California’s ban on assault weapons will remain in effect after judges grant a stay

California’s assault weapons ban will remain in place for now, as a three-judge panel grants a stay while the constitutionality of the 30-year-old law is being considered in court.

Legal developments: A 2-1 majority of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit granted an administrative stay on Saturday, pausing a lower-court’s order that could strike down the law.
* Oral arguments on the case are expected to be made in court in December.

Details on the ban: California’s law restricts the manufacturing, transportation, sale, and possession of some firearms that the state classifies as “assault weapons.”
* U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez declared on October 19, that California’s refusal to permit the sales of semiautomatic weapons violates the Second Amendment.

Reasoning behind the ban: California Attorney General Rob Bonta stressed the importance of rigorous gun laws in the wake of last week’s mass shooting in Maine that killed 18 people.
* Quoted in defense of the regulation, Bonta said, “We must protect our communities from these dangerous weapons. We know that these restrictions work to prevent mass casualty events and save lives.”

Historical context: In 1989, California became the first state in the country to ban military-style assault weapons, responding to a mass school shooting in Stockton.
* Despite common misperceptions, not all AR-15-style rifles are banned in California; residents can lawfully own certain types of AR-15s that are less powerful or lack assault-rifle features, as explained by Bonta in 2021.
View original article on NPR
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