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SACRAMENTO, February 25, 2021 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today applauded a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to grant a rehearing en banc in Duncan v. Becerra, a case challenging California’s ban on the acquisition and possession of large-capacity magazines (LCMs). Last August, the Attorney General filed a petition seeking review of a divided three-judge panel’s decision to uphold a federal district court’s ruling that the LCM ban is unconstitutional. In today’s order, the court also vacated the three-judge panel’s decision.
“Large-capacity magazines have been used in many horrific mass shootings around the country, including right here in California,” said Attorney General Becerra. “That’s why today’s decision by the Ninth Circuit to rehear this case is critical; it is the next step in the defense our state’s commonsense gun laws.”
LCMs are firearm magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. LCMs have been used in numerous horrific mass shootings throughout the country, including the tragic shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks in 2018 and the shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino in 2015. A 2019 study by Columbia University found that, “deaths in high-fatality mass shootings, relative to the population, were more than three times higher in states that did not restrict LCMs”.
In California, it has been illegal to manufacture, import, keep or offer for sale, give, or lend LCMs since 2000. It has been illegal to purchase and receive them since 2013. Proposition 63, which was passed by Californians in 2016, added a ban on the possession of LCMs. The ban on the sale, purchase, manufacture, importation, or acquisition of LCMs remains in effect during the appeal.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting the public and upholding California’s gun safety laws. Last year, the Attorney General and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence led a coalition in filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration demanding the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulate the unfinished pistol frames and rifle receivers used to make untraceable “ghost guns” the same way it regulates other firearms. Attorney General Becerra also filed a petition last August in the San Francisco Superior Court requesting that the court order San Diego-based Glockstore, a business that sells factory-made serialized Glock handguns, aftermarket parts, and ghost gun kits, to comply with an outstanding subpoena and investigative interrogatories previously issued by the Attorney General. In January 2020, Attorney General Becerra joined a multistate lawsuit to block the Trump Administration’s irresponsible efforts to loosen regulations governing blueprints for 3D-printed ghost guns. A video highlighting the California Department of Justice’s Armed Prohibited Persons System and its work to protect public safety by keeping firearms out of the hands of individuals who are prohibited by law from possessing them is available here.
A copy of today’s order is available here.