California Gun Control Law Overturned: Judge Says High-Capacity Magazines Are Legal


A California judge has overturned the law banning so-called “high capacity” magazines for sporting rifles and handguns. California Proposition 63 passed in 2016 banned magazines with more than 10 cartridges.

A 71-page decision by Federal District Judge Roger Benitez, a George W. Bush appointment, condemned California’s law and declared it null.

One government solution to a few madmen with guns is a law that makes criminals responsible, law-abiding people wanting larger magazines simply to protect themselves. The history and tradition of the Second Amendment clearly support state laws against the use or misuse of firearms with unlawful intent, but not the disarmament of the law-abiding citizen. That kind of solution is an infringement on the Constitutional right of citizens to keep and bear arms. The adoption of the Second Amendment was a freedom calculus decided long ago by our first citizens who cherished individual freedom with its risks more than the subservient security of a British ruler or the smothering safety of domestic lawmakers. The freedom they fought for was worth fighting for then, and that freedom is entitled to be preserved still.

This is not the first time that the magazine ban under Prop 63 was close to being overturned by the same judge. He struck down the law in 2020 only for it to be restored by the Ninth Circuit.

The laws that prohibit magazines with more than 10 rounds were passed by 14 states and the District of Columbia in response to the recent mass shootings. They ignore the fact, however, that a person who is predisposed to commit violent crimes is not likely to care if they are caught with a magazine that holds 17 rounds.