U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez granted a preliminary injuction on Thursday against California’s ban on magazines that hold more than ten rounds.
In the matter of Duncan v. Becerra, the San Diego-based judge said the law banning possession of the magazines would mean “hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property.” He further held that the law “amounts to the government taking people’s private property without compensation.”
Attorney Chuck Michel, who argued in court that the law violated both the Second Amendment and the Constitutional ban on taking property without due process or compensation, called the order “a glorious opinion,” praising the judge for his clear understanding of the Heller gun rights decision and its progeny.
“My clients are pleased the Court affirmed that the Second Amendment is not a second class right, and that law abiding gun owners have a right to choose to have these magazines to help them defend themselves and their families,” Michel said.
The effort to stop the magazine ban was supported by the National Rifle Association and the California Rifle and Pistol Association.
California has banned purchases of magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds since 2000, but those who already possessed the magazines could legally keep them.
The magazine ban was scheduled to take effect on July 1st. It had been approved by voters in a referendum last November as Proposition 63. The law required gun owners to dispose of their offending boxes of metal and plastic or face up to a year in jail plus a $100 fine per magazine. Californians could “dispossess” their magazines by transporting them out of state, selling them to a licensed gun dealer, or handing them in to the police.
According to Michel, however, no one was giving up their property. “We were looking at a massive display of civil disobedience. No one was turning these things in.”
Now that the injunction is in place, Michel expects an appeal to the 9th Circuit which, he admits, may be more sympathetic to the gun control law. In the meantime, however, California gun owners can legally keep their property.
This is the second setback that gun controllers in California suffered this week. Earlier this week, the California Office of Administrative Law rejected proposed regulations attempting to eliminate so-called “bullet button” rifles from private ownership. The effort to fight the proposed regulation was spearheaded by Michel’s legal team, once again backed by the NRA and CRPA.