Skip to main content

Court Stays California Mag Ban Ruling

Court Stays California Mag Ban Ruling

(Marisa Subannarat / Shutterstock photo)

We recently informed you about an unfortunate 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that California’s magazine capacity law doesn’t infringe on the Second Amendment rights of the state’s law-abiding gun owners.

Earlier this week, a stay was granted in the case, Duncan v. Bonta, which will allow Golden State residents to continue possession of any magazines that hold more than 10 rounds that were acquired during “Freedom Week” or prior to the ban taking effect. Freedom Week refers to the week-long period from March 29 to April 5, 2019, when it was temporarily legal to buy, sell and ship large-capacity magazines in California as a result of a federal court judge ruling the ban unconstitutional.

An en banc panel of the 9th Circuit on Nov. 30 overturned, by a 7-4 vote, the earlier ruling that the mag cap law, which bans magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds, was a direct infringement upon the Second Amendment.

Judge Susan Graber, a Bill Clinton appointee, wrote for the majority: “The ban on legal possession of large-capacity magazines reasonably supports California’s effort to reduce the devastating damage wrought by mass shootings.”

She continued: “The ban on large-capacity magazines has the sole practical effect of requiring shooters to pause for a few seconds after firing 10 bullets, to reload or to replace the spent magazine. Nothing in the record suggests that the restriction imposes any more than a minimal burden on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”

Some of the judges involved with the decision were particularly incensed at the ruling, with one writing a very pointed dissent.

“California’s experiment bans magazines that are commonly owned by millions of law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” Judge Patrick Bumatay wrote in his dissent. “These magazines are neither dangerous and unusual, nor are they subject to longstanding regulatory measures.

“In ratifying the Second Amendment, the People determined that such restrictions are beyond the purview of government,” Judge Bumatay continued. “Our court reaches the opposite conclusion in contravention of the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent. In so doing, it once again employs analytical tools foreign to the Constitution—grafting terms like ‘intermediate scrutiny,’ ‘alternative channels’ and ‘reasonable fit’ that appear nowhere in its text. So yet again, we undermine the judicial role and promote ourselves to the position of a super-legislature—voting on which Duncan v. Bonta fundamental rights protected by the Constitution will be honored and which will be dispensed with.”

Court Stays California Mag Ban Ruling
(Romeo Pj / Shutterstock photo)

This small victory for Californians who own magazines that hold more than 10 rounds might be short-lived, however. The court agreed to stay the mandate from its decision only until May 19, 2022. However, that could be extended should the decision be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“If the Appellees file a petition for certiorari in the United States Supreme Court during the period of the partial stay, the partial stay shall continue until final disposition by the Supreme Court,” the order states.

Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.

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