In California, it’s well-known that you can’t buy magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. Oh, if you had a 30 round or other so-called “high capacity” magazine from before the ban, that was fine. “If you like your magazine, you can keep your magazine,” kind of thing.
However, recently, the grandfather clause that permitted that was removed, requiring people with those magazines to either remove them from the state, sell them to a licensed gun dealer (and why they would buy something they couldn’t sell is beyond me), or turn it in to law enforcement for destruction.
Unsurprisingly, the rule was challenged and a preliminary injunction was issued. This is a logical step designed to keep people from being forced to lose magazines they can’t recoup should the challengers win.
Then, in a shocking turn of events, the Ninth Circuit actually affirmed the preliminary injunction.
Earlier today, a Ninth Circuit Panel affirmed the district court’s grant of the preliminary injunction. The panel found that the lower court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that “magazines for a weapon likely fall within the scope of the Second Amendment.” The opinion also stated that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it found the challenged statutes did not survive intermediate scrutiny.
For a law to survive a constitutional challenge, the intermediate scrutiny standard requires that a law further an important government interest and do so by means that are substantially related to that interest. The district court concluded that the magazine ban contained in Proposition 63 did not, and the Panel agreed. The decision also found that the preliminary injunction was proper under a Takings Clause challenge.
The case is set to go to trial in the near future. While this can be perceived as a win for California gun owners, it is only temporary. The trial may result in a permanent injunction being issued which, as was the case with the preliminary injunction, can be appealed to the Ninth Circuit. Alternatively, the district court could find in favor of the state, which would still allow the Plaintiffs to appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Regardless of the outcome at the district court, you can likely count on an appeal.
That last paragraph is important, because yes, it’s a temporary win.
To me, though, the shocking thing is the Ninth Circus (not an autocorrect) actually affirmed the preliminary injunction. They’re perhaps the most liberal court in the country, and while not all liberals are anti-gun, the vast majority are. If there’s going to be an anti-gun law upheld, it’ll be upheld in the Ninth before almost anywhere else in the country.
Yet they affirmed the injunction.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean much of anything. It’s a temporary injunction, after all, and they may feel like it’s right in this case, but figure it’ll only be a temporary reprieve for gun owners.
Or, maybe they actually think this is going too far. Who knows.
I wouldn’t get too excited, though. Again, Ninth Circus. Still, it gives a little breathing room for California gun owners with grandfathered magazines.