The three-year ban on offensive weapons was overturned, prompting condemnation from the state’s Democratic governor.
A federal judge overturned California’s three-year-old assault weapons ban, ruled that it violated the constitutional right to bear weapons, and hit the state’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who condemned the order.
San Diego District Judge Roger Benitez ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military rifles illegally deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons that are normally allowed in most other states and the US Supreme Court.
Benitez said on Friday: “The law cannot survive under any degree of rigorous scrutiny.” He issued a permanent injunction prohibiting law enforcement, but put it on hold for 30 days to allow State Attorney General Rob Rob Bonta has time to appeal.
Governor Newsom called it “a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians.”
In his 94-page ruling, the judge praised modern weapons, saying that most of them were used for legal reasons.
“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapons and defense equipment. It is good for family and combat,” the judge said in the introduction of his ruling.
Newsom said in a statement that this comparison “completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face for families who have lost loved ones because of this weapon.”
This decision is a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians. Comparing the AR-15 with the Swiss Army Knife is a slap in the face for those who have lost their loved ones due to guns. We will not back down, we will fight for common sense gun laws. https://t.co/YHaruaxtEX
— California Governor’s Office (@CAgovernor) June 5, 2021
This decision was made at a time when gun violence surged across the United States-and just over a week later, a disgruntled and heavily armed California public transportation worker shot and killed nine people.
This week’s search of the gunman’s home-which was set ablaze shortly before the attack-found 12 guns, approximately 22,000 rounds of ammunition and suspected incendiary bombs.
Mass shootings have also occurred in Florida, Indiana, California, Colorado, and Georgia, and violence has surged. President Joe Biden referred to it as an “epidemic.”
The U.S. Supreme Court will also hear gun lobby groups questioning a New York law that restricts the expenditure of guns.
This will be the first major case involving the Second Amendment constitutional right to carry weapons before the U.S. Supreme Court in more than a decade.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has slowed violence in the workplace as more people stayed at home, gun sales have also reached a record high.
According to the New York Times, in March last year, the number of weekly federal background checks on gun buyers exceeded 1 million for the first time.