Attorney General Bonta Issues Statement Ahead of Oral Arguments in Defense of California’s Assault Weapons Ban

Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,


OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued the following statement ahead of arguments in the Miller v. Bonta appeal and in defense of California’s assault weapons ban before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Miller v. Bonta is a Second Amendment challenge to California’s restrictions on rifles, pistols, and shotguns that qualify as assault weapons under California Penal Code section 30515. The case is set for oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit today. 

“Weapons of war have no place on California’s streets,” said Attorney General Bonta. “This has been state law in California for decades, and we will continue to fight for our authority to keep our citizens safe from firearms that cause mass casualties. Our briefs have been filed, and we will continue our defense of this time-tested, essential, lifesaving law. We will not stop in our efforts to protect the safety of communities so that Californians may live without fear of becoming victims of gun violence, while at the same time respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.” 

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California found elements of California’s assault weapon restrictions unconstitutional. On October 19, 2023, Attorney General Bonta appealed the decision, and on October 28, 2023, secured an administrative stay of the decision by the Ninth Circuit. Currently, the assault weapons restrictions remain in effect. 

Oral arguments in Miller v. Bonta are being heard the day after California Attorney General Bonta was joined by local leaders in Sacramento for a roundtable discussion to address gun violence. The roundtable is the first in a series of meetings led by Attorney General Bonta across the state to bring together leaders of nonprofits, houses of worship, and community groups to discuss best practices in preventing gun violence. Attorney General Bonta stressed the importance of preventing gun violence at the roundtable, which was held one year after the shooting in Half Moon Bay, in which seven victims were killed and one was injured on January 23, 2023; and another shooting in Monterey Park, California, in which 10 people were murdered and nine were injured on January 21, 2023.

# # #