Judge rules CA’s ban on assault weapons is unconstitutional

“A federal judge on Friday struck down California’s ban on assault weapons as unconstitutional but left plenty of time for the state to file an appeal,’ as NBC News is reporting.

“The state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court, the judge wrote.

“Judge Roger T. Benitez, who has favored pro-gun groups in past rulings, described the AR-15 rifle, used in many of the nation’s deadliest mass shootings, as an ideal weapon.

“’Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment,’ he wrote in Friday’s decision.

“’Yet, the State of California makes it a crime to have an AR15 type rifle,’ Benitez continued. ‘Therefore, this Court declares the California statutes to be unconstitutional.’

“He praised the AR-15 as a rifle that should be formally protected by the law for its ‘militia readiness.’

“Gov. Gavin Newsom was indignant in a statement late Friday.

“‘The fact that this judge compared the AR-15 — a weapon of war that’s used on the battlefield — to a Swiss Army Knife completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon,’ he said.

“The office of Attorney General Rob Bonta said it would appeal.

“’Today’s decision is fundamentally flawed, and we will be appealing it,’ Bonta said in a statement Friday night. ‘There is no sound basis in law, fact, or common sense for equating assault rifles with swiss army knives.’

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

5 thoughts on “Judge rules CA’s ban on assault weapons is unconstitutional”

    1. More people are killed by “rifles” than “knives.” But even more are killed by “Firearms not stated” which includes rifles, etc. No category for Swiss Army knives.

    2. And of course handguns kill the most, so perhaps John is making an argument that handguns are what should be restricted and regulated?

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