AG Becerra Defends CA Law that Bans the Acquisition, Possession of Large-Capacity Magazines

SACRAMENTO, July 16, 2019 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra continued his defense of California’s restrictions on large-capacity ammunition magazines. Despite their proven effectiveness in preventing and mitigating the effects of gun violence, California’s large-capacity magazine restrictions were declared unconstitutional by a federal district court. In the filing, Attorney General Becerra defends the constitutionality of this important public safety measure before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting that the Court reverse the district court’s judgment and uphold the constitutionality of the law.

“When it comes to keeping our communities safe and implementing common-sense gun laws, California will not go backwards,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Our gun safety measures have a track record of success and we will continue the fight to keep constitutional, commonsense measures on the books.”

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In California, it has been illegal since 2000 to manufacture, import, keep or offer for sale, give, lend, or receive large-capacity magazines—defined as those that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. In 2016, Californians passed Proposition 63 to enhance those restrictions by prohibiting the possession of large-capacity magazines. On March 29, 2019, the District Court for the Southern District of California ruled that this law was unconstitutional.

Attorney General Becerra requested that the Ninth Circuit Court direct the district court to enter judgment in favor of California. Every federal circuit court that has considered the constitutionality of similar large-capacity magazine restrictions has held that they are constitutional. In today’s filing, Attorney General Becerra argues that California’s similar, common-sense restrictions do not violate the constitution. Large-capacity magazines have been a prominent feature in some of the most horrific mass shootings in this country, including the 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. When large-capacity magazines are used in mass shootings, more innocent lives are lost and more people are injured. Attorney General Becerra is committed to upholding the constitutionality of California’s restrictions on large-capacity magazines to protect the public from these dangerous firearm accessories.

A copy of the filing can be found here.