Can CA gun owners obtain +10rd magazines again?


Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.


(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

An interesting decision came down from a federal district court in California.

On January 1, 2000, it became illegal in California to manufacture, import, sell, give, or lend a magazine that held more than 10 rounds of ammunition. If you currently owned any +10rd magazines, they were grandfathered in, meaning you were “allowed” to keep them. But, as we all know, a “promise” from government is pretty worthless. “If you like your mags, you can keep your mags,” didn’t last long.

In 2016 California banned the mere possession of +10rd magazines. Peaceful owners had to surrender or destroy their lawfully acquired property without compensation, or faced fines and up to one year in jail for every magazine.

The law was challenged, and on June 30, 2017, the day before the law was to go into effect, Judge Roger Benitez temporarily halted the enforcement of the law until a final decision was made. California gun owners obviously welcomed the temporary stay, as compliance resulted in zero +10rd magazines being turned in.

Fast forward to March 30, 2019. A final judgement was made, and Judge Benitez found the ban on possession to be unconstitutional.

Where it gets interesting though is that he blocked an entire section of a California penal code from being enforced:

Defendant Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and his officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and those persons in active concert or participation with him, and those duly sworn state peace officers and federal law enforcement officers who gain knowledge of this injunction order, or know of the existence of this injunction order, are enjoined from enforcing California Penal Code section 32310.

That section contains more than just the ban on possession of +10rd magazines. It also includes manufacturing, importing, selling, giving, lending, buying, or receiving +10rd magazines.

PC 32310:

(a) [A]ny person in this state who manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, buys, or receives any large-capacity magazine is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

(b) For purposes of this section, “manufacturing” includes both fabricating a magazine and assembling a magazine from a combination of parts, including, but not limited to, the body, spring, follower, and floor plate or end plate, to be a fully functioning large-capacity magazine.

(c) [A]ny person in this state who possesses any large-capacity magazine, regardless of the date the magazine was acquired, is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) per large-capacity magazine, or is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) per large-capacity magazine, by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Gavin Newsom, who campaigned for Prop 63 which banned the possession of +10rd magazines wasn’t happy, but CA gun owners don’t really care:

Some have caught on to the blocking of the entire section of the penal code, such as Gunfighter Tactical in San Diego, who is offering hundreds of +10rd mags on a first come, first serve basis, limiting orders to two mags per person. They stated on social media:

We expect the state to appeal this decision as soon as they are able to do so. That could be as early as Monday. If a higher court orders Judge Benitez’s ruling to be set aside temporarily we must stop selling “high” capacity mags at that time. We do not plan to stop selling these mags unless/until we see that order released.

It is likely the state will appeal, but until it does and the 9th Circuit vacates this decision (which it likely will), it seems California gun owners have temporarily had their rights and property protected and restored.