SACRAMENTO – Standard-capacity gun magazines capable of holding more than10 rounds of ammunition will remain legal in California after ruling by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit.
“Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts,” San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez wrote as he declared unconstitutional the standing law banning any magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
Such magazines were banned in 2000, but anyone who owned one prior to the ban was permitted to hang on to them.
Chuck Michel, attorney for the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) as well as the NRA indicated this ruling may be a big step toward eliminating the entire ban which would allow gun owners to legally purchase those mags for the first time in 20 years.
“We’re still digesting the opinion but it appears to us that he struck down both the latest ban on possessing by those who are grandfathered in, but also said that everyone has a right to acquire one,” said Michel.
The response on the CRPA website (CRPA.org) stated: Today’s opinion, however, should not be read as immediately ending the ban on acquiring magazines over 10 rounds. While possession of these magazines remains legal under the injunction issued by the district court in 2017, it is unclear whether today’s decision lifts the district court’s 2019 order staying the injunction that would have halted the enforcement of the manufacture and acquisition ban. According to the terms of that order, it remains in effect “pending final resolution” of the Duncan appeal. And because the state of California may petition for an 11-judge en banc panel to rehear the case or file a petition directly to the Supreme Court of the United States, it may be months before this appeal is finally resolved. Put simply, take caution! It is unclear whether California residents may begin to purchase magazines over 10 rounds yet.