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6 Jun, 2021 04:24

Federal judge OVERTURNS California’s assault weapons ban, sparks liberal pushback for comparing AR-15 rifle with Swiss Army knife

Federal judge OVERTURNS California’s assault weapons ban, sparks liberal pushback for comparing AR-15 rifle with Swiss Army knife

A federal judge has issued a permanent injunction against enforcing California’s decades-long ban on assault weapons, defending the use of AR-15 rifles for home protection. Liberals blasted the move as a threat to public safety.

"Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment," US District Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District of California stated in his ruling on Friday.

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Benitez went on to argue that California’s 1989 Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA), which banned specific makes and models of assault weapons in the state, was unconstitutional and a by-product of “incorrect” interpretation of the Second Amendment at the time. The judge pointed out that “prior to 2008, lower court opinions did not acknowledge that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to own firearms, or that the right applied against the states.”

Brushing off the argument that AR-15-style rifles should not be covered by the Second Amendment because they are too dangerous to handle, Benitez called the outlawed assault weapons “fairly ordinary, popular rifles.”

The banned “assault weapons” are not bazookas, howitzers, or machineguns... This is an average case about average guns used in average ways for average purposes

The judge, however, afforded the proponents of a blanket ban on assault rifles some slack, accusing the media of demonizing the rifle that has become a symbol of mass shootings in the US. 

“One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles,” Benitez wrote, noting that the facts defy this “hyperbole.” Citing statistics reported by the FBI in 2019, he pointed out that there were seven times more deadly stabbings than shootings, where any type of rifle was used. “A Californian is three times more likely to be murdered by an attacker’s bare hands, fists, or feet, than by his rifle,” Benitez wrote.

The ruling, which is unprecedented in nature, has sent shockwaves across the Califorian political elite, with state Attorney General Rob Bonta announcing that he would be appealing what he lambasted as a “fundamentally flawed” decision.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, who is facing an upcoming recall election, took particular issue with the comparison of an AR-15 to an Swiss Army knife, calling it “a disgusting slap in the face to those who have lost loved ones to gun violence.”

In a separate tweet, Newsom recalled all the recent instances in which AR-15-style firearms were allegedly used by the perpetrators of mass shootings. 

Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) denounced the ruling as “an insult to all families and communities torn apart by gun violence," while activist and musician Ricky Davila labeled the judge “a lunatic” and a “mass murder supporter.”

Liberal political commentator Keith Olbermann did not mince his words either, calling Benitez “a death-worshipping fascist.”

Senator Bernie Sanders also weighed in, arguing that AR-15 rifles are “military-style weapons.” “This decision should be appealed and overturned,” he tweeted.

Conservatives, on the other hand, welcomed the ruling.

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