Judge Places California's High-Capacity Magazine Ban On Hold

On Thursday, a federal judge issued an injunction against California’s high-capacity magazine ban, which was set to go into effect on July 1. Last year, California voters voted on and passed Prop. 63, which would prohibit the possession of high-capacity magazines (any magazine that could hold more than 10 rounds). Under the law, if a person was caught in possession of these magazines, they would face a $100 fine per magazine and a year in jail.

Thursday’s injunction temporarily places a hold on the law while the judge reviews the case filed by a handful of gun rights groups, including the California Rifle and Pistol Association.

“If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property,” San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez said in his 66-page order.

Judge Benitez also pointed out the very flaw in California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s arguments.

“Persons with violent intentions have used large capacity magazines, machine guns, hand grenades and pipe bombs, notwithstanding laws criminalizing their possession or use,” Benitez wrote. “Trying to legislatively outlaw the commonly possessed weapon de jour is like wearing flip flops on a slippery slope. A downhill slide is not hard to foresee.”

Gun rights groups are excited about the injunction, but they know the fight is far from over.

“This court recognized that the Second Amendment is not a second-class right and that law-abiding gun owners have the right to own these magazines to defend themselves and their families,” said Chuck Michel, attorney for the NRA and the California Rifle & Pistol Association.

Of course, gun control proponents are upset by the news.

“Restricting large-capacity magazines and preventing them from ending up in the wrong hands is critical for the well-being of our communities,” Becerra said in a statement.

Gavin Newsom, the bill’s primary proponent, issued a statement, blaming the “gun lobby” for the injunction.

As of now, it is unclear whether or not Becerra will appeal the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.