Calfornia AG Becerra Continues Defense of California’s Ban on Acquisition, Possession of Large-Capacity Magazines

Petition filed in appellate court to rehear decision in Duncan v. Becerra

SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Friday filed a petition in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit seeking en banc review of a recent decision in Duncan v. Becerra.  On August 14, 2020, a divided three-judge panel upheld a federal district court’s ruling that California’s ban on the acquisition and possession of large-capacity magazines (LCMs) was unconstitutional.  In today’s filing, Attorney General Becerra has taken the next step to defend California’s gun safety laws by asking an en banc panel of the court to review the decision.

“Our commonsense gun safety measures here in California have a track record of success in doing what they were meant to do — keep our communities safe,” said Attorney General Becerra.  “We disagree with the Court’s initial decision and will continue to use every tool we have to defend the constitutionality of our laws.”

In today’s filing, Attorney General Becerra argues that the three-judge panel’s decision is inconsistent with existing caselaw and will threaten the safety of Californians.

Large-capacity magazines are defined as gun magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.  It has been illegal in California to manufacture, import, keep or offer for sale, give, or lend LCMs since 2000, and illegal to purchase and receive them since 2013.  Proposition 63, which was passed by Californians in 2016, added a ban on the possession of LCMs.  In March 2019, the District Court for the Southern District of California ruled that the law was unconstitutional.  In July 2019, Attorney General Becerra appealed the decision.

LCMs have been used in many horrific mass shootings around the country, including the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks in 2018, and the shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino in 2015.  The use of large-capacity magazines in mass shootings results in more lives lost and more people injured.  Attorney General Becerra remains committed to upholding the constitutionality of California’s restrictions on large-capacity magazines to protect the public from these dangerous firearm accessories.

The ban on the sale, purchase, manufacture, importation, or acquisition of LCMs remains in effect pending appeal.