BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today is hailing a ruling by a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that held California’s ban on so-called “large-capacity magazines” (LCMs) violates the Second Amendment.
“While this was not our case,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “this is a victory for all gun owners, and the majority opinion reflects our arguments in an amicus brief we submitted along with several other organizations. Most importantly, the panel majority used strict scrutiny to make its determination, and that is a huge milestone.”
The case is known as Duncan v. Becerra. The 66-page majority opinion was written by Circuit Judge Kenneth K. Lee.
SAF was joined in its amicus brief by the California Gun Rights Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Armed Equality, San Diego County Gun Owners, Orange County Gun Owners, Riverside County Gun Owners, and California County Gun Owners.
In his ruling, Judge Lee observed, “We understand the purpose in passing this law. But even the laudable goal of reducing gun violence must comply with the Constitution. California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs infringes on the fundamental right to self-defense. It criminalizes the possession of half of all magazines in America today. It makes unlawful magazines that are commonly used in handguns by law-abiding citizens for self-defense. And it substantially burdens the core right of self-defense guaranteed to the people under the Second Amendment. It cannot stand.”
California had banned possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than ten cartridges.
“This was a fantastic ruling,” Gottlieb observed. “The court went into considerable detail about the history of magazine development and essentially follows the logic of our amicus, for which we are all very proud.”