California Court Upholds City's Gun Restrictions

Guns on rack in store, close-up
Guns on rack in store, close-up

Signaling a major win for gun control advocates, a California court ruled Wednesday that a city's ban on high-capacity gun magazines is both constitutional and in the best interest of a city trying to curb gun violence.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that the Sunnyvale, California, city ordinance, which prohibits the possession of ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, does not violate the Second Amendment. The lawsuit was brought forward by the National Rifle Association and other gun groups.

"The Second Amendment right is 'not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose,'" Judge Michael Daly Hawkins wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel. He added, "Sunnyvale’s interests in promoting public safety and reducing violent crime were substantial and important government interests. So, too, were Sunnyvale’s interests in reducing the harm and lethality of gun injuries in general, and in particular as against law enforcement officers."

Passed by voters in 2013, the ordinance also requires people to lock up firearms kept at home and report firearm loss or theft within 48 hours, along with mandating that ammunition sales in the city be logged and tracked.

The gun groups' attorney Chuck Michel vowed to continue fighting Sunnyvale's ordinance.

"An appeal of this decision is already being prepared, in addition to a separate lawsuit on preemption grounds that will be filed against Sunnyvale within the week," he told Guns.com.

The San Jose Mercury News notes that the stakes are high for gun advocates, as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Mountain View and other cities have moved to adopt similar firearm restrictions.

CORRECTION: An earlier headline described the ban on magazines as a ban on certain types of firearms.



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