A federal appeals court on Monday put a hold an a judge’s decision to overturn California’s ban on assault weapons.
In early June, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez ruled that California’s 30-year ban on assault weapons was unconstitutional. In his ruling, Benitez compared the weapons to a”Swiss Army Knife.”
Less than a week after Benitez issued his ruling, California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) announced that he had filed an appeal to Benitez’s decision.
The Los Angeles Times reports that decision to place a hold on Benitez’s ruling was issued by a panel of 9th Circuit judges Barry G. Silverman, Jacqueline Nguyen and Ryan D. Nelson.
We won’t stop defending these life-saving laws.”
When he announced his appeal, Bonta called Benitez’s conclusion”disturbing and upsetting and of excellent concern.” California state officials argued in their appeal that five federal appeals courts had rejected constitutional challenges to ring of assault weapons previously.
The Times notes that California is one of seven countries and alongside the District of Columbia to possess an assault weapons ban. This present case will likely go to the Supreme Court, which currently has a traditional supermajority.
“This case isn’t about extraordinary weapons lying in the outside limits of Second Amendment protection. The prohibited’assault weapons’ are not bazookas, howitzers, or machineguns. Those arms are dangerous and solely useful for military purposes,” Benitez wrote in his ruling.
“Rather, the firearms deemed’assault weapons’ are fairly ordinary, popular, contemporary rifles. This is an average case about average firearms used in average ways for average purposes,” he added.