Attorney General Bonta Continues Defense of California’s Commonsense Gun Laws

Tuesday, June 1, 2021
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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a final, supplemental brief today in Duncan v. Bonta, a case challenging California’s ban on the acquisition and possession of large-capacity magazines (LCMs). In February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted the Attorney General’s request to review the case en banc after a divided three-judge panel upheld a federal district court’s ruling against California’s LCM restrictions. In today’s brief, the Attorney General argues that the district court’s judgment should be reversed.

“Gun violence is an American epidemic. Recent events here in California and across the country only underscore that the scourge of mass shootings remain a continuing threat to the public’s safety,” said Attorney General Bonta. “We will continue to make the defense of California’s gun laws a priority, including our restrictions on large capacity magazines, because the data is clear: when LCMs are used in mass shootings, more people are injured and more lives are lost. This epidemic is a problem we have to face head on. We can’t afford not to.”

LCMs are firearm magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. They have been used in numerous horrific mass shootings throughout the country, and pose a substantial threat to the public and law enforcement because they allow shooters to fire scores of rounds from the same firearm in a short period of time without the need to reload.

In California, it has been illegal to manufacture, import, keep or offer for sale, give, or lend LCMs since 2000. It has been illegal to purchase and receive them since 2013. Proposition 63, which California voters passed in 2016, added a ban on the possession of LCMs. In 2017, the district court enjoined the possession ban from taking effect, pending resolution of the Duncan lawsuit. However, the ban on the sale, purchase, manufacture, importation, or acquisition of LCMs remains in effect during the appeal. 

In today’s brief, Attorney General Bonta argues that California’s restrictions on LCMs respect the public’s Second Amendment right to defend themselves while advancing the state's interests in combating gun violence and reducing the number of deaths and injuries resulting from mass shootings.

Attorney General Bonta filed an opening supplemental brief in Duncan v. Bonta in May. Arguments are scheduled to be heard in the case on June 22, 2021. 

A copy of today’s brief is available here.

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