A senior federal judge in California overturned the state’s long-running assault weapon on Friday, likening the AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife in his ruling.
“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapons and national defense equipment,” Roger Benitez wrote.
Far from the first time Roger Benitez took an extensive definition of the Second Amendment. In fact, he has so often sided with arms rights defenders that some activists believe that such groups are deliberately directing their actions at him. He has repeatedly condemned California’s gun laws, to the delight of gun rights advocates and the frustration of gun control officials and groups. Fox News called him a “Second Amendment Judge”
Born in Havana, Cuba in 1950 and nominated in the federal bench by George W. Bush in 2003, Benitez repealed a law in California requiring background checks for anyone buying ammunition with a 120-page mammoth solution last April.
“California’s new attempt to verify fire break laws and the rights of the Second Amendment has seriously hurt California citizens,” he wrote. The state appealed the decision.
Benitez also banned high-capacity magazines in California in 2019. The case is due to be rehearsed on June 22. In 2017, he temporarily banned the law from coming into force in the first place.
“California law prohibiting the acquisition and possession of magazines that can last more than 10 rounds severely restricts the fundamental right to self-defense of the home, so it constitutes a destruction of the right and is unconstitutional at any level of control.” he at that time.
Arms control groups in California say gun protection organizations are abusing a federal court procedural rule to get Benitez to hear their cases. Federal courts allow related cases – those that deal with essentially the same legal issues as the previous ones – to be transferred from one federal judge to another in the same district after a case has been assigned, which is a random process. In Southern California, there is no official opportunity to challenge the transfer, although the state’s attorney tried to do so late last year when Benitez was indicted by the state over what guns could be sold under the safe list. weapons. .
“(Benitez) reads the Second Amendment more widely than almost any other court in the country,” said Eric Tirshuel, managing director of the Everytown Law Arms Control Group. The tribune of San Diego last year. “And he regularly perceives the language and tone of the weapons lobby. His decisions on the Second Amendment are often read more as what a lawyer would write than what you would expect from a neutral impartial judge. “
Benitez rejected a petition from Tirschwell’s organization to brief the case on the high-capacity magazine.
Benitez’s decision on Friday has ways to pass before the country’s law. Attorney General Rob Bonta has vowed to appeal Friday’s decision before it takes effect 30 days later. Governor Gavin Newsum was angry with him, calling him a “slap in the face” to victims of violence and listing mass shootings of AR-15s in tweets.
Benitez may soon make another decision on weapons: his case is currently challenging California’s ban on clubs and blackjacks.