California Ban On Assault Weapons Overturned
Guns lined up at California Attorney General press conference in Sacramento
Sonora, CA — California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons has been overturned by a federal judge that ruled it violates the constitutional right to bear arms.
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. California’s attorney general had argued that assault weapons as defined by the law are more dangerous than other firearms and are disproportionately used in crimes and mass shootings. In the end, Judge Benitez determined that those guns are overwhelmingly owned for legal purposes.
The first restriction on assault weapons in California came in1989. Since then, there have been multiple updates to that law. The state plans to appeal the ruling.
Also of note, a measure that would have raised taxes on gun sales in California failed to pass the state Assembly. The bill called for a 10% tax on handguns and an 11% tax on rifles, precursor parts and ammunition. Opponents argued retailers would just pass that cost onto consumers. Money from the tax would have funded gun violence research and prevention programs.