Sun. May 26th, 2024

California law banning gun magazines of more than 10 rounds struck down by federal judge

banned – Penal Code § 32310 PC – Large-Capacity Magazines – California Law

California cannot ban gun owners from having detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez won’t take effect immediately. California Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Democrat, has already filed a notice to appeal the ruling. The ban is likely to remain in effect while the case is still pending.

Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully
Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully

This is the second time Benitez has struck down California’s law banning certain types of magazines. The first time he struck it down — way back in 2017 — an appeals court ended up reversing his decision.

THE CONSTITUITION HATER AND TERRORIST OF FREEDOM Gov. Gavin Newsom called Benitez’s ruling “a radical decision.”

“It’s time to wake up. Unless we enshrine a Right to Safety in the Constitution, we are at the mercy of ideologues like Judge Benitez. All of our gun safety laws that are proven to save lives are at risk. It doesn’t matter what laws we pass. It doesn’t matter what the voters decide. Concealed carry. Banning weapons of war. Reasonable waiting periods. Background checks. The idealogues are coming for all of them.

“This is exactly why I’ve called for a Constitutional amendment, and this is why I’ll keep fighting to defend our right to protect ourselves from gun violence.”

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court set a new standard for how to interpret the nation’s gun laws. The new standard relies more on the historical tradition of gun regulation rather than public interests, including safety.

Benitez ruled that “there is no American tradition of limiting ammunition capacity.” He said detachable magazines “solved a problem with historic firearms: running out of ammunition and having to slowly reload a gun.”

“There have been, and there will be, times where many more than 10 rounds are needed to stop attackers,” Benitez wrote. “Yet, under this statute, the State says ‘too bad.'”

Bonta said larger capacity magazines are also important to mass shooters, allowing them to fire quickly into crowds of people without reloading. He said the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear the new standard for reviewing gun laws “did not create a regulatory straitjacket for states.”

Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, praised Benitez for a “thoughtful and in-depth approach.”

“Sure, the state will appeal, but the clock is ticking on laws that violate the Constitution,” Michel said.

California has been at the forefront of gun restrictions in the United States. Last week, California became the first state to call for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban assault weapons and gun sales to people under 21, among other changes. source


US judge strikes down California ban on high-capacity gun magazines

Sept 22 (Reuters) – A federal judge in California on Friday declared that state’s ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition unconstitutional, saying it violated the Second Amendment rights of firearms owners.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez in San Diego said California’s “sweeping ban” went too far by preventing people from using magazines for lawful purposes, including self-defense.

“The history and tradition of the Second Amendment clearly supports state laws against the use or misuse of firearms with unlawful intent, but not the disarmament of the law-abiding citizen,” Benitez wrote in a 71-page decision.

 

 

 


California cannot ban gun owners from having detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez won’t take effect immediately. California Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Democrat, has already filed a notice to appeal the ruling. The ban is likely to remain in effect while the case is still pending.

This is the second time Benitez has struck down California’s law banning certain types of magazines. The first time he struck it down — way back in 2017 — an appeals court ended up reversing his decision.

But last year, the U.S. Supreme Court set a new standard for how to interpret the nation’s gun laws. The new standard relies more on the historical tradition of gun regulation rather than public interests, including safety.

The Supreme Court ordered the case to be heard again in light of the new standards. It’s one of three high-profile challenges to California gun laws that are getting new hearings in court. The other two cases challenge California laws banning assault-style weapons and limiting purchases of ammunition.

Benitez ruled that “there is no American tradition of limiting ammunition capacity.” He said detachable magazines “solved a problem with historic firearms: running out of ammunition and having to slowly reload a gun.”

“There have been, and there will be, times where many more than 10 rounds are needed to stop attackers,” Benitez wrote. “Yet, under this statute, the State says ‘too bad.’”

Bonta said larger capacity magazines are also important to mass shooters, allowing them to fire quickly into crowds of people without reloading. He said the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear the new standard for reviewing gun laws “did not create a regulatory straitjacket for states.”

“We believe that the district court got this wrong,” Bonta said. “We will move quickly to correct this incredibly dangerous mistake.”

Chuck Michel, president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, praised Benitez for a “thoughtful and in-depth approach.”

“Sure, the state will appeal, but the clock is ticking on laws that violate the Constitution,” Michel said.

California has become a authoritarian and made a host of illegal gun restrictions in the United States over the years. Last week, California became the first state to call for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban assault weapons and gun sales to people under 21, among other changes.

the psycotic authoritarian Gov. Gavin Newsom called Benitez’s ruling “a radical decision.”

