American News Jun 16, 2021 8:08 PM EST

22 states urge Ninth Circuit to uphold repeal of California 'assault weapons' ban

After a federal judge overturned California's ban on "assault weapons" earlier this month, 22 states announced Wednesday that the coalition filed a court brief in support of the decision.

22 states urge Ninth Circuit to uphold repeal of California 'assault weapons' ban
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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After a federal judge overturned California's ban on "assault weapons" earlier this month, 22 states announced Wednesday that the coalition filed a court brief in support of the decision.

Led by Arizona, the collective is urging the Ninth Circuit to uphold the court's ruling that the ban had violated the Second Amendment, according to Fox News.

The brief comes as the state moves to appeal the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court, which the federal judge that overturned the ban allowed 30 days to do such.

The restriction, which looked to ban a vague category of "assault weapons," was enacted in 1989. According to the judge, there are 185,569 "assault weapons" in California, going by the law's text.

In the amicus brief, the states argue that the law targets guns used by "millions of law-abiding citizens for a myriad of lawful purposes."

"California's law criminalizes mere possession of commonly-used arms even in the home for self-defense, and therefore the law strikes at the core of the Second Amendment," the brief states. "Therefore, even under a balancing-approach, the Court should apply strict scrutiny. By outright banning constitutionally protected arms, California has failed to engage in any tailoring, let alone the narrow tailoring required to pass strict scrutiny."

Arizona was joined by attorney generals from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming in signing the brief.

"Our Second Amendment is constantly under attack from out-of-touch Californians and ignorant special interest groups," said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "America must never abandon her law-abiding citizens and their fundamental right to defend themselves."

Officials in California said that assault weapons were more dangerous and deadly than other firearms, and are more frequently used in serious crimes.

Officials also slammed U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez describing assault weapons as a "Swiss army knife," and the perfect combination of a home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment in his ruling.

"Equating firearms that have been used in many of the deadliest mass shootings in this country with Swiss Army knives has no basis in law or fact," Attorney General Rob Bonta said, adding that the ban was key in protecting Californians.

"California’s assault weapons ban has saved lives, and we refuse to let these weapons of war back onto our streets," Gov. Gavin Newsom said via press statement. "This ban was enacted after a shooting that took the lives of five schoolchildren and injured countless more, and my administration will do whatever it takes to continue protecting Californians and leading the nation in gun safety laws. This is a fight California will never back down from, period."

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