Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ US https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ California authorities condemn the decision to lift the ban on gun attacks

California authorities condemn the decision to lift the ban on gun attacks

Families of victims of mass shootings, gun control advocates and California officials have condemned a federal judge’s rejection of California’s 30-year ban on assault weapons – both because of the way the judge justified his decision on Friday and because of concerns , wider pressure to weaken firearms laws.

In declaring the ban unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez compared the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to a Swiss Army knife, calling it “good for both home and battle.”

Benitez, who was nominated by former President George W. Bush and serves in the Southern District of California, issued a standing order against law enforcement, but stayed 30 days to allow the state to appeal.

California is one of seven states, plus Washington, that are banning the attack, according to Brady̵

7;s campaign to prevent gun violence.

In his 94-page ruling, Benitez wrote that it was illegal for California to ban its citizens from possessing weapons allowed in most other states and by the US Supreme Court. Proponents of the right to bear arms welcomed the decision.

“This is the most intense, detailed case on this issue ever,” said Dave Koppel, an adjunct professor of constitutional law at the University of Denver and an adjunct scientist at the Libertarian Brain Trust, the Cato Institute. That’s because the trial is the only challenge of its kind to continue the process, giving the judge a larger factual database to draw from, he said.

State Attorney. General Rob Bonta called the decision “fundamentally flawed” and said he would appeal.

“There is no sound basis in law, facts or common sense to equate assault rifles with Swiss Army knives – especially on the Day of Awareness of Gun Violence and after the recent shootings in our own communities in California,” Bonta said in a statement.

Last month, an assailant opened fire in the yard of a light rail in San Jose, killing nine colleagues and dying from an obvious self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Officials said he was armed with three semi-automatic 9mm pistols and 32 high-capacity magazines loaded with additional ammunition.

AR-15s have been used in some of the deadliest mass shootings in the country, including the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which killed 49 people in 2016, and one in Las Vegas, which killed 58 people in 2017. г.

“I can assure you – if a Swiss Army knife had been used in Pulse, we would have organized a birthday party for my best friend last week,” shooting survivor Brandon Wolf wrote on Twitter. “It’s not a vigil.”

Chris Brown, president of Brady’s campaign to reduce gun violence, said the decision led her to make a double claim.

“I have two daughters and they read dystopian fiction, like The Hunger Games, and it was something like that,” she said. “It can’t be real. No one who is a thinking human being with a heartbeat could liken the Swiss Army knife to the AR-15. “

Brown said the firearm was designed to disperse enemy fighters at a distance of 50 yards.

“It’s not something you hold to your bed for self-defense,” she said. “It’s a weapon of war.”

In response to several mass shootings on his watch, President Biden announced in April that his administration would take steps to better regulate weapons, with some of the proposed measures similar to those already in books in California.

These include a proposal to require inspections for the so-called Ghost weapons to be required in California from 2024 and a model red flag statute that states can adopt. Such a law would allow family members or law enforcement to seek a court order to confiscate a weapon from a person who poses a danger to himself or others. Nineteen states, including California, have already passed such laws.

“Today’s decision is a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period,” Gov. Gavin Newsum said in a statement Friday. “The fact that this judge compares the AR-15 – a weapon of war used on the battlefield – with a Swiss Army knife completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to families who have lost loved ones. “

The decision came in response to a lawsuit filed in August 2019 by pro-gun groups, including the San Diego County Arms Owners Political Action Committee, the California Weapons Rights Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Coalition for Policy. firearm

The plaintiffs also include three men from San Diego County who said they owned legal rifles or pistols and wanted to use high-capacity magazines, but could not because it would make them illegal weapons of attack under California regulations.

In cases where the government seeks to restrict people’s constitutional rights, such as those guaranteed by the Second Amendment, the government bears the burden of proving that the restriction helps achieve an important public interest, such as reducing mass shootings, Kopel said.

“Essentially, you weigh how much weight you put on law-abiding people against how much you reduce any problem you’re trying to deal with,” he said. In this case, he said, the judge found that “we do not receive any reduction in mass shootings and this places a very heavy burden on innocent people, such as people who want to have these types of firearms for protection at home. ”

Other legal experts believe the judge’s motives are less convincing.

“The judge in this case, declaring the ban on assault weapons to be a failed political experiment and therefore unconstitutional, is taking part in his own political judgment,” said Susan Estrich, a professor at the USC Gould Law School. His own reasoning undermines his own conclusion.

California became the first state to ban the sale of assault weapons in 1989 in response to a shooting at a Stockton elementary school that killed five students. The ban, signed by law by Republican Gov. George Deukmedjian, has since been updated several times to broaden the definition of what is considered an attack.

Each time, those who owned firearms were required to register them before being banned. According to the state, 185,569 such weapons have been registered, Benitez said.

In response to the challenge to the California law soon after it was passed, the 9th District Court of Appeals found that the Second Amendment applied only as a restriction to the federal government and not to state governments, Kopel said.

That changed in 2010 when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling saying the 2nd Amendment applied to cities and states, which helped pave the way for that ruling, he said.

California law defines an attack as a semi-automatic rifle or pistol that can accept a removable cartridge and is equipped with certain features that could make it more lethal or covert, including a hole or folding rifle butt and a second handle or threaded barrel for pistols. Fixed magazine firearms that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition are also considered assault weapons under the law.

“The problem with ‘assault weapons’ is that it has no real fundamental definition,” Kopel said. “It’s all random things about what certain weapons look like or what they look like.”

As the judge also noted in his opinion, some firearms, which under California law are considered assault weapons, are very similar to others that are not, Kopel said.

For example, he said, the Ruger Mini-14 range rifle is very similar to the AR-15 in terms of how fast it can be loaded and fired and what type of ammunition is needed, but it looks more traditional, with a stock made of wood instead of black plastic and is not defined as a prohibited attack.

“During the trial, we provided dispositive evidence that the term ‘assault weapon’ has always been an arbitrary label used by governments against weapons to ban constitutionally protected firearms,” ​​said George Lee, a lawyer with the Coalition for Firearms Policy, in a statement. “In the end, the state’s justification for banning these firearms simply could not stand.”

The state prosecutor’s office said such weapons were more dangerous than other firearms and were used disproportionately in crimes and mass shootings. Similar restrictions on assault weapons have previously been upheld by six other federal district and appellate courts, the state said.

But the judge said the firearms targeted by the ban were most often used for legitimate purposes.

“This is not about unusual weapons on the outer borders of the 2nd Amendment defense,” he wrote. “Prohibited” assault weapons “are not bazookas, howitzers or machine guns.”

“In California, knife killings are seven times more common than gun killings,” he added.

The state is also appealing two other Benitez decisions: one from 2017, which lifted the ban on buying and selling magazines containing more than 10 bullets, and another from April last year, which blocked a 2019 law requiring checks on the past. to purchase ammunition.

In the event of a ban on assault weapons, the decision will almost certainly be postponed after 30 days pending an appeal to the 9th District Court of Appeal, and there is an excellent chance the court will overturn it, given its liberal tendencies, Estrich said.

“Ultimately,” she said, “the question may be whether the United States Supreme Court, with its new conservative appointments, sees this as an opportunity to delve deeper into gun bans.”

This could violate gun control laws that are in books across the country, Brown said.

“The Supreme Court is repealing this kind of law designed to promote public safety, it has huge negative consequences not only for the bans on assault on weapons, but also for every public safety law we have ever created to regulate weapons, including Brady’s law. “She said, citing a 1994 requirement for firearms buyers to undergo federal inspections.

“So yes, I’m very worried about that.”

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