Federal Courts Stick It to Gun-Grabbers Seeking Restrictive Bans


When the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals supports Second Amendment rights, gun-grabbers have a problem.

But that’s exactly what happened this week when a panel of the country’s most infamous appeals court supported a district court’s ruling that temporarily blocks the anti-gun state of California’s effort to outlaw “high-capacity” magazines.

And the language of the ruling left no doubt about how weak the Golden State’s case was.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Tuesday’s ruling involved the state’s appeal of a district judge’s decision that delayed the imposition of a California ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Passed by California voters in 2016 as Proposition 63, the law was supposed to go into effect in July 2017, but has been on hold pending a court challenge.

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Thanks to two judges on a three-judge panel of the 9th District, it’s going to be on hold a while longer.

Judges Norman Smith and Deborah Batts ruled against California’s gun-grabbing Attorney General Xavier Becerra and his motion to lift the injunction against the law that was imposed as part of a case filed by California gun owner Virginia Duncan and the California Rifle & Pistol Association.

Becerra had argued that the judge in the case, District Judge Roger Benitez, had abused his discretion in granting the injunction, Courthouse News reported.

In an eight-page memorandum announcing the decision, the 9th Circuit panel found Becerra’s arguments wanting on every level. (The ruling didn’t point out the irony of a Democrat attorney general accusing a federal appeals court of “abusing its discretion” in an era where liberal federal judges are making a habit of issuing nationwide injunctions against any policy of President Trump they don’t like, but it certainly could have.)

Is this a good sign for gun rights supporters?

Gun rights activists were pleased with the ruling.

“This is a significant win for law-abiding gun owners in California,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement, according to the Union-Tribune.

“This unconstitutional law criminalizes mere possession of many standard capacity magazines and would instantly turn many law-abiding gun owners into criminals.”

And that’s a point worth stressing. California’s ban denoted magazines capable of handling more than 10 rounds as “high capacity.” But anyone even casually familiar with firearms – or who’s watched Donnie Wahlberg in a gunfight on “Blue Bloods” – knows that the state’s voters were really just criminalizing a firearms standard.

As Volokh Conspiracy David Kopel pointed out on

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“Magazines over 10 rounds (especially, handgun magazines of 11-21) are the opposite of unusual. They are the standard magazines for many common firearms….

“Likewise, magazines over 10 rounds are commonly chosen for self-defense, and the Second Amendment precludes the government from second-guessing common self-defense choices. There are good reasons for law-abiding citizens to have such magazines, because the defender’s reserve ammunition capacity can be decisive in whether or not criminal attackers prevail.”

Any day the Second Amendment wins in court is a good one for the Constitution and the country.

But when it wins in federal courts in California, home of the 9th District Court of Appeals, it’s doubly sweet.

And the gun-grabbers should know they have a real problem.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.