OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted California’s request for a stay of a district court decision striking down the state’s large-capacity magazine ban. Large-capacity magazines are firearm magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The en banc court’s order, which was issued today, concludes that the state is likely to succeed on the merits in defending the large-capacity restrictions and that maintaining the restrictions pending appeal is in the best interest of the public safety of Californians.
“We are relieved that the court considered the public safety of Californians in its decision to grant our motion and maintain the restrictions on large-capacity magazines pending a decision on appeal,” said Attorney General Bonta. “With the stay, California’s restrictions on large capacity magazines — a key component in our efforts to fight gun violence — remain in effect. Californians should know that the purchase, manufacture, or transfer of large-capacity magazines is against the law. We will continue to fight for California’s authority to keep our communities safe from weapon enhancements that cause mass casualties. The Supreme Court was clear that New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen does not create a regulatory straitjacket for states and that cases should be evaluated on the text of the Second Amendment and its history and tradition of regulation.”
The Ninth Circuit granted Attorney General Bonta’s motion, which argued that the district court’s application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen is deeply flawed and ignores relevant historical laws. In fact, since Bruen,10 other federal district court decisions have considered Second Amendment challenges to similar restrictions on large-capacity magazines. All but one of those decisions have rejected the challenge. These courts have repeatedly recognized that large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment or that restrictions on such magazines are consistent with a historical tradition of regulating particularly dangerous weapons technologies as they spread and cause harm. The district court reached its decision by focusing on the supposed popularity of the technology and by ignoring relevant historical laws, despite the guidance laid out by Bruen.
A copy of the court’s order can be found here.