groups want to quickly get such laws in front of the more conservative U.S. Supreme Court. In an unsurprising and disappointing fashion, a majority of the Supreme Court in June refused to take up a number of challenges to federal and state gun control laws, which includes Massachusetts’ prohibition on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

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“We’re excited to have another opportunity to defend what Californians already know – law-abiding citizens’ ability to purchase, possess, and use standard-capacity magazines in California is a fundamental civil right and shall not be infringed,” declared Chuck Michel, the California Rifle & Pistol Association’s president and general counsel.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is currently waiting for confirmation to join President Joe Biden’s Cabinet as the Secretary of Health and Human Services, described the rehearing decision as “critical” and “the next step in the defense (of) our state’s commonsense gun laws.”

“Large-capacity magazines have been used in many horrific mass shootings around the country, including right here in California,” Becerra declared in a statement.

The notorious civilian disarmament group, Brady, stated that it’s “hopeful” the larger appeals panel will be in favor of upholding the state’s anti-gun law.

“The Constitution, properly understood, should not entitle people to weapons of war, or prevent states from prohibiting military-style firearms or the large capacity magazines they use,” remarked Jonathan Lowy, the group’s chief counsel.

California gun owners should be prepared for the worst and be ready to nullify unconstitutional laws and court rulings. All of California’s hinterland counties and municipalities should do so in unison to express their displeasure with the current set of policies that Sacramento is imposing on Californians.

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