The decision by the Ninth Circuit striking down California’s magazine ban was a blow that the most anti-gun state in the country is having a hard time dealing with. Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Governor Gavin Newsom have until August 28th to decide what their next step will be, and many gun control advocates in the state want the AG to continue wasting taxpayer dollars by appealing the ruling and taking it up to the next level.
California’s LCM law creates precisely the type of reasonable limitations the 2nd Amendment allows. Contrary to what the majority decided in Duncan v. Becerra, this law isn’t about self-defense at all. Experts in the Duncan case identified no instance in which any law-abiding Californian has ever needed to use an LCM in self-defense (the law lets people possess as many 10-round magazines as they want).
In brushing off the lack of connection between LCMs and self-defense, the panel majority elevated unsubstantiated fears of gun owners rather than Californians’ actual safety. While some gun owners might feel safer with unlimited access to the most lethal firepower, I think most Californians want to actually be safer from the mass shootings, hate crimes and gun violence that have become all too routine. Evidence tells us that protecting people from this type of violence is exactly what gun safety laws like those in California do.
The panel majority should have acknowledged these realities, as well as the reams of evidence suggesting that gun violence would be less lethal if shooters lacked access to LCMs. Survivors of the shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks were able to escape through a window while the shooter reloaded; he was using LCMs. How many more people would have run free if the gunman was forced to change magazines after 10 rounds?
The Duncan court ignored all this and instead approved a nearly unlimited right to use LCMs in self-defense, so long as the industry has marketed enough of them that they are “common” in the nation. No other federal appeals court has agreed with this extreme vision of the 2nd Amendment, which essentially gives the gun industry veto power over gun legislation.
I desperately want to live in a state where my physical safety is prioritized over faulty reasoning about self-defense rights, and I hope California’s attorney general will ask the full court to reconsider, and correct, the panel’s 2-1 ruling. But even if this outlier opinion is reversed, judges appointed to the federal bench in the last three years will continue to pose a threat to California’s lifesaving gun laws. The only way to stop this threat moving forward is to appoint judges who know that gun rights, like all other constitutional rights, are not unlimited. Laws protecting our safety can — and must — coexist with the 2nd Amendment.
The author relies on flawed legal reasoning presented elsewhere but fails to note that those other rulings all failed to apply the Heller Test. Since these magazines aren’t just common but standard on most magazine-fed firearms sold outside of restricted states, the argument and those rulings fail.
Then again, the author, the litigation director at the Giffords Law Center, doesn’t actually care about any of that. She has an agenda and will manipulate the public in any way she can to achieve that goal.
Take this paragraph, for example:
On the other hand, the risks of using a gun in self-defense are also heightened for Black Americans, as they can find themselves in danger of being shot for exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. Lawful gun possession played a role in the killings of Philando Castile and Breonna Taylor. Similar risks are present for women being threatened by their intimate partners: Domestic abusers are five times more likely to kill their partners if a firearm is present in the home.
Breonna Taylor and Philando Castile were both shot by police officers who thought they were dealing with armed criminals rather than law-abiding citizens. While both cases were tragedies, it’s absurd to argue that Americans should not be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights because of them.
Honestly, Giffords should be disgusted by this behavior, but they’re not. Anything is fair game so long as it advances their cause, even if they have to blame the victims to do it.
As for larger-capacity magazines, the truth is that banning these magazines doesn’t stop criminals from obtaining them, but it does inhibit law-abiding citizens from having the means to protect themselves from the mob. Giffords doesn’t make the case that such magazines aren’t necessary, though I kind of wish they had. It would be comedy gold.