SAN MARCOS, Calif. – High-capacity magazines are still banned in California.
In a split decision, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a ruling by two of its judges and upheld the state’s ban on equipment that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
The local group, San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention, or SD4GVP, applauded Tuesday’s ruling.
“Hopefully that will cut down on the ability for people to shoot into crowds with large-capacity magazines,” the group’s president Ron Marcus said. “There’s no reason that somebody would need that many bullets simply for self-defense.”
But gun-rights advocates disagree.
“It’s unfortunate because basically what we are doing is we are making the possession of a normal piece of equipment a felony,” said Michael Schwartz, executive director of San Diego County Gun Owners PAC. “If you have a magazine that holds a lot of ammunition, that gives you a better chance of defending your life against violent attack.”
While supporters of the ban said the ruling doesn’t impose on Second Amendment rights, Schwartz argues it does, adding the state should cater towards gun owners who follow the rules.
“Making something that is normal, illegal for sane, trained and law-abiding gun owners really isn’t going to stop crime,” Schwartz said. “All it’s going to do is put a pretty severe burden on law-abiding citizens.”
In 2018, San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez said a state law prohibiting buying or selling large-capacity magazines was unconstitutional. That 2000 law banned new sales but allowed people to keep the magazines if they already had them.
Now that his ruling is overturned, it’s unclear what’s next for gun owners.
“What do people do, people that have high-capacity magazines now in ca, when do they become a felon?” Schwartz asked.
Gun rights groups across the country plan to appeal the decision at the U.S. Supreme Court while others are pushing for stricter gun regulation.
“Any laws that we can pass, any enforcement that we can do to keep guns out of the wrong hands is worth doing,” Marcus said.