Federal appeals court ends California ban on high-capacity magazines

A federal appeals court lifted a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, saying the California law violates Second Amendment rights to bear firearms.

“Even well-intentioned laws must pass constitutional muster,” wrote appellate court Judge Kenneth Lee in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling on Friday. California’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 bullets “strikes at the core of the Second Amendment — the right to armed self-defense,” he said.

Lee also said California passed the law “in the wake of heart-wrenching and highly publicized mass shootings,” but said that isn’t enough to justify a ban whose scope “is so sweeping that half of all magazines in America are now unlawful to own in California.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office said it is reviewing the decision and he “remains committed to using every tool possible to defend California’s gun safety laws and keep our communities safe.”

A stay on buying the high-capacity magazines remains in place, preventing their sale in the state.

California Rifle & Pistol Association attorney Chuck Michel told the Associated Press that the decision is “a huge victory” for gun owners. Groups favoring more restrictions on firearms in the state have said they will work to overturn the law, the AP reported.

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