Second Amendment

En banc 9th Circuit upholds California's ban on high-capacity gun magazines

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California’s ban on high-capacity gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition does not violate the Second Amendment, a federal appeals court has ruled.

An en banc panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco ruled 7-4 on Tuesday, report the Associated Press, the Sacramento Bee, the San Diego Union-Tribune, Politico and Reuters.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a press release the Nov. 30 decision “is a victory for public safety.”

The appeals court said the ban saves lives while interfering “only minimally with the core right of self-defense” under the Second Amendment. There is no evidence, the appeals court said, “that anyone ever has been unable to defend his or her home and family due to the lack of a large-capacity magazine.”

But large-capacity gun magazines have been used in most mass shootings in the past 50 years, the appeals court said. Large-capacity magazines have been used in about three-quarters of gun massacres with 10 or more deaths and in all gun massacres with 20 or more deaths.

“The ban on legal possession of large-capacity magazines reasonably supports California’s effort to reduce the devastating damage wrought by mass shootings,” the appeals court majority said in an opinion by U.S. Circuit Judge Susan Graber.

The majority also ruled that there was no unconstitutional taking, noting that gun owners can modify their magazines to hold fewer rounds, can sell them to a firearms dealer, or can remove them outside the state. The law “plainly does not deprive an owner of ‘all economically beneficial use of the property,’” Graber wrote.

In addition, she said, the government does not take possession or title to the high-capacity magazines.

The decision reverses a trial judge’s ruling for the plaintiffs who challenged the law, which was upheld by a 9th Circuit panel.

The case is Duncan v. Bonta.

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