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California appeals ruling overturning state assault weapons ban

Atty of California. General Rob Bonta on Thursday appealed a federal court ruling that overturned the state’s ban on assault weapons, arguing the law is necessary “to protect the safety of Californians.”

The appeal seeks to overturn Friday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, who declared the state’s three-decade ban on assault weapons an unconstitutional violation of the rights of gun owners in California which “had no effect” in reducing mass shootings.

California Governor Gavin Newsom joined Bonta in making the announcement at Zuckerman San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, a leading facility for treating gunshot victims.

“California’s ban on assault weapons has saved lives, and we refuse to let these weapons of war return to our streets,” said Newsom, who was elected on a platform that included expanding gun control laws. “It’s a fight that California will never back down from, period.”

The judge issued a permanent injunction against the application of key provisions of the law, but suspended the order for 30 days to allow the state to appeal.

Bonta said his case Thursday with the San Francisco 9th Circuit Court of Appeals called for the suspension to be extended until the case is decided.

“The ban on 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. own guns, ”Bonta said. Thursday.

He was particularly critical of Benitez’s decision to liken the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to a Swiss army knife, with the judge calling it “good for home and battle.”

“To equate the guns that have been used in many of the deadliest mass shootings in this country with Swiss Army knives has no basis in law or in fact,” Bonta said.

California was the first state in the country to ban assault weapons when it acted more than three decades ago following a shooting at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton that killed five children and injured 29 others.

The original law banning the manufacture and sale of around 60 models of assault weapons was signed five months after the Stockton shooting by the government of the day. George Deukmejian, a Republican.

Lawmakers expanded the law several times over the following years to add a specification-based definition of assault weapons to prevent gun manufacturers from producing guns that are functionally identical to those that are. prohibited by model.

“This ban was enacted after a shooting that claimed the lives of five school children and injured countless more, and my administration will do everything in its power to continue to protect Californians and rule the country. gun safety laws, “said Newsom, who as lieutenant governor Proposition 63, a 2016 voter-approved initiative to toughen state law with measures including a ban on have large capacity ammunition stores.

The case has implications for gun laws beyond California. Six other states and the District of Columbia followed California in passing their own assault weapon bans, and Congress enacted a ban in 1994, though it expired 10 years later.

Benitez’s decision followed a 2019 lawsuit filed by three San Diego gun owners and advocacy groups, including the Firearms Policy Coalition, the California Gun Rights Foundation, and the Second Amendment Foundation.

The judge, who ruled against other California gun laws, said the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires protection of people’s right to bear arms. The Second Amendment, he wrote, “elevates the right of law-abiding and responsible citizens to use arms in defense of their homes and homes above all other interests.”

Benitez also took issue with state officials’ argument that the ban on assault weapons has reduced gun violence. He said the number of mass shootings was about the same as before the ban.

“The ban on assault weapons has had no effect,” Benitez wrote in his 94-page decision. “The Californian experiment is a failure.

But state officials said there is evidence the law prevented gun deaths.

On Thursday, Bonta cited a study from the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, which found that, over the past 12 years, the use of an assault weapon in a mass shooting has led to “six times more people shot by incident only when there was no assault weapon.

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