Attorney General Bonta: Weapons of War and Large-Capacity Magazines Do Not Belong in Our Communities

Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Large-capacity magazine and assault weapons bans help prevent mass shootings, are consistent with Second Amendment

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of Connecticut’s restrictions on large-capacity magazines (LCMs) and assault weapons in National Association for Gun Rights v. Lamont.

“Large capacity magazines and assault weapons have been used in many horrific mass shootings around the country, including right here in California,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Restricting large capacity magazines and assault weapons is consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision and helps us prevent unspeakable tragedies like the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults. Our commonsense gun safety measures here in California have a track record of reducing the threat of gun violence in our communities and we support any state that does the same.” 

For the last three decades, California has restricted the manufacture, distribution, transportation, importation, sale, lending, and possession of firearms that qualify as “assault weapons” under California law. Those weapons have specific tactical enhancements or configurations that make the weapons more dangerous to the public and law enforcement and more susceptible to criminal misuse. Data reflect that assault weapons in general are used disproportionately in crime relative to their market presence, that they are used often to commit mass shootings, and that they inflict more numerous and more extensive injuries than other weapons.

In California, it has been illegal to manufacture, import, keep or offer for sale, give, or lend LCMs with more than 10 rounds of ammunition since 2000. It has been illegal to purchase and receive LCMs since 2013. Proposition 63, which was passed by Californians in 2016, added a ban on the possession of LCMs. Firearms equipped with LCMs are estimated to account for up to 36% of crime guns nationwide. In mass shootings where four or more were people killed from 2015 to 2022, 60% involved firearms with LCMs and accounted for a third of all mass shooting deaths and more than 80% of all mass shooting injuries. 

A copy of the brief can be found here.

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