Federal Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego has struck down the California state law prohibiting assault weapons as unconstitutional in a 94-page ruling that nullifies a rule that has been in effect for 30 years.
Benítez considers that California has exceeded its powers and has violated the Second Amendment of the Constitution with this law. Thus, he has compared an AR-15 assault rifle to a Swiss army knife.
“This case is not about extraordinary weapons within the limits of Second Amendment protection. The prohibited assault weapons are not bazookas, howitzers or machine guns, dangerous and useful weapons only for military purposes, ”Benítez has argued.
“Weapons known as assault weapons are fairly common, popular and modern rifles. It is a normal case on normal weapons used in a normal way for normal purposes “, he has riveted. “The authorities cannot impose their options on US citizens if there are constitutional rights affected,” he pointed out.
The ruling provides a 30-day window for it to take effect, allowing California Attorney General Rob Bonta to file an appeal.
The decision is a setback for Bonta and California Governor Gavir Newsom himself, who believe that the danger posed by assault weapons such as the AR-15 rifle is underestimated. «The decision is a basic error and we are going to appeal. There is no legal basis or common sense to equate assault rifles with Swiss army knives, ”Bonta argued.
For Newsom it is a decision that poses “a direct threat to public safety and to the lives of innocent Californians” and the comparison between an AR-15 “absolutely undermines the credibility of his decision which is a slap in the face for families who have lost loved ones by this weapon.
Benítez’s decision is also a setback for the Democratic Party, which aspired to impose restrictions on dangerous weapons such as an assault rifle at the federal level as President Joe Biden promised in the campaign.
From the defense groups to the use of these weapons they have warned that they will go to the Supreme Court if necessary to defend Beníntez’s “historic” ruling. They consider the decision “a victory for individual freedom” that “is only the beginning” in the words of the president of the Coalition on Firearms Policy, Brandon Combs.