Ninth Circuit Stays Assault Weapon Ban Ruling

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

When U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez issued his ruling on California’s assault weapon ban, he probably knew it wouldn’t be viewed fondly by his colleagues. Not in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, anyway. That’s why he issued a stay on his own ruling.

However, he could also lift that stay anytime he wanted.

I suppose that’s why the court issued its own stay.

SACRAMENTO (CBS13/CNN) — A federal appeals court has granted California a stay on its assault weapons ban as the state appealed a decision to lift it.

As the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals considers the state’s appeal of the decision by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez in early June, the state requested a stay on lifting the ban, which the court granted Monday.

State Attorney General Rob Bonta celebrated the 9th Circuit’s decision on Twitter.

US District Judge Roger Benitez on June 5 blocked California from enforcing its ban, saying it violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms and deprives Californians from owning assault-style weapons commonly allowed in other states. He granted a 30-day stay on the injunction.

In his ruling, Benitez likened the AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife, arguing that both are a “perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.” His comparison drew criticism from California Democrats and gun safety activists, while gun rights advocates celebrated the ruling and said they would continue their challenge at the Ninth Circuit — and Supreme Court if necessary.

Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed to fight that decision, calling it “a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period.”

Of course, this is the typical anti-gun insanity we see.

I’m constantly amazed at just how vilified the AR-15 and similar rifles are despite the hard facts that few crimes are committed with such weapons. Even mass shootings, which anti-gunners love to bring up in discussions about assault weapon bans, are mostly committed with handguns.

As a result, such bans don’t really make anyone safer.

Yet that’s never been a fact that California’s state government seems to be inclined to acknowledge. They don’t like guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens. I guess they’re OK with criminals having them, since that’s who is going to have them all as it stands, and they don’t seem to be doing much to address that, but what else is new?

The fact of the matter is that Benitez’s ruling was always going to set the stage for a Supreme Court showdown.

With luck, the Court will hear the case and then put an end to these kinds of bans forever. Especially in light of the Heller decision that made it clear that weapons in common use could not be banned by the government. Somehow, people forget that’s how the ruling went, and by “people” I mean judges who should remember that part.

We’ll have to see how this ends up shaking out, but nothing in this is surprising. We always knew the Ninth Circus wouldn’t let Benitez’s ruling stand on its own, nor would the state of California. We also know where they’re likely to come down on the issue, thus necessitating a potential Supreme Court case.

We also know how the Supreme Court is likely to rule on something like this, and California isn’t going to like it.

Honestly, there are few surprises in this case so far. We just have to follow all the necessary steps before we can move forward and hopefully restore the Second Amendment rights for millions of Californians.