Fox News is reporting that the attorneys general in 22 states have signed onto an amicus brief to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, urging the court to “again rule against California’s controversial attempt to ban high-capacity magazines, after the court agreed to reconsider its decision to rule it unconstitutional.”
The case is Duncan v. Becerra, and it may provide an avenue to a Supreme Court consideration about a restrictive gun control law that has affected millions of gun owners in several states.
Initially, District Court Judge Roger Benitez in San Diego ruled the California ban on so-called “high capacity magazines” was unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. The case was appealed to the Ninth Circuit, and last year, a three-judge panel ruled 2-1 to uphold Benitez.
Then the court decided to re-hear the case with an en banc 11-judge panel. It has become a closely-watched case that—depending upon the outcome—could throw gun control into chaos, and not just in California.
Signing onto the 23-page brief are Republican attorneys general representing Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming, according to the brief.
In their brief, led by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, they write, “Calling the Affected Magazines “large-capacity” is a misnomer—they often hold only in the range of eleven to fifteen rounds (in no way a large absolute number) and come standard with many of the most popular firearms. There is nothing sinister about citizens bearing the Affected Magazines.”
That’s not how anti-gunners see it. In their opinion, such magazines contribute to higher body counts during mass shootings.
A few lines later, the brief observes, “The Amici States join together on this brief not merely because they disagree with California’s policy choice, but because the challenged law represents a policy choice that is foreclosed by the Second Amendment. States may enact reasonable firearm regulations that do not categorically ban common arms core to the Second Amendment, but the challenged law fails as it is prohibitive rather than regulatory. California should not be allowed to invade its own citizens’ constitutional rights, and this Court should not imperil the rights of citizens in this Circuit and other states with its analysis.”
Magazines holding 20 or 30 rounds are common for AR15-type rifles. The AR15 is frequently called the most popular rifle in America today, with millions of them in private ownership for hunting, competition, home defense, predator control and other legitimate uses. While they have been used in mass shootings, rifles of any kind are used in a fraction of all homicides during any given year, according to data from the FBI annual Uniform Crime Report.