California law banning large-capacity gun magazines likely to survive lawsuit, court says

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By AP News

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a setback to California gun rights advocates, a federal appeals court has temporarily blocked a lower court’s ruling that the state cannot ban gun owners from having detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The ban on higher-capacity magazines remains in effect while the case is still pending.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal on Tuesday granted state Attorney General Rob Bonta’s motion for a stay of last month’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez.

The appeals court wrote that the attorney general’s defense of the law is likely to succeed.

The September ruling came in a legal action filed by five individuals and the California Rifle & Pistol Association challenging the law’s constitutionality under the Second Amendment. It was the second time Benitez struck down the law. The first time he struck it down was in 2017 and an appeals court ended up reversing his decision.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court set a new standard for how to interpret the nation’s gun laws. The new standard relies more on the historical tradition of gun regulation rather than public interests, including safety.

The Supreme Court ordered the case to be heard again in light of the new standards. It’s one of three high-profile challenges to California gun laws that are getting new hearings in court. The other two cases challenge California laws banning certain weapons and limiting purchases of ammunition.

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