US California appeals judge's 'shocking' ruling overturning gun 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's top prosecutor on Thursday appealed athe state's decades-old assault weapons ban as "unconstitutional," harshly criticizing the court's opinion and its arguments.
"I think we can agree that the decision was disappointing, and the reasoning, such as equating assault weapons to Swiss Army knives and false claims that Covid-19 vaccines have killed more people than mass shootings, was shocking," state Attorney General Rob Bonta said at a news conference at Zuckerman San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, a facility known for treating.
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Bonta, who was joined by Gov. Gavin Newsom and other Democratic officials, gun control advocates, and a trauma surgeon, added that "in many ways, the opinion was disturbing and troubling and of great concern."
Bonta had said he would move swiftly to challengeby U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego, who has previously ruled in favor of gun rights groups in other issues. Benitez stayed his order for 30 days to give the state a chance to appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court.
In his 94-page opinion, Benitez likened the AR-15 assault rifle, which has been wielded in some of the deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. in recent years, to a Swiss Army knife that could be used "for both home and battle." The comparison drew condemnation from gun control groups, and Newsom said it was a "slap in the face to the families who've lost loved ones to this weapon."
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.
Bonta said he is also asking the appeals court to leave the state's ban on assault weapons in effect for as long as the appeals process lasts.
Benitez's ruling last week stems from a 2019 lawsuit filed by James Miller, a California resident, and San Diego County Gun Owners, a political action committee, which alleged that the state's landmark assault weapons ban — the first of its kind in the country,— violates their Second Amendment rights.
The judge's ruling has drawn scrutiny for claiming that "more people have died from the Covid-19 vaccine than mass shootings in California" and that "injuries from firearms like the AR-15 ... are no different from other firearms that are common and lawful to own."
Bonta said Thursday that while no single law can fix gun violence, the state's ban on assault weapons has helped to prevent more serious shooting injuries and thatprove "the strong regime we have addressing gun violence in California is working."
California appeals judge's ruling that overturned state's ban on assault-style weapons .
California is appealing a federal judge's ruling last week that overturned the state's longtime ban on assault-style weapons, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Thursday. © Jae C. Hong/AP FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2018, file photo, Illegally possessed firearms seized by authorities are displayed during a news conference in Los Angeles. State authorities cleared 8.