Skip to main content

CA High Capacity Magazine Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

Any Capacity Magazines Are Now Legal in California!

CA High Capacity Magazine Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

Last Friday, March 29th at around 6:00 PM EST, in a shocking move that comes as a huge win for the gun-owning residents of California, California’s long-standing ban on “high capacity magazines”, was declared, “...unconstitutional in its entirety and shall be enjoined.” by the US District Court, Southern District of California.

In case number 3:17cv1017-BEN (JLB) centered around CA’s magazine ban AKA California Penal Code § 32310, and included an excellently-written, compelling introduction highlighting the need of citizens for these magazines.

As two masked and armed men broke in, Susan Gonzalez was shot in the chest. She made it back to her bedroom and found her husband’s .22 caliber pistol. Wasting the first rounds on warning shots, she then emptied the single pistol at one attacker. 

Unfortunately, now out of ammunition, she was shot again by the other armed attacker. She was not able to re-load or use a second gun. Both she and her husband were shot twice. Forty-two bullets in all were fired. The gunman fled from the house—but returned. He put his gun to Susan Gonzalez’s head and demanded the keys to the couple’s truck.

When three armed intruders carrying what look like semi-automatic pistols broke into the home of a single woman at 3:44 a.m., she dialed 911. No answer. Feng Zhu Chen, dressed in pajamas, held a phone in one hand and took up her pistol in the other and began shooting. She fired numerous shots. She had no place to carry an extra magazine and no way to reload because her left hand held the phone with which she was still trying to call 911. After the shooting was over and two of the armed suspects got away and one lay dead, she did get through to the police. The home security camera video is dramatic.

A mother, Melinda Herman, and her nine-year-old twins were at home when an intruder broke in. She and her twins retreated to an upstairs crawl space and hid. Fortunately, she had a .38 caliber revolver. She would need it. The intruder worked his way upstairs, broke through a locked bedroom door and a locked bathroom door, and opened the crawl space door. The family was cornered with no place to run. He stood staring at her and her two children. The mother shot six times, hitting the intruder five times, when she ran out of ammunition. Though injured, the intruder was not incapacitated. Fortunately, he decided to flee.

It’s difficult for even the most zealous anti-gunner to argue against the aforementioned examples and the impact higher capacity firearms would have had in those situations

The examples continue in the piece, and highlight both the need for these magazines and the hypocrisy of prosecuting people for possession of them, often with stauncher sentences than for actual violent crimes.

One particularly striking quote from the docket was in regards to the precedent of banning, “high capacity magazines.”

“An unconstitutional statute adopted by a dozen jurisdictions is no less unconstitutional by virtue of its popularity.” - Silveira, 312 at 1091

The full docket is some 86 pages long and filled with tons of excellent information on the case itself, as well as the methods utilized by the lawyer who submitted the request. This is a momentous occasion, and one that could very well start a tidal wave of changes to gun laws nationwide. If it can happen in California, then any state could conceivably change its laws.

Interestingly, after this new went live, multiple citizens of California attempted to purchase standard capacity magazines from their local retailers, and all were denied. According to multiple first-hand accounts at both CalGuns and, several dealers told customers they were waiting on the DOJ’s response.


In the meantime, some larger companies like Palmetto State Armory have begun to sell and ship standard capacity magazines to CA residents. CA shooters who’ve always wanted to get their hands on full capacity Magpul PMAGs may want to purchase now, as stocks at multiple retailers are likely to be rapidly consumed.

More information, including the full court docket is available over at Check out the direct link to the PDF of the case here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Patrick Sweeney gives some history on this interesting pistol.

Radom Pistol

Patrick Sweeney shows off Springfield Armory's latest offering, the 1911 DS Prodigy.

Springfield Armory Prodigy

James Tarr is at Roundtable 2022 with Mike Humphreys of Springfield Armory to get a look at their highly-anticipated 1911 DS Prodigy.

Springfield Armory 1911 DS Prodigy

Dr. Dabbs shares some history on a war classic, The Wild Geese and the film's featured guns.

The Wild Geese

Patrick Sweeney gives us all the details on this Taurus Optic Ready Option micro-compact 9mm.

Taurus GX4 T.O.R.O.

Take a look at Patrick Sweeney's review of this reliable carry pistol from Beretta's APX line.

Beretta APX A1 Carry

Patrick Sweeney gives us a good look at this well equipped compact 10mm from Springfield Armory.

Springfield Armory XD-M OSP 10mm

Patrick Sweeney reviews the SilencerCo Harvester EVO.

SilencerCo Harvester EVO

The Mossberg MC2sc subcompact 9mm striker-fired pistol is put through its paces by Patrick Sweeney.

Mossberg MC2sc Subcompact Pistol (VIDEO)

Firearms News Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Firearms News stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now