On Monday, a federal appeals panel indefinitely suspended a decision by a federal judge in San Diego that overturned California’s three-decade ban on assault weapons.
The order of the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel came in response to a challenge to the ruling filed earlier this month by the state.
“This leaves our assault gun laws in effect while appeals continue,” state Attorney General Rob Bonta wrote on his Twitter account in response to the action. âWe will not stop standing up for these life-saving laws.
In early June, US District Judge Roger T. Benitez released a 94-page ruling overturning the state’s ban on assault weapons.
“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of national defense weapon and national defense equipment,” Benitez wrote in the ruling. âGood for both home and battle, the AR-15 is the kind of multipurpose weapon that sits at the intersection of the types of firearms protected by District of Columbia v. Heller and United States v. Miller. “
Bonta denounced this comparison, saying: âTo equate the guns that were used in many of this country’s deadliest mass shootings with Swiss Army knives has no basis in law or in fact. Banning assault weapons will not end all gun violence, but it is an important tool the state has to protect the safety of Californians while respecting the rights of law-abiding residents who choose to possess firearms.
The decision, which stems from a lawsuit filed by local gun supporters, marked the third time in recent years that Benitez has blocked state laws relating to guns or ammunition. The judge had previously ruled against California laws that banned high-capacity magazines and required background checks for ammunition purchases, concluding in each case that state gun laws had violated the rights of the second. Californians amendment.
In the assault weapons ruling, Benitez wrote that “the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly licensed in most other states.”
At a San Francisco press conference with Bonta announcing the appeal, Gov. Gavin Newsom condemned Benitez and his story of overturning California gun laws, calling the judge “a 100% affiliate of the lobby. Guns and the National Rifle Association, âwhile criticizing the timing of the ruling, which was released on National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
The Firearms Policy Coalition, which filed the lawsuit that formed the basis for Benitez’s decision, has pledged to “aggressively plead this case on appeal and will take all necessary steps to defend the court’s legally and historically correct decision until ‘to and before the Supreme Court of the United States. “
The FPC took issue with Newsom’s “outrageous and callous personal attacks” on Benitez, which the group said “show (Newsom) ‘s deep and continued disrespect for the rule of law, the judiciary, the Constitution and the human rights of Californian citizens “.