It is now again allowed in California to own an AR-15.
According to Breitbart, a federal judge lifted California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” on Thursday, enabling the trade and possession of the firearms.
In a 79-page order, U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez overturned the state’s ban.
Benitez’s decision followed litigation filed by the Second Amendment Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and other individual plaintiffs.
Benitez referenced the legal use of semi-automatic guns in self-defense in his opinion, querying why such incidents were less covered than fatal mass shootings.
“We hear constantly about mass shootings for days and weeks and on anniversaries.”
“But how often do we celebrate the saving of the life of Jane Doe because she was able to use a semi-automatic weapon to defend herself and her family from attackers?”
Benitez said that violent crime utilizing these firearms is infrequent in California.
“In California, while modern semiautomatics are not rare, they are rarely the problem.”
“For example, in 2022, only three ‘assault weapons’ were used in violent California crimes, according to the Attorney General’s annual report, ‘Firearms Used in the Commission of Crimes.’”
Benitez accused the California legislature of disregarding the Second Amendment in enacting the 1989 statute prohibiting the new sale and possession of firearms, calling the current setup “constitutionally untenable.”
Following the verdict, California Gov. Gavin Newsom slammed Benitez in a tweet, alleging him to be a “NRA puppet.”
Today, a right-wing, NRA puppet — Judge Roger Benitez— tried to strip away CA’s three-decade-old assault weapon ban — comparing an assault rifle to a knife.
An absolute disgrace.
This is exactly why America needs a constitutional amendment to enshrine commonsense gun safety…
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) October 19, 2023
This isn’t the first time a federal judge has criticized California’s firearms regulations.
Benitez previously overturned California’s ban on the new sale of standard-capacity magazines.
“U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez delivered another scathing rebuke to the state of California on Thursday, just weeks after declaring the state’s ban on “large capacity” magazines unconstitutional. This time around it was the state’s ban on “assault weapons” that was before the…
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 19, 2023
Benitez is delaying the implementation of his decision for ten days to allow California Attorney General Rob Bonta to file an appeal.