“Judge Benitez is not even pretending anymore. This is politics, pure and simple,” Newsom said. “It’s time to wake up. Unless we enshrine a Right to Safety in the Constitution, we are at the mercy of ideologues like Judge Benitez.”

yeah its is politics pure and simple mr authoritarian Gov. Gavin Newsom you want the ability for you and your party to steal and take over the US by taken over the constituition and what it stands for by using help as your guise!

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Penal Code § 32310 PC – Large-Capacity Magazines – California Law

California Penal Code § 32310 PC makes it illegal to possess, sell, purchase, give away, import, transport, or manufacture large-capacity magazines (LCMs). These are defined as any ammunition-feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds.

High capacity magazine against pile of bullets

PC 32310 violations can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies.

This rule has some limited exceptions, such as for law enforcement and military personnel in certain circumstances. Plus, a federal judge on September 22, 2023 ruled that banning large-capacity magazines is unconstitutional, though this court ruling will likely be stayed while the 9th Circuit reviews the issue.

 

 

1. What is the current law regarding high-capacity magazines?

On September 22, 2023, a federal judge in California held that PC 32310 – the state ban on large-capacity magazines – was unconstitutional. Though the ban will likely stay in place while the Ninth Circuit considers the issue.

On November 30, 2021, the Ninth Circuit upheld the state ban on large-capacity magazines. However, the United States Supreme Court vacated that opinion and asked the court to reconsider the issue in light of a recent United States Supreme Court ruling regarding firearm rights.1

The magazines in question had been prohibited since 2000. At that time, the law said that those who owned them before are now allowed to keep them. In 2016, this provision was removed, meaning no gun owners could possess a large-capacity magazine.

2. What was the court’s reasoning?

In overturning the ban on LCMs, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego argued, “This case is about a California state law that makes it a crime to keep and bear common firearm magazines typically possessed for lawful purposes. Based on the text, history and tradition of the 2nd Amendment, this law is clearly unconstitutional.”

3. What is the law under California Penal Code 32310?

Under Penal Code 32310(a), it is a crime if you:

manufacture or cause to be manufactured, import into the state, keep for sale, or offer or expose for sale, or give, lend, buy, or receive any large-capacity magazine…

Penal Code 32310(c) goes on to make it a crime to possess a large capacity magazine, regardless of the date it was acquired.2

A “large-capacity magazine” means any ammunition-feeding device with the capacity to hold more than 10 rounds.3

According to California law, any of the following are not large capacity magazines:

  • a feeding device that has been altered so that it cannot hold more than 10 rounds;
  • a .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device; and,
  • a tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm.4

Large-capacity magazines were also prohibited under California Penal Code 16590, the State’s statute governing “generally prohibited weapons.”5

Please note that certain people and/or situations are exempt from prosecution with regards to large-capacity magazines. For example, members of law enforcement agencies may sell, transfer, or possess these ammunition holders.6

3.1. Penal Code 32310 was upheld as constitutional before recent decision

PC 32310 is a relatively new law. It arose out of California Senate Bill 1446, which Gov. Brown signed into law in 2016. The California Penal Code was amended to include PC 32310 after the signing.

Some parties challenged the new law and stated it was unconstitutional in that it violated gun owners’ equal protection rights. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, however, recently upheld SB 1446 and PC 32310. The Court ruled that the new law is constitutional and does not violate any rights.7

4. Are there legal defenses to PC 32310 violations?

If you are accused under Penal Code 32310, you can challenge the accusation by raising a legal defense. A good defense can often get a charge reduced or even dismissed. Please note, though, that it is critical to hire an attorney for the best defense.

Three common defenses to PC 32310 accusations are:

  1. Coerced confession;
  2. Entrapment; and/or,
  3. No probable cause.

4.1. Coerced confession

This defense applies to the situation where you were charged under PC 32310 following a confession.

California law states that police may not use overbearing measures to coerce a confession.

If you can show that the police coerced you into a confession, then:

  1. The judge may exclude the confession from evidence; or,
  2. The case could get dropped if you were pressured into confessing to a crime you did not commit.

4.2. Entrapment

In many PC 32310 cases, suspects are often arrested and accused after an undercover officer buys a large capacity magazine from them. Any later charges under Penal Code 32310, though, must get dropped if the officer lured you into committing the crime.

This “luring” is known as entrapment. It applies to overbearing official conduct on the part of police officers, like pressure, harassment, fraud, flattery, or threats. Entrapment is an acceptable legal defense provided that you show you only committed the crime because of the entrapment.

4.3. No probable cause

This line of defense tries to exclude evidence that is being used against you for a PC 32310 violation.

California law says that a police officer must have probable cause to detain or arrest a suspect. “Probable cause” essentially means that there is a reasonable belief that you committed a crime (based on all of the circumstances).

If you were stopped or arrested without probable cause, then any evidence obtained following the improper stop/arrest could get excluded from the case. The exclusion of evidence regarding large capacity magazines could result in the dismissal or reduction of charges.

