A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction Thursday preventing California from enforcing its gun magazine confiscation law.
U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez said that the law, which prohibits the possession of a magazine with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds of ammunition, likely violates the Second Amendment rights of the plaintiffs in the suit. As a result, he ordered the state to immediately cease enforcing the law, pending further legal developments.
“The Court does not lightly enjoin a state statute, even on a preliminary basis,” Benitez said in the ruling. “However, just as the Court is mindful that a majority of California voters approved Proposition 63 and that the government has a legitimate interest in protecting the public from gun violence, it is equally mindful that the Constitution is a shield from the tyranny of the majority.”
Benitez cited the landmark Heller Supreme Court case, a 2008 ruling that protected an individual’s right to own a fire arm unconnected to service in a state militia. He argued that if the law, which passed in November of 2016, was allowed to stand, it would place “more than a slight burden” on gun owning Californians.
“If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property,” he wrote in the ruling. “That is a choice they should not have to make. Not on this record.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra expressed his disappointment in the ruling in a statement issued Thursday.
“Proposition 63 was overwhelmingly approved by voters to increase public safety and enhance security in a sensible and constitutional way,” Becerra said in a statement on the ruling. “I will defend the will of California voters because we cannot continue to lose innocent lives due to gun violence.”
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].