Judge Halts Enforcement of 'High-Capacity' Magazine Ban, Issues Savage Rebuttal to Those Responsible


A federal judge in California struck down the state’s 10-round limit on gun magazines on Friday, finding the law unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, on the same day, President Joe Biden called for reinstituting an “assault weapons” ban and only allowing low-capacity magazines.

U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District of California based his decision on the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which held that states’ gun restrictions must be consistent with the text of the Second Amendment, as informed by its historical context.

“This case is about a California state law that makes it a crime to keep and bear common firearm magazines typically possessed for lawful purposes. Based on the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment, this law is clearly unconstitutional,” Benitez wrote.

“The detachable firearm magazine solved a problem with historic firearms: running out of ammunition and having to slowly reload a gun,” the judge added. “When more ammunition is needed in case of confrontation, a larger … magazine is required. Many gun owners want to have ready more than 10 rounds in their guns.”

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He noted that magazines holding more than 10 rounds are very common, with popular sizes for handguns ranging up to 17 rounds and the most popular sizes for rifles having 30. For example, the Glock 17 handgun has a standard 17-round magazine.

“There is no American tradition of limiting ammunition capacity and the 10-round limit has no historical pedigree and it is arbitrary and capricious,” Benitez wrote.

California justified its 10-round limit by saying anything larger is not suitable for its citizens, but the judge argued such decisions are up to the citizens.

He also pointed out the changes in firearm technology over the decades of history since the Second Amendment was adopted.

Was this law unconstitutional?

“There are no cases where American government dictated that lever-action rifles were unsuitable because single shot rifles were good enough, or revolvers were unsuitable because derringers were good enough,” Benitez wrote.

“These choices have always belonged to the People to decide for themselves how much firepower they need. The right to have firearms for social security was important at the time the Constitution was adopted,” he added.

The judge noted, “Removable firearm magazines of all sizes are necessary components of semiautomatic firearms. Therefore, magazines come within the text of the constitutional declaration that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

“There is no American history or tradition of regulating firearms based on the number of rounds they can shoot, or of regulating the amount of ammunition that can be kept and carried.”

Such restrictions violate the Second Amendment.

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“One government solution to a few mad men with guns is a law that makes into criminals responsible, law-abiding people wanting larger magazines simply to protect themselves,” Benitez argued.

“The history and tradition of the Second Amendment clearly supports state laws against the use or misuse of firearms with unlawful intent, but not the disarmament of the law-abiding citizen,” he continued. “That kind of a solution is an infringement on the Constitutional right of citizens to keep and bear arms.”

On the same day Benitez defended the Second Amendment, Biden voiced his desire to undermine it, announcing the creation of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention to be led by Vice President Kamala Harris.

“It’s time again to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” Biden said, adding, “If you need 80 shots in a magazine, you shouldn’t own a gun.”

The “assault weapons” ban in the 1990s limited magazines to 10 rounds, so Biden wants to bring back a law that a federal judge just ruled unconstitutional.

The president is straw-manning the argument, of course. Who has even seen an 80-round magazine or would want to carry a weapon around with one attached?

When people are defending themselves against an armed home intruder (maybe multiple ones), 10 rounds can go pretty quickly.

With the adrenaline pumping, it’s very likely the first few rounds may not hit their mark, while others may wound but not stop the assailants. It’s not always like the movies where the hero fires one well-placed round and the perpetrator falls to the ground dead.

Benitez chronicled multiple instances in which having more than 10 rounds at the ready made the difference.

“In Kentucky, when a home intruder wearing a bulletproof vest shot and killed one daughter asleep in her bed, the father awoke and needed to fire 11 shots from one gun and 8 shots from a second gun, while suffering 3 gunshot wounds himself, to protect his other daughter, his wife, and himself,” the judge wrote.

Benitez offered another instance when two masked and armed men broke into the home of Susan Gonzalez and shot her in the chest.

“She made it back to her bedroom and found her husband’s .22 caliber pistol. Wasting the first rounds on warning shots, she then emptied the single pistol at one attacker. Unfortunately, now out of ammunition, she was shot again by the other armed attacker,” the account stated.

Benitez is right; Biden is wrong.

Americans have a God-given, constitutional right to defend themselves, and it’s not the business of government to limit their ability to do so.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith