A California judge has lifted the ban on assault weapons and said the popular AR-15 rifle “can be used at home and in combat.”
Federal Judge Roger Benitez said the law violates the right to possess weapons in the Second Amendment.
Judge Benitez found that California’s way of defining military-style rifles was robbing state residents of weapons permitted elsewhere in the United States.
Governor Gavin Newsom said the ruling was a threat to public safety.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said authorities would appeal, but the judge was suspended for 30 days to approve the appeal.
At the beginning of the ruling, Judge Benitez said, “Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is the perfect combination of household weapons and mainland defenses. Suitable for both household and combat. “.
He said current California law prohibits “a fairly common and popular modern rifle.”
“This proceeding is not about anomalous weapons that are at the limits of the protection of Article 2 of the Amendment. The prohibited” assault weapons “are not bazookas, howitzers, or machine guns. These weapons are dangerous and are only useful for military purposes, “said the ruling.
In a preliminary decision last year, judges said the complex definition of assault weapons in California could mean that ordinary gun owners could unknowingly own illegal firearms. Said.
Democrat Governor Newsom described the ruling as “a slap to a family who lost a loved one with this weapon”-AR-15.
Justice ministry officials defend the law, claiming that assault weapons are more dangerous and are often used in criminal and mass shootings.
Friday’s ruling followed the proceedings filed by various gun advocates in 2019. They argued that California law does not allow gun owners to use large magazines with regular rifles unless they violate the ban on assault rifles.
In California, the first assault weapons restrictions were introduced in 1989. The state has some of the strictest firearm regulations in the United States.
The ruling came amid continued concerns about gun violence, which President Joe Biden described as an infectious disease.