US California appeals judge's ruling striking down assault weapons ban
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the international chemical weapons watchdog told the U.N. Security Council that its experts have investigated 77 allegations against Syria, and concluded that in 17 cases chemical weapons were likely or definitely used. Fernando Arias called it “a disturbing reality” that eight years after Syria joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans the production or use of such weapons, many questions remain about its initial declaration of its weapons, stockpiles and precursors and its ongoing program.
(Reuters) - California officials on Thursday said the state has appealed a federal judge's decision to strike down its three-decade-old ban on assault-style weapons, saying the law is needed to prevent gun deaths.
The appeal challenges last week's ruling from U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego that the law illegally infringes upon the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment, which guarantees the right of citizens to bear arms.
Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta told a news conference outside a San Francisco hospital they were confident the decision was flawed and would eventually be overturned.
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.
"We're better than this," said a visibly frustrated Newsom, who also sharply criticized the judge.
Video: U.S. federal judge overturns California's ban on assault weapons (Reuters)
The state will ask the appeals court to put the ruling on hold during the appeal; Benitez stayed his order from taking effect for 30 days, leaving the law in place for now.
California became the first state to ban assault weapons in 1989 in the wake of a school shooting that killed five children. Six other states and the District of Columbia have an assault weapons ban in place, according to the gun safety group Giffords.
A federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, and Congress has not re-authorized the law in the face of Republican opposition.
Guns are a politically sensitive issue in the United States, which has the highest rate of gun ownership of any country, as well as a higher incidence of gun violence than other wealthy nations.
Two weeks ago, a gunman opened fire at a San Jose rail yard, killing nine people, part of a spate of high-profile mass shootings in Indiana, Colorado and Georgia, among other states.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
How misinformation overturned California's assault weapons ban .
We cannot continue to allow misinformation and myths to seep into our courtrooms and legislatures. Judge Bentiz made a serious miscalculation that will impact the lives and safety of Californians. Facts and data matter. It's time to start paying attention to the truth about gun violence.Devin Hughes is the President and Founder of GVPedia, a non-profit that provides access to gun violence prevention research and data.