On Friday, a federal judge in California overturned the state's three decade-old ban on "assault weapons," citing a violation of the Second Amendment.
The permanent injunction on the 1989 restriction of assault weapons in California will take effect in 30 days, Fox News reported. "Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive," said U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez.
The state's definition of illegal military-style rifles, Benitez argues, bans firearms that other states allow, depriving Californians of their rights. He noted that despite the ban, there are an estimated 185,569 assault weapons registered with the state.
Benitez called the AR-15 "a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle," comparing the rifle to a Swiss Army knife. California Governor Gavin Newson called the ruling "a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians," slamming Benitez's comparison of the rifle to the Swiss Army knife.
"One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles," Benitez said in the ruling, referring to the AR-15 as "ordinary guns" in comparison to high powered guns like bazookas, howitzers, or machine guns that he said should only be used in the military. "The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter."
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said the state will appeal the ruling.
According to Fox News, "The state is also appealing Benitez's 2017 ruling against the state’s ban on the sales and purchases of magazines holding more than 10 bullets and his 2020 decision blocking a 2019 California law requiring background checks for anyone buying ammunition."