California ‘assault weapons’ ban repeal blocked by 9th Circuit

California 'assault weapons' ban repeal blocked by 9th Circuit


The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked a federal district court ruling that would have repealed California‘s assault weapons ban.

In a Monday panel decision in Miller v. Bonta, the appellate court put the June 4 order from District Court Judge Roger Benitez old hold as the court awaits the outcome of another case. Benitez had ruled that the ban violated the Second Amendment.

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“The district court’s June 4, 2021 order and judgment are stayed pending resolution of Rupp v. Bonta,” the court said. “The stay shall remain in effect until further order of this court.”

The Rupp case, which also deals with the assault weapons ban and has already been briefed before the Ninth Circuit, had also been put on hold as the court handles other Second Amendment cases that could effect it.

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Benitez’s district court order had ruled the assault weapons ban to be unconstitutional, stating that people had a right to possess modern weapons.  Benitez likened the AR-15 rifle to a Swiss Army Knife as being “a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment,” in contrast to militaristic, “extraordinary” weapons like bazookas and machineguns.

“Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive,” Benitez said.

While the court awaits a decision in the Rupp case, briefing in the Miller case is put on hold, although the Ninth Circuit did grant a request by the State of Arizona to file an amicus brief opposing California’s motion to stay Benitez’s ruling for the entire duration of the Miller appeal.

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For now, the 9th Circuit is telling the parties to stand by and file a status report 14 days after the court issues a ruling in the Rupp case.



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