The ruling came out of the case Duncan v. Becerra. Benitez blocked enactment of the law back in 2017. At that time, he stated it violated the Second Amendment and the Constitution’s Taking Clause. The law banned magazines holding more than 10 rounds and required gun owners who possessed these items to dispose of them.
“If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property,” Judge Benitez wrote. “That is a choice they should not have to make.”
Last year, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the ruling, and sent it back to Benitez for him to rule on the merits of the law. Benitez ruled the law unconstitutional.
“Judge Benitez took the Second Amendment seriously and came to the conclusion required by the Constitution,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. “The same should be true of any court analyzing a ban on a class of arms law-abiding Americans commonly possess for self-defense or other lawful purposes.”
California Magazine Ban Ruling Not Final
While this ruling is good for California gun owners, it will probably be appealed to the full Ninth Circuit Court, which has a history of anti-gun rulings. This is despite the fact that three-judge panels of the Ninth Circuit often rule in favor of the Second Amendment. However, this case is likely to land in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, and Benitez ruling provides excellent arguments against magazine bans.
Currently, this ruling only prevents California from enforcing a 10-round magazine ban — other states are not affected by the ruling. However, this case will eventually affect gun owners across the country, especially if SCOTUS takes the case.