U.S. District Judge Overturns CA "Assault Weapon" Ban

A federal judge on Friday overturned California’s long-standing assault weapons ban on constitutional grounds.

US District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the 1989 ban on military-style rifles deprives state residents of their right to bear arms.

“Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive,” Benitez said.

“Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle,” the judge said in his ruling’s introduction.

Benitez issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of the law, with a stay of 30 days to give state lawyers time to appeal.

I never expected this. I imagine, though, there’s a good chance this ruling will be overturned by the 9th Circus. More at:


Hell yeah

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This case is not about extraordinary weapons lying at the outer limits of Second Amendment protection. The banned ‘assault weapons’ are not bazookas, howitzers, or machine guns.

I thought surely this is a result of President Trump’s many many appointments of sensible pro-American judges to the court. But it turns out the judge who made this ruling was appointed by W. OK, fine.

You’re not using the word :“sensible” correctly. First off, comparing a rifle to a Swiss Army knife is downright idiotic, Seal Team Six did not take out Bin Laden with a freaking Leatherman, And then there is this pearl of wisdom from the Judge’s decision (page 47, lines 15-16 in case you’re wondering):

And of course in Judge’s Benitez’s conclusion he suggests that in order to preserve Second Amendment Rights, First Amendment Rights might be violated (“restraint in news coverage might be a novel approach.” p91). There are of course references to Communist Cuba and Communist Vietnam and freedom and tyranny because of course there is.

This decision is in some parts extremely well sourced and some very good points are raised (for example a limit of the amount of “experimentation” California can make to pass legislation). To call this decision on the whole, “sensible” however is one hell of a reach.

I was going to say, given how panned that reasoning has been, I was surprised the New York Post chose to include the quote unironically

I’d have to disagree, first because AR-15s are modular and that’s core to their appeal, and that knives, including knife the judge is talking about is apart of military kit. The name does not lie.

With AR-15s you can switch out the barrel, switch out the stock, switch out the magazine, or the ammo; basically, the user can have a stash of functionality and tailor them to the situation. People can & do keep the gun with a kit with options to choose from.

Swiss Army Knife is not a bad comparison in light of that fact, but I’ll admit it’s not the best I can think of. Computers would be an even better one, from the breadth of consumer-facing options, to DIY communities focused on improving them, to how even entry-level GPUs use military-grade steel.

There’s been a democratization in production, and guns are caught up in it. Just like most products with any kind of maker-enthusiasm behind them.

Again, can’t agree. In context of how guns have changed just in the last 20 years, the product trends the AR-15 has visibly ridden on, the comparison makes complete sense.

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They included the quote period; they didn’t cherry-pick.

On the whole issue, CA’s original “assault weapon” ban was nothing more than taking advantage of a tragedy to further an agenda. I’m surprised that this actually got overturned after so long. Although as I noted in the OP, the overturning may get overturned by the 9th Circus.