San Diego judge blocks high-capacity gun magazine ban

A law set to go into effect that would make it illegal for Californians to possess a gun magazine holding more than 10 rounds has been blocked for now by a San Diego federal judge.

U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez, in a strongly worded 66-page ruling Thursday, said the law would violate the Second Amendment right for gun owners to defend his home, unfairly take people’s property without compensation and make otherwise law-abiding citizens criminals if they merely possessed such high-capacity magazines.

The judge acknowledged the tragic toll gun violence has taken on this country, but stressed that “public safety interests may not eviscerate the Second Amendment.”

“Gun violence to carry out crime is horrendous and should be condemned by all,” wrote Benitez, nominated to the federal bench in 2003 by President George W. Bush. “Defensive gun violence may be the only way a law-abiding citizen can avoid becoming a victim.”

Such magazines have been illegal to sell, manufacture, import or transfer since 2000 in the state. Last July, the Legislature passed a bill that would make ownership of the gun parts an infraction, and in November voters passed a similar, clarified measure, Proposition 63.

Current owners were told they had to get rid of the offending pieces by either taking them to one of dozens of states where ownership is legal, selling the magazines to a licensed firearms dealer, or turning them in to law enforcement for destruction.

The judge ruled that a preliminary injunction blocking the law from taking effect was appropriate until the merits of the case can be more fully explored. He ordered state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to provide notice to all law enforcement that the law shall not be enforced.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune


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