Federal District Judge Cormac J. Carney, a George W. Bush appointee, temporarily restricted portions of California’s Unsafe Handgun Act that mandated purchase restrictions on certain handguns, such as magazine safety requirements and ammunition micro-stamping, as they violate the Second Amendment. Carney blocked the restrictions following precedent set forth in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen case, leaving Democratic California District Attorney Robert Bonta 14 days to request a stay or submit an appeal.
“Californians have the constitutional right to acquire and use state-of-the-art handguns to protect themselves,” Carney wrote in the ruling. “They should not be forced to settle for decade-old models of handguns to ensure that they remain safe inside or outside the home.”
The California gun roster, implemented in 2001, restricts handguns from being imported into California to be sold, lent, given, kept for sale, or offered unless the firearm had passed a multitude of tests and been listed in the roster, according to the law. Relic handguns and certain single-action revolvers were exempt from the rule.
“For decades, this ‘roster’ law has deprived law-abiding citizens of the right to choose a handgun appropriate for their individual needs,” Chuck Michel, head of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, said in a press release.
The microstamping requirement, currently moving through the California Legislature, would force manufacturers to install a component to a semi-automatic pistol that contains a microstamp or marker that produces an identifier on a bullet cartridge when a weapon is fired, according to the legislation. The magazine safety requirement, or magazine disconnect mechanism, requires a “mechanism” that prevents a handgun from firing when the magazine is not inserted into the gun.
Attempts to overturn the laws failed last year before the Bruen ruling, according to The Associated Press. The Bruen decision ruled that law-abiding Americans have the constitutional right to carry firearms outside of their home while also mandating that any gun law should have a historical comparison.
“Because enforcing those requirements implicates the plain text of the Second Amendment, and the government fails to point to any well-established historical analogues that are consistent with them, those requirements are unconstitutional and their enforcement must be preliminarily enjoined,” Carney continued.
“The fact of the matter is, California’s gun safety laws save lives, and California’s Unsafe Handgun Act is no exception,” Bonta said in a press release. “We will continue to lead efforts to advance and defend California’s gun safety laws. As we move forward to determine next steps in this case, Californians should know that this injunction has not gone into effect and that California’s important gun safety requirements related to the Unsafe Handgun Act remain in effect.”
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