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24 Apr, 2020 04:13

Judge shoots down California law mandating background checks for ammunition buyers, citing ‘grave injury’ to 2nd Amendment

Judge shoots down California law mandating background checks for ammunition buyers, citing ‘grave injury’ to 2nd Amendment

A federal judge has overturned a law forcing Californians to undergo background checks when buying ammunition, arguing the rule set fire to the Second Amendment and deprived citizens of their right to bear arms.

US District Judge Roger Benitez blocked the 2016 law on Thursday from a San Diego courtroom, penning a lengthy 120-page opinion slamming “onerous and convoluted” laws and regulations that trample rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

“The experiment has been tried. The casualties have been counted. California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” Benitez wrote in the opinion.

The legal challenge was brought by the California Rifle and Pistol Association, which cheered the judge’s decision in a number of tweets on Thursday night. “Today’s ruling is a devastating blow to the anti-gun-owner advocates who falsely pushed [the law] in the name of safety,” said the group’s president, Chuck Michel.

Though Michel said he expects the state will appeal the decision, the California attorney’s office did not immediately say how it planned to proceed, only stating that it is “reviewing” the ruling, according to the Associated Press.

The state, for its part, said the background checks were fast and simple, taking about 5 minutes each and putting no “substantial impediment” on gun owners, but Benitez rejected the argument, stating the law still illegally bars out-of-state vendors from the California market, and conflicts with federal interstate commerce laws.

READ MORE: Liquor stores & gun shops open for business, but churches closed. Why are US governors trashing the First Amendment?

Prompted in no small part by a procession of horrific school shootings over the last decade, fierce debate about gun laws continues to rage across the US, with those in favor of stricter gun control slamming Benitez’s ruling on Thursday, some arguing he blocked an “effective” and “common sense” law.

Second Amendment advocates were unsurprisingly enthused about the decision, calling the ammunition law “unconstitutional” and echoing Benitez’s argument that genuine criminals don’t typically agree to background checks in the first place.

Benitez has made a name for himself among both advocates and opponents of tighter gun regulation, striking down another California law last year which banned “high-capacity” magazines outright, at which time he argued that “individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts.” That case, too, was brought by the California Pistol and Rifle Association.

Also on rt.com LA County sheriff ordering all gun stores to close amid heady combination of coronavirus lockdown & too many 1st-time buyers

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