California moves towards gun control

Art curtesy of Bridgette Brodie
On November 30, 2021 a federal appeals court upheld a Californian ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines. This reversed a decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of California and gave Governor Gavin Newsom a substantial victory.

California is no stranger to gun restrictions. A slew of laws has been passed in recent years in attempts to implement some degree of gun control over California’s some 6 million gun owners. Since 2000 when the state banned the sale of large capacity magazines, along with in 2013 when the purchase of them was banned as well, gun owners have been hard pressed to work around California laws. In 2016, however, the hammer was dropped on gun owners and the previous provisions that allowed gun owners to still own the magazines if they had them pre-bans, was removed. This meant that possession of large capacity magazines was made illegal. The current large capacity magazine ban simply upheld the previous laws passed in 2000, 2013 and 2016.

What defines a large capacity magazine are magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

The following are not considered large capacity magazines, according to California Law: a feeding device that has been altered so that it cannot hold more than 10 rounds, a .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device, and a tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm.

To several gun-owners this onslaught of laws was deemed unconstitutional and unfair. According to U.S. District Judge, Judge Roger T. Benitez, the ban violated self-defense laws. This feeling is backed by several Pro-Gun groups that find California guilty of persecuting gun-owners, and that the laws violated Californian gun-owners “core” right to their self defense. It is even believed by some that the opposition is stacked against them. Their main concern is that seven judges of the eleven judge 9th Circuit panel were appointed by Democratic presidents. This concern particularly is held by California Rifle and Pistol Association’s president and general counsel, Chuck Michel.

Additionally, some CHS students back Pro-Gun beliefs. A CHS student choosing to stay anonymous said, “I believe that the second amendment is a fundamental right for our protection, and by restricting it, a precedent is set for the government restricting our other rights”.

An Anti-Gun point of view is also important to consider when dealing with this.
“If you need guns so bad, you can take your Assault Rifles, large magazines and bullets and whatever and live in the forests of Netherland or something for all I care”, said Christopher Zhen, a Junior at Claremont Highschool.

The date of the 9th Circuit ruling was held on a grim day. It happened to fall on the same day as the Oxford Highschool shooting. Four kids lost their lives that day to a shooter who had 18 live rounds left in his gun at the time of his arrest. Currently, Michigan has no laws against large capacity magazines.

Even other mass shootings have been backed by important statistics. According to the 9th Circuit’s ruling, they noted that in almost three quarters of gun massacres with ten or more deaths, large capacity magazines have been in use. In 100% of gun massacres with twenty or more deaths, large capacity magazines have been the one to blame.

Only the future will show us whether this move is beneficial or detrimental to Californian society.