NSSF Celebrates California Court Victory Protecting Second Amendment Rights
NSSF, the trade association for the firearm industry, applauded the decision of a three-judge panel to uphold a lower court’s decision that California’s ban on standard capacity magazines violates Second Amendment rights and is unconstitutional.
The panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed (2-1) the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez in Duncan v Becerra that California’s ban on possessing firearm magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds violates the Second Amendment. NSSF submitted an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs’ challenge to the state law.
“This is a tremendous victory for all who value the rule of law and preservation of individual liberties protected by the U.S. Constitution,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President of General Counsel. “The firearm industry trade association was confident that possession of these accessories is protected by the Second Amendment and that California overreached to infringe upon the fundamental civil liberties of law-abiding citizens. This serves as notice to antigun politicians that their campaign to trample on constitutional rights and advance a radical agenda to deny citizens’ their Second Amendment rights will not go unchallenged.”
Duncan v Becerra challenged California Government Code § 31310, which bans possession of what California termed “large capacity magazines,” (LCMs) or any magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds. Judge Kenneth K. Lee wrote for the majority that, “California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs strikes at the core of the Second Amendment — the right to armed self-defense. Armed self-defense is a fundamental right rooted in tradition and the text of the Second Amendment. Indeed, from pre-colonial times to today’s post-modern era, the right to defend hearth and home has remained paramount.”
Finding that the challenged law must be evaluated under strict scrutiny, he continued, “California’s law imposes a substantial burden on this right to self-defense.”
NSSF expects California’s Attorney General to seek a review of the decision to the full court. However, NSSF is confident the holding of the panel that the legal test applied to the decision are sound and will survive appeal.