Offensive weapons have been banned in California since 1989, according to the ruling. The law has been updated several times since its initial adoption.
“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapons and defense equipment,” Benitez said in the decision. “Firearms considered” assault weapons “are quite common, popular, modern rifles.”
AR-15 style weapons were used in mass shootings
In his decision, the judge also criticized the news media, writing: “One should receive forgiveness if someone is convinced by the news media and others that the nation is overwhelmed with AR-1
Last year, Benitez ruled that California’s ban on high-capacity magazines was unconstitutional. He also lifted the state’s restriction on remote purchases of weapons ammunition.
California Gov. Gavin Newsum criticized the government on Friday, calling the AR-15 a “weapon of war.”
Newsom added: “We are not backing down from this battle and will continue to push for sound gun laws that will save lives.”
The decision and the order are postponed for 30 days, during which time the Prosecutor General may appeal and request a stay of the Court of 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,” the statement said.