Amid Recent Mass-Shootings, Attorney General Becerra Defends California’s Restrictions on Large-Capacity Magazines

Monday, October 7, 2019
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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today filed a brief defending California’s restriction on large-capacity ammunition magazines. Despite the state law’s effectiveness in preventing and mitigating the effects of gun violence, in April a federal district court declared the law unconstitutional. In today’s filing, the Attorney General argued that this important public safety measure is constitutional and requested that the district court’s judgment be reversed.

“We cannot allow the gun violence epidemic to continue to devastate our communities,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Losing our loved ones to senseless, preventable violence should not be the new normal. My office is committed to our fight to ensure commonsense measures remain on the books because they have a track record of success.” 

On July 16, 2019, Attorney General Becerra filed an opening brief in the case, requesting that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reverse the district court’s judgment and uphold the constitutionality of the law. Large-capacity magazines have been a prominent feature in some of the most horrific mass shootings in this country. Just weeks after Attorney General Becerra filed his opening brief, large-capacity magazines were used in mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton to murder 34 people and injure at least 60 others. The Dayton shooter used a large-capacity magazine to shoot 26 individuals in just 32 seconds. 

The attorney general is committed to defending the constitutionality of California’s restriction on dangerous firearm magazines. He has vigorously defended California’s common-sense gun safety laws and advocating for new ones to be enacted. This year, Attorney General Becerra sponsored SB 376, a bill introduced by Senator Anthony Portantino, and AB 1669, a bill introduced by Assemblymember Rob Bonta. If signed into law, SB 376 will prevent individuals from being able to sell large numbers of firearms without a license by capping the number of annual sales allowed at five transactions or 50 firearms, and by capping the number of firearms they can manufacture each year at 50. It will also close the loophole that allows firearms to be auctioned or raffled off without a background check. AB 1669 will strengthen existing law by ensuring that non-California-based vendors who only sell ammunition at gun shows are also required to obtain California licenses.

A copy of the filing can be found here.

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