Federal Appeals Court Rules Against San Diego Gun Owners


A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld California's ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, which a San Diego federal judge previously overturned and ruled was unconstitutional.

(CNS) - A divided 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that ban ``on legal possession of large-capacity magazines reasonably supported California's effort to reduce the devastating damage wrought by mass shootings.'' The ban outlaws magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Federal judge Roger Benitez in San Diego previously blocked the ban, ruling that the law violated the second amendment rights of gun owners and that its passage was an overreaction to high-profile gun crimes.

Benitez issued his ruling in favor of several San Diego county gun owners who argued the ban burdened lawful gun owners and did little to reduce violence. Benitez's decision was upheld by a three-judge 9th Circuit panel last summer, prompting the ``en banc'' review of the case by the full court at the request of the California Attorney General's office.

Judge Susan P. Graber, who authored the majority opinion, wrote the law ``is a reasonable fit for the important government interest of reducing gun violence'' and that large-capacity magazines have been used ``in about three- quarters of gun massacres'' over the past 50 years.

In a dissenting opinion, Judge Patrick Bumatay -- who was joined by judges Sandra Ikuta and Ryan Nelson -- wrote that the ban infringes on Californians' second amendment rights and if applied nationwide, ``it would require confiscating half of all existing firearms magazines in this country.''

The dissent continued, ``while we acknowledge that California asserts a public safety interest, we cannot bend the law to acquiesce to a policy that contravenes the clear decision made by the american people when they ratified the second amendment.''

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