Tuesday, September 26, 2023

California judge overturns key weapons ban, likens Swiss Army knife to semi-automatic rifle

Previously, Judge Benitez ruled California's ban on high-capacity magazines was unconstitutional. He also struck down the state's restriction on remote purchases of gun ammunition.

Want create site? Find Free WordPress Themes and plugins.

By Kenneth Tiven in the US

“Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment…the kind of versatile gun that lies at the intersection of the kinds of firearms protected under District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and the United States v Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939),” Judge Benitez wrote, adding, “Firearms deemed as ‘assault weapons’ are fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles. One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter.”

While this may sound like an advertisement for a gun shop, it is actually part of the opinion rendered by a US Federal Court judge in overturning California’s longtime ban on assault weapons.

Judge Roger Benitez of California’s Southern District, a long time jurist appointed by President George Bush, ripped the state’s  1989 law, referring to it as a “failed experiment” and stating “State level assault weapon bans that remain in effect have little to show…Therefore, this Court declares the California statutes to be unconstitutional.”

Millions of Americans believe that mass shootings and  assault weapons were never the intent of the Founders in writing the 2nd Amendment to the  US Constitution. Staunch defenders of unlimited gun ownership have in Judge Benitez , someone with a different opinion who is not bashful about stating it.

“You might not know it, but this case is about what should be a muscular constitutional right … Government is not free to impose its own new policy choices on American citizens where constitutional rights are concerned… California may certainly conceive of a policy that a modern rifle is dangerous in the hands of a criminal, and that therefore it is good public policy to keep modern rifles out of the hands of every citizen…There is only one policy enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Guns and ammunition in the hands of criminals, tyrants and terrorists are dangerous; guns in the hands of law-abiding responsible citizens are better. To give full life to the core right of self-defense, every law-abiding responsible individual citizen has a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear firearms commonly owned and kept for lawful purposes.”

The epidemic of mass shootings in America suggests more is wrong than just the availability of weapons, but the evidence about the assault weapons is clear. An AR-15 style rifle has been the weapon of choice for the most violent mass killings in modern  US history, including in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh; the Route 91 Harvest musical festival in Las Vegas; a massacre at a church in Texas; the Pulse nightclub in Orlando; a high school in Parkland, Florida; and the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Judge Benitez has not hidden his pro 2nd Amendment beliefs. Previously, he ruled California’s ban on high-capacity magazines was unconstitutional. He also struck down the state’s restriction on remote purchases of gun ammunition.

The comparison of the assault weapon with a Swiss Army knife seemed designed to ignite the argument of those opposed to unregulated  gun ownership. California Governor Gavin Newsom said the comparison “completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon. We’re not backing down from this fight, and we’ll continue pushing for common sense gun laws that will save lives.”

The ruling and injunction are stayed for 30 days, during which time the attorney general may appeal and seek a stay from the Court of Appeals. This certain to be sought.

Read Also: Supreme Court hears bail plea of policeman serving life imprisonment for fake encounter

A White House spokesperson said in a statement, “Courts have again and again held that an assault weapons ban does not violate the Second Amendment, which is limited. The President continues to press for commonsense laws to reduce gun violence – including a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.”

It was no surprise that gun rights advocates quickly celebrated the ruling. The Gun Violence Archive counted 225 shootings in the US in 2021 as of May 28. The US is on track to have more shootings in 2021 than any recent year on record.  Deaths related to any sort of gun use in five  months of this year have claimed more than 17,000 people.

Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.

News Update