California Ammunition Purchase Law Shut Down by Federal Judge

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With plenty of anti-gun politicians calling the shots, Californians got a rare Second Amendment win Thursday. A federal judge blocked a California law that required background checks by residents to buy ammunition. The judge called the law “onerous and convoluted,” siding with law-abiding gun owners. The judge ultimately ruled in favor of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, which asked for a stop to checks restricting ammo sales.

Federal Judge Blocks California Ammunition Purchase Law

“The experiment has been tried. The casualties have been counted. California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez wrote in a 120-page opinion granting the Association’s motion for an injunction, reported usnews.com.

“This is a devastating blow to the anti-gun-owner advocates who falsely pushed Prop 63 in the name of safety,” said Chuck Michel, President and General Counsel of the California Rifle & Pistol Association. “In truth, red tape and the state’s disastrous database errors made it impossible for hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Californians to purchase ammunition for sport or self-defense. The Court found that the flimsy reasons offered by the government to justify these Constitutional infringements … woefully inadequate.”

Meanwhile, Giffords’ Hannah Shearer called the ruling “a dangerous step int he wrong direction.” But Michel saw the ruling as a win for law-abiding residents. “Californians can sleep a little easier tonight” knowing the judge restored some of their Constitutional rights with the decision, he told usnews.com.

California Ammunition Law Violates Second Amendment

In opposition, the state claimed background checks took less than five minutes to complete on average. It also claimed the checks stopped more than 750 people from buying ammo illegally since July 2019. Part money-making scheme, the law requires residents pay $1 for every purchase. Additional long-term licenses also exist, for approved applicants, reported usnews.com. Ultimately, the state attempted to prove the law didn’t infringe upon law-abiding citizens.

The state also claimed the process presented no impediment to purchasers, reported usnews.com. “Ammunition purchasers must pass an eligibility check that, in the vast majority of cases, delays a purchase by a few minutes.”

However, Judge Benitez disagreed. He found the law illegally locked out-of-state vendors from California’s market. Further, he found it conflicted with federal law and burdens the Second Amendment right of citizens.

“Criminals, tyrants, and terrorists don’t do background checks,” he wrote, according to usnews.com. “The background check experiment defies common sense while unduly and severely burdening the Second Amendment rights of every responsible, gun-owning citizen desiring to lawfully buy ammunition.”





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