News & Politics

Huge Gun Victory in 9th Circuit Court. Send Thank You Notes to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

California’s high-capacity magazine limitations for guns “infringes on [the] fundamental right to self defense” and is therefore unconstitutional, according to a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals. Yes, the court previously known as the “9th Circus” for being the most Leftist, most overturned, and most wrong court in the land, ruled in favor of the rights of gun owners on Friday afternoon.

California deemed that the use or sale of magazines with a higher capacity than ten bullets (LCMs) are illegal. Voters passed the measure. The three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court ruled that the limitation is unconstitutional.

The Court said in its opinion that it was “keenly aware” of gun violence and the tragedies therein, and the decision has nothing to say about “issues not before us,” such as “assault weapons” bans.

…nor do we speculate about the legitimacy of bans on magazines holding far larger quantities of ammunition. Instead, we only address California’s ban on LCMs as it appears before us. We understand the purpose in passing this law. But even the laudable goal of reducing gun violence must comply with the Constitution. California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs infringes on the fundamental right to self-defense. It criminalizes the possession of half of all magazines in America today. It makes unlawful magazines that are commonly used in handguns by law- abiding citizens for self-defense. And it substantially burdens the core right of self-defense guaranteed to the people under the Second Amendment. It cannot stand. [Emphasis added.]

Related: Looters Break Into Philly Gun Store. It Doesn’t Go Well for Them.

The National Rifle Association says the decision will have “repercussions nationwide,” not just for the Western states.

You can thank President Donald J. Trump for that decision Friday because it was one of his appointees who authored the majority opinion.

ABC News reports that the decision makes Gabby Gifford’s gun-grabbing group very unhappy.

The decision written by an appellate judge appointed by President Donald Trump “should put gun safety advocates across the country on high alert,” said Giffords Law Center Litigation Director Hannah Shearer. “These judges are gaining potentially irreversible inroads on our appellate courts.”

Related: The Morning Briefing: Buy All the Guns Now, America

The Michael Bloomberg-affiliated anti-self-defense group, “Everytown USA,” said the decision wouldn’t withstand the scrutiny of an en banc hearing of the full 9th Circuit Court.

“This ruling is an extreme outlier” given those earlier decisions, said Eric Tirschwell, managing director for Everytown Law, the litigation team affiliated with Everytown for Gun Safety that favors firearms restrictions. “We expect an en banc panel will rehear the case and correct this erroneous, dangerous, and out-of-step decision.”

But Chuck Michel, a Southern California gun rights attorney who’s been to a few of these rodeos, told ABC that there’s more to the decision than meets the eye.

“The Supreme Court seems inclined to do away with the complicated subjective tests that many courts have wrongly applied in Second Amendment cases, in favor of a clearer more objective ‘originalist’ approach that considers the text, history and tradition of a law to determine what infringements might be tolerated,” Michel said in an email.

The court uses different standards of scrutiny. There’s rational basis, intermediate, and strict scrutiny.

Related: If You’re Buying A Gun Now, Get Some Training

In this case, the 9th Circuit used the strict scrutiny standard, locking in, if you will, the way in which future courts may decide Second Amendment cases. The third judge for the 9th Circuit dissented from their opinion, believing the looser intermediate scrutiny should have been used to determine the constitutionality of the large-capacity magazine ban.

It may be the key question that gets this case consideration by the Supreme Court.

In addition, the ruling has national implications, because other states also have ammo limits, though it at first only applies to Western states under the juridisdiction of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

President Trump has added more conservative judges – ten – to the 9th circuit than any other president.