Politics California appeals ruling overturning state's assault weapons ban
California appeals court ruling upending assault weapons ban
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's governor denounced in starkly personal terms a federal judge's upending of the state's restrictions on assault weapons as officials announced the filing Thursday of a formal notice that they will appeal the decision. They described last week's ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez as an outlier that conflicts with at least six other federal decisions upholding assault weapons laws in California and elsewhere, a ruling that is designed to get the issue before a recently more conservative U.S. Supreme Court.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) announced Thursday that an appeal had been filed against a judge's decision last week to strike down California's longtime ban on assault weapons.
Last week U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez issued a ruling striking down California's 30-year ban on assault weapons, calling it unconstitutional and an overstep by the state government. In his ruling, the judge compared the AR-15 rifle to a "Swiss Army Knife" that is "good for both home and battle."
Benitez granted a 30-day stay on his injunction, which the California state government is attempting to extend with its appeal.
Gavin Newsom Says Overturning Assault Weapon Ban 'Disgusting Slap in the Face'
Striking down the law, a federal judge in San Diego compared AR-15 style weapons to a Swiss Army Knife. "Overturning CA's assault weapon ban and comparing an AR-15 to a SWISS ARMY KNIFE is a disgusting slap in the face to those who have lost loved ones to gun violence," Newsom said."This is a direct threat to public safety and innocent Californians. We won't stand for it," he said.The case challenging California's assault weapons ban was launched in 2019 by James Miller and a political action committee (PAC) called the San Diego County Gun Owners, according to The New York Times.
During a press conference on Thursday, Bonta called Benitez's opinion "disturbing and troubling and of great concern,".
"We cannot be and we are not deterred by this ruling," Bonta said.
The attorney general had stated that he intended to file an appeal at the time of the ruling, calling the judge's decision "fundamentally flawed."
"There is no sound basis in law, fact, or common sense for equating assault rifles with swiss army knives - especially on Gun Violence Awareness Day and after the recent shootings in our own California communities," Bonta said last week. "We need to take action to end gun violence now. We will fight this ruling and continue to advocate for and defend common sense gun laws that will save lives."
Bonta was joined by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) as well as guns rights activists who rebuked Benitez and claimed his ruling was a political outlier, CNN reported.
Mattie Scott, head of the California chapter of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, called Benitez's decision "insulting." Scott's son died in 1996 due to gun violence, according to CNN.
"It is insulting to read his decision where he called the kind of weapon that killed my son akin to a pocket knife," Scott said. "Pocket knives were not invented to kill as many people as possible. Pocket knives don't tear families apart."
For years US Army hid, downplayed extent of firearms loss .
The U.S. Army has hidden or downplayed the extent to which its firearms disappear, significantly understating losses and thefts even as some weapons are used in street crimes. The Army’s pattern of secrecy and suppression dates back nearly a decade, when The Associated Press began investigating weapons accountability within the military. Officials fought the release of information for years, then offered misleading answers that contradict internal records.Military guns aren’t just disappearing. Stolen guns have been used in shootings, brandished to rob and threaten people and recovered in the hands of felons. Thieves sold assault rifles to a street gang.