Several pro-gun groups banded together to file a lawsuit against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra last week in a unified effort to stop the state from banning ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The law, scheduled to go into effect on July 1, also requires gun owners who already possess such magazine to turn them into the proper authorities.
In a press conference last Friday, one of the plaintiffs, the Firearms Policy Coalition, said they were motivated to file suit in the wake of two separate law changes last year. The first, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, is a law that “changed state statutes to completely ban law-abiding people from possessing all ‘large capacity’ firearm magazines,” explained the group. The second, Proposition 63, which included similar prohibitions and was voted by referendum by the people of California in the last election.
The FPC said in their news conference that these laws stood in obvious conflict with the Constitution.
“Prior to Proposition 63 and SB 1446, thousands of law-abiding Californians could possess legally-owned (‘grandfathered’) large-capacity magazines, but now must remove them from their possession or ownership in the state by July 1 at their own expense or face criminal liability and fines,” the group said.
The ammunition ban isn’t the only anti-gun legislation being targeted by Second Amendment supporters. The California Rifle and Pistol Association, which is the state’s primary NRA affiliate, also filed suit to challenge a new law that expands the prohibition on so-called “assault weapons.”
The law, signed by Brown in the wake of the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack, bans the sale of semiautomatic rifles that include bullet-buttons that allow owners to quickly change out one magazine for another.
“It criminalizes possession of firearms which are commonly possessed for lawful purposes by law-abiding citizens for self-defense or shooting sports,” said Chuck Michel, an attorney for the group.
These laws, the groups said in a statement, “will do nothing to stop terrorists or violent criminals, and infringe on the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.”
The groups reportedly waited until President Trump had successfully placed Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court to bring their respective suits, optimistic that with five somewhat-consistent conservative, constitutional votes on the court, they can ultimately claim victory over the California Democrats.
Let’s hope they’re right, because if California can get away with this, it will only be a matter of time before they are pressured by anti-gun groups to go a little further. And, as we’ve seen with so many other issues, what starts in California can quickly spread to the rest of the nation.