California’s gun control laws hit another legal roadblock

Governor Gavin Newsom isn't happy.

More good news for supporters of the Second Amendment: A judge just struck down a California ban on assault weapons, claiming it’s unconstitutional.

California has restricted the purchase of assault weapons, broadly defined as a variety of semiautomatics, pistols, and shotguns, since 1989. US District Judge Roger T. Benitez, who also overturned California’s ban on high-capacity magazines last month, wrote in his decision, “California’s answer to the criminal misuse of a few is to disarm its many good residents. That knee-jerk reaction is constitutionally untenable, just as it was 250 years ago.”

“The Court’s decision is constitutionally sound and addresses the many inadequacies of the State’s arguments and so-called justifications for this unconstitutional ban,” John Dillon, an attorney representing the people suing California, commented. “We will continue to fight for our Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights through any appeal until the State is forced to start respecting these rights.”

California Attorney General Rob Bonta immediately filed a notice of appeal and commented, “Weapons of war have no place on California’s streets.” 

Bonta continued, “This has been state law in California for decades, and we will continue to fight for our authority to keep our citizens safe from firearms that cause mass casualties. In the meantime, assault weapons remain unlawful for purchase, transfer, or possession in California.”

In addition, California Governor Gavin Newsom condemned the decision and called for a constitutional amendment allowing him to uphold the assault weapons ban.

When the United States founders wrote the Constitution and included the Second Amendment, they had not returned from a hunting trip. They had fought a war where citizens needed to be able to defend themselves from a heavily armed military. They knew that to live in a free society, citizens needed to be able to protect themselves from all threats.

After the terrorist attack in Israel on October 7, we’ve seen what tragedies can happen when the government restricts firearm access. (Israel allows citizens to carry guns, but with heavy restrictions that left many people unprotected during the invasion.)

Infringing upon our ability to defend ourselves will not prevent people from being killed. Murder is already illegal and people who want to take innocent lives will find a way to carry out their intentions.

That problem can only be solved by getting to the root cause of why some have decided to use their firearms to take innocent lives and arming people against those with murderous intent. 

These “common sense” gun reform advocates apparently lack the common sense to consider the larger implications of leaving civilians without adequate means of defending themselves. 

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Kiyah Willis
Kiyah Willis
Kiyah Willis is a fellow at BASEDPolitics.