Judge Overturns California's
10-Round Magazine Limit—Again

(Hanson L/Shutterstock)

By Mark Chesnut Sept 22, 2023

California's gun owners have seen yet another critical Second Amendment case go their way, with a district court judge on Sept. 22 striking down the state's restrictive ban on standard capacity firearms magazines. In the case Duncan v. Bonta, District Judge Robert Benitez, ruled that the 2016 law limiting detachable firearms magazines for handguns and rifles to be unconstitutional as it infringes on California gun owners' Second Amendment Rights.

Firearms News readers will likely recognize Judge Benitez's name and already be familiar with some of the history of this case. Way back in 2017 Judge Benitez struck down the ban, which outlaws magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, as being unconstitutional. Later, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that ruling. The case later made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the court never chose to hear it. After last year's critical decision in New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the high court vacated the ruling and remanded it for reconsideration. In the latest ruling, Judge Benitez did, indeed, put the new process prescribed by the Supreme Court in the Bruen ruling to work in deciding the case.

"This case is about a California state law that makes it a crime to keep and bear common firearm magazines typically possessed for lawful purposes," Benitez wrote in the opinion. "Based on the text, history and tradition of the Second Amendment, this law is clearly unconstitutional."

In the opinion, Judge Benitez made some compelling points that those on the other side of the gun-control debate likely didn't want to hear.

"The State denies a citizen the federal constitutional right to use common weapons of their own choosing for self-defense," Benitez wrote. "There have been, and there will be, times where many more than 10 rounds are needed to stop attackers. Yet, under this statute, the State says, 'too bad.'" .....


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