Hot take quotes from Judge Benitez’ ruling in Duncan v Becerra
If this ruling stands, I think it will be regarded in the same light that as Heller & McDonald concerning RKBA in the U.S.
Few would say that a 100 or 50-round rifle magazine in the hands of a murderer is a good idea. Yet, the “solution” for preventing a mass shooting exacts a high toll on the everyday freedom of ordinary law-abiding citizens. Many individual robberies, rapes, and shootings are not prevented by the State. Unless a law-abiding individual has a firearm for his or her own defense, the police typically arrive after it is too late. With rigor mortis setting in, they mark and bag the evidence, interview bystanders, and draw a chalk outline on the ground. But the victim, nevertheless, is dead, or raped, or robbed, or traumatized…
Today, self-protection is most important. In the future, the common defense may once again be most important. Constitutional rights stand through time holding fast through the ebb and flow of current controversy. Needing a solution to a current law enforcement difficulty cannot be justification for ignoring the Bill of Rights as bad policy. Bad political ideas cannot be stopped by criminalizing bad political speech. Crime waves cannot be broken with warrantless searches and unreasonable seizures. Neither can the government response to a few mad men with guns and ammunition be a law that turns millions of responsible, law-abiding people trying to protect themselves into criminals. Yet, this is the effect of California’s large-capacity magazine law.
Magazines holding more than 10 rounds are used for self-defense by law-abiding citizens. And they are common.28 Lawful in at least 41 states and under federal law, these magazines number in the millions. Plaintiff’s Exh. 1 (James Curcuruto Report), at 3 (“There are at least one hundred million magazines of a capacity of more than ten rounds in possession of American citizens, commonly used for various lawful purposes.
To the extent that magazines holding more than 10 rounds may be less common within California, it would likely be the result of the State long criminalizing the buying, selling, importing, and manufacturing of these magazines. Saying that large capacity magazines are uncommon because they have been banned for so long is something of a tautology. It cannot be used as constitutional support for further banning. See Friedman v. City of Highland Park, Illinois, 784 F.3d 406, 409 (7th Cir. 2015) (Yet it would be absurd to say that the reason why a particular weapon can be banned is that there is a statute banning it, so that it isn’t commonly used. A law’s existence can’t be the source of its own constitutional validity.)
Artificial limits will eventually lead to disarmament. It is an insidious plan to disarm the populace and it depends on for its success a subjective standard of “necessary” lethality. It does not take the imagination of Jules Verne to predict that if all magazines over 10 rounds are somehow eliminated from California, the next mass shooting will be accomplished with guns holding only 10 rounds. To reduce gun violence, the state will close the newly christened 10-round “loophole” and use it as a justification to outlaw magazines holding more than 7 rounds. The legislature will determine that no more than 7 rounds are “necessary.” Then the next mass shooting will be accomplished with guns holding 7 rounds. To reduce the new gun violence, the state will close the 7-round “loophole” and outlaw magazines holding more than 5 rounds determining that no more than 5 rounds is “necessary.” And so it goes, until the only lawful firearm law-abiding responsible citizens will be permitted to possess is a single-shot handgun. Or perhaps, one gun, but no ammunition. Or ammunition issued only to persons deemed trustworthy.
Here’s some good ones. The Judge is calling out Becerra, the California Attorney General for lying to the court.
The Attorney General names five additional states that enacted firing-capacity restrictions in the 1930s with capacity limits less than 10 rounds. But he is not entirely accurate. His first example is not an example, at all. For his first example, he says that, “[i]n 1933, South Dakota banned any ‘weapon from which more than five shots or bullets may be rapidly or automatically, or semi-automatically discharged from a magazine [by a single function of the firing device].’” Def’s Oppo. (4/9/18) at 4 (emphasis in original). Actually, this was not a ban. This was South Dakota’s definition of a machine gun
That is legalese for ” You got caught lying to a judge.”
The Attorney General’s second example of a longstanding firing-capacity prohibition is a Virginia ban enacted in 1934. However, like the first South Dakota example, the second example is not an example, at all. The Attorney General describes the law as a ban on firearms that discharge seven rounds rapidly. It is not ban. It also defines “machine gun.”
“You got caught lying to a judge again.”
The third cited example is like the first two. It is an Act passed by the South Carolina legislature in 1934 titled, An Act Regulating the Use and Possession of Machine Guns. Ex. E to Def.’s Request for Judicial Notice (filed 4/9/18). These three statutes are examples of machine gun bans that are prohibited because of their ability to continuously fire rounds with a single trigger pull, rather than their overall firing-capacity.
And a third time too.
That link is to a copy kept here at MILESFORTIS in case the original goes dark. Download it and read it at your own leisure.