Attorney General Becerra Secures Stay, Files Appeal in the Ninth Circuit to Protect Decades-Old Law that Bans the Acquisition of Large-Capacity Magazines
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra secured a stay of the district court’s decision in Duncan v. Becerra. This allows California’s nearly twenty-year-old prohibition on the acquisition of new large-capacity ammunition magazines to remain in effect pending appeal of the district court’s decision holding that the ban is unconstitutional. Attorney General Becerra has appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
“California leads the nation when it comes to common-sense gun laws. We should all be ensuring the safety of our communities, not fighting against long-standing laws that improve public safety,” said Attorney General Becerra. “We are pleased that the judge stayed the effect of his decision pending our appeal. We look forward to defending this important public safety law before the Ninth Circuit and are confident that it is constitutional.”
In California, it has been illegal since 2000 to manufacture, import, keep or offer for sale, give, lend, or receive large-capacity magazines—defined as those that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. On March 29, 2019, the District Court for the Southern District of California ruled that this law was unconstitutional. Attorney General Becerra asked the judge to stay his ruling pending appeal to prevent the influx of large-capacity magazines into the state while litigation is ongoing. This request was granted. As a result, as of 5:00 p.m. on April 5, 2019, no one in California will be permitted to manufacture, import, buy, or sell large-capacity magazines.
In recent years, large-capacity magazines have been used in mass shootings across the country. According to one study, there are 350 percent more fatalities and injuries when a large-capacity magazine is used in shooting incidents. Large-capacity magazines were used in each of these tragic events:
- In November 2018, 12 individuals were killed and several others were injured when a shooter entered a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, and fired indiscriminately into the crowd.
- In February 2018, 17 students and teachers were killed and another 17 were injured when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
- In 2016, 49 people lost their lives and more than 50 others were wounded inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
- In 2015, 14 people were killed and 24 were injured at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.
- In 2012, 20 children and six adult staff members were fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.
- In 2011, six people were killed and an additional 14 were wounded outside a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona.
The California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms is alerting all California firearms dealers that the law will be in effect beginning at 5 p.m. today.