PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry are leading a coalition of 22 states urging the Ninth Circuit to uphold the Second Amendment and once again declare California’s law limiting magazine capacities as unconstitutional.
“California politicians are at it again, convinced that their agendas should override the Constitutional rights of the people,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Attempts to undermine the Second Amendment or any of our civil rights and liberties should be met with deep skepticism and vigorous opposition.”
An 11-member panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will rehear a case challenging California Penal Code 32310, which bans and criminalizes certain ammunition magazines. The Ninth Circuit has already ruled the law violates the Second Amendment and struck it down April 2020, but California’s Attorney General is appealing. Forty-one states, including Arizona, permit the standard 11+ capacity magazines that California’s law bans.
The Second Amendment states, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The states argue in their amicus brief that California’s law banning the possession of commonly-used arms, even in the home for self-defense, strikes at the core of the Second Amendment.
The right to self-defense is essential to millions of Americans. The magazines affected by California’s law are essential to bearing arms because they are standard and integral to some of the most popular firearms in America. By banning the mere possession of magazines necessary to operate millions of guns, California has essentially barred use of those guns, including in the home for self-defense.
As the Ninth Circuit 3-judge panel has already properly recognized, the Second Amendment has been particularly useful in guarding the possibility of self-defense in many disadvantaged communities. The same is true for women; guns can serve as a force equalizer and allow women to protect themselves more effectively against “abusers and assailants.” Similarly, those in high-crime communities where law enforcement is stretched thin—or worse, where police are afraid to enter at all— often cannot rely on the State for prompt protection against criminals and so highly value the right to own weapons for self-defense.
Oral arguments are scheduled for June 20, 2021.
Duncan v. Rodriquez Background
In 2016, California passed the law banning the possession of magazines capable of holding ten or more rounds, making it a misdemeanor. California residents were required to give up their magazines or face a year in jail. A lawsuit was filed to strike down the law.
In 2017, a U.S. District Judge of California blocked the law from taking effect. California’s Attorney General then appealed to the Ninth Circuit where, in August 2020, a three-judge panel ruled the law was unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. California’s Attorney General once again appealed the ruling and an 11-member panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will rehear the case.