U.S. District Court strikes down California assault weapon ban
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled California’s ban on so-called assault rifles is unconstitutional.
Judge Roger Benitez wrote:
The Court does not lightly enjoin a state statute. However, while the Court is mindful that government has a legitimate interest in protecting the public from gun violence, it is equally mindful that the Constitution remains a shield from the tyranny of the majority. As Senator Edward Kennedy said, “[t]he judiciary is – and is often the only – protector of individual rights that are at the heart of our democracy.” Law-abiding citizens are imbued with the unalienable right to keep and bear modern firearms.
Benitez suspended his order for 30 days to allow the state time to appeal – which it most certainly intends to do.
Opponents of the decision were apoplectic, which should not be a surprise. Supporters were elated, which is also predictable. The only real question is how the case fares on appeal – it would go to the 9th Circuit, which recently ruled there was no Second Amendment right to open carry.
Ultimately, the Benitez ruling may end up before the Supreme Court, where the conventional wisdom believes the conservative majority would uphold Benitez. That’s for the future to decide. Until then, the Second Amendment gets a win.