Late Friday Ruling a Win for Gun Rights Supporters

Gun rights activists scored a win late Friday when a federal judge in the Southern District of California ruled that the state’s assault weapons ban is unconstitutional.

Judge’s Ruling

Judge Roger T. Benitez wrote that the case did not apply to the serious weapons that fall outside of the protection of the Second Amendment. Benitez said that the firearms that were considered to be assault weapons within the scope of the ban included “fairly ordinary” guns such as rifles. Benitez wrote that these average guns were used for average purposes and should not be a part of the state’s ban.

The judge also blamed the media for sending the false message that the U.S. was overridden with AR-15 assault rifles. The truth is that more murders happen at the hands of knives in the state of California than rifles.

In fact, murder by knife is seven times more likely than murder using a rifle in California. The stats clearly back this up. In addition, somebody in California is three times more likely to be killed by somebody’s bare hands or fists than by a rifle.

Benitez noted that this same trend is not just local to California. The same data can be extrapolated and applied to the entire U.S., showing that the problem is not necessarily related to assault weapons.

Why the Case?

The ruling came after a 2019 lawsuit that challenged the state’s Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA). The lawsuit was originally filed by the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), designed to prevent the ban of semiautomatic firearms.