In 2017, Judge Roger Benitez, senior judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, struck down California’s ban on standard capacity magazines which the state had arbitrarily ruled to be “high capacity.” That ruling was overturned by an en banc Ninth Circuit ruling. The case was then appealed to the Supreme Court which vacated that ruling based on its Bruen decision, and remanded it for reconsideration. September 22, 2023, Judge Benitez struck down California’s ban as clearly unconstitutional.
Here are excerpts from his well-reasoned and articulate 71-page ruling:
“The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution ‘guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.’”
“The guarantee protects ‘the possession of weapons that are “in common use.”’”
“It’s our duty as judges to interpret the Constitution based on the text and original understanding of the relevant provision—not on public policy considerations, or worse, fear of public opprobrium.”
“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 Second Amendment, this law is clearly unconstitutional.”