5. Penalties, punishment, and sentencing

A violation of Penal Code 32310 is a type of wobbler offense. This means it can be punished as either a California misdemeanor or a felony.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year.8

If charged as a felony, the crime is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a term of:

  • 16 months;
  • Two years; or,
  • Three years.9

The possession of a large-capacity magazine is a wobblette offense, meaning that it can be punished as either a California infraction or a misdemeanor.

If charged as an infraction, the crime is punishable by a fine not to exceed $100 for each magazine.10

If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by:

  • A fine of up to $100 (per magazine); and/or;
  • A sentence of up to one year in county jail.11

6. Related offenses

There are three crimes related to illegal acts with large-capacity magazines. These are:

  1. Carrying a concealed weapon – PC 25400;
  2. Carrying a loaded weapon – PC 25850; and,
  3. Assault weapon crimes – PC 30600

6.1. Carrying a Concealed Weapon – PC 25400

Penal Code 25400 PC, California’s carrying a concealed weapon law, makes it a crime to carry a concealed firearm on your person or in your vehicle.12

This law applies to both loaded and unloaded firearms.

Further, you must know that you are concealing a gun to be guilty under PC 25400.13

Absent aggravating circumstances, carrying a concealed firearm is a misdemeanor. If convicted of this misdemeanor, you may be punished with:

  • Up to one year in county jail; and/or,
  • A maximum fine of $1,000.14

A PC 25400 violation can be charged as a felony if certain aggravating circumstances are present in a case (for example, you have a prior conviction of a California firearm offense).

6.2. Carrying a Loaded Weapon – PC 25850

California Penal Code 25850 PC makes it a crime to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle or public place.15

A “public place” is any place that is open to common and general use and is readily accessible by anyone wishing to go there.16

As with the crime of carrying a concealed weapon under PC 25400, most Penal Code 25850 crimes will be charged as misdemeanors. If so, they are punishable by:

  • Up to one year in county jail; and/or,
  • A maximum fine of $1,000.17

However, as with charges under PC 25400, acts of carrying a loaded weapon can be charged as a felony if certain aggravating factors are present in a case.

6.3. Assault Weapon Crimes – PC 30600

Penal Code 30600 PC is California’s law regarding assault weapons and .50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) rifles. It prohibits:

  • manufacturing,
  • selling,
  • giving away,
  • lending, and/or
  • possessing

assault weapons and BMG rifles, except in very specific circumstances.

The penalties for violating PC 30600 will vary from minor infractions to very severe felonies. These are punishable by both a fine and/or a prison term. The specific penalty will vary depending on the specific act you commit and the underlying facts of the case.

On June 4, 2021, a federal judge overturned California’s ban on assault weapons on the grounds that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. But assault weapons remain illegal in California while the state appeals the ruling.18


Legal References:

  1.  Kevin Rector and Matthew Ormseth, Federal judge again overturns California ban on high-capacity gun magazinesLos Angeles Times (September 22, 2023). Maura Dolan, U.S. appeals court upholds California’s ban on large-capacity firearms magazines, Los Angeles Times (November 30, 2021). See also Duncan v. Becerra, No. 19-55376, D.C. No. 3:17-cv-01017-BEN-JLB (9th Cir, August 14, 2020)affirming Duncan v. Becerra, 366 F. Supp. 3d 1131 (Southern District of California, 2019)(“California Penal Code § 32310 is hereby declared to be unconstitutional in its entirety and shall be enjoined.”); Teri Figueroa, 9th Circuit ends California ban on high-capacity magazinesLA Times (August 14, 2020). New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen (2022) 597 U.S.    , 142 S. Ct. 2111, 213 L. Ed. 2d 387 (prohibits states from requiring people to show a special need for self defense in order to publicly carry handguns). Duncan v. Bonta (9th Cir. 2022) U.S. App. LEXIS 21320.
  2. California Penal Code 32310(c) PC; see note 1.
  3. California Penal Code 16740 PC; see note 1.
  4. See same.
  5. California Penal Code 16590 PC; see note 1.
  6. California Penal Code 33225 PC.
  7. The court case is Wiese v. Becerra.
  8. California Penal Code 32310(a) PC.
  9. See same.
  10. California Penal Code 32310(c) PC.
  11. See same.
  12. California Penal Code 25400 PC.
  13. See same.
  14. California Penal Code 25400(c)(7).
  15. California Penal Code 25850 PC.
  16. California Jury Instructions – Criminal – CALCJI 16.431.
  17. California Penal Code 25850(c) PC.
  18. California Penal Code 30600 PC; Don Thompson, California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons is unconstitutional, federal judge rulesLos Angeles Times (June 4, 2021)(“U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court.”)

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