U.S. judge overturns California’s ban on assault weapons

News

FILE — In this Aug. 15, 2012, file photo, three variations of the AR-15 assault rifle are displayed at the California Department of Justice in Sacramento, Calif. California will give gun owners more time to register their legal assault weapons under a settlement Thursday, March 18, 2021, over what critics charged was the state’s botched registration system in 2018. The settlement with the state attorney general’s office means no owners will be held liable for missing the July 1, 2018, registration deadline. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge has overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, ruling that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled Friday that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states.

California first restricted assault weapons in 1989, with multiple updates to the law since then.

California’s attorney general argued that assault weapons as defined by the law are more dangerous than other firearms and are disproportionately used in crimes and mass shootings. But Benitez said the guns are overwhelmingly owned for legal purposes.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trademark and Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Trending Stories