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BREAKING NEWS! NINTH CIRCUIT EN BANC PANEL REVERSES HISTORIC GUN RIGHTS VICTORY IN CRPA CHALLENGE TO STATEWIDE BAN ON STANDARD CAPACITY MAGAZINES

November 30, 2021

Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, released its long-awaited decision in Duncan v. Bonta (formerly Duncan v. Becerra). The CRPA lawsuit, which challenges California’s flat ban on magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, was the first successful constitutional challenge to bans on so-called “large-capacity magazines” in the country. But sadly, the court reversed CRPA’s historic wins in both the district court and before the three-judge Ninth Circuit panel that upheld the district court’s ruling, thus pushing CRPA to take the case to the Supreme Court.

CRPA WILL ACT TO PRESERVE THE STATUS QUO WHILE REQUESTING CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT.

CRPA WILL ACT PROMPTLY TO PRESERVE THE STATUS QUO WHILE CRPA REQUESTS CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT. For now, it appears that gun owners who possess magazines over 10 rounds may continue to possess them while the parties work to exhaust their avenues for rehearing and appeal. CRPA will release additional information on the status for individual gun owners as it becomes available.

As reported previously, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit held in August 2020 that California’s ban on standard—capacity magazines is unconstitutional—thus handing CRPA a big win. That decision struck down California’s prohibitions on both possessing and acquiring such magazines and, in doing so, upheld a 2019 decision from the United States District Court in San Diego secured by CRPA and its attorneys at Michel & Associates, P.C. That decision sparked what we have all come to know as “Freedom Week,” during which California gun owners lawfully purchased hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of standard-capacity magazines. The state of California appealed that ruling to the Ninth Circuit, which initially affirmed CRPA’s victory through the 3-judge panel.

As was expected, the state then asked the court to rehear the case en banc by a larger panel of 11 judges. And as has also come to be expected whenever gun rights advocates secure a victory in the Ninth Circuit, the court granted review.

Oral arguments were heard on June 22, 2021, before a largely unfriendly en banc panel—composed of 7 judges appointed by Democrats and just 4 appointed by Republicans. Most observers correctly predicted that this panel would reverse CRPA’s hard fought wins. The en banc panel applied intermediate scrutiny to the decision finding that this level of scrutiny should be applied because “the ban imposed only a minimal burden on the core Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”

Additionally, the court completely ignored the government taking argument and offered twisted reasoning that because California allows a person to sell their property or modify their property, the standard for government taking is not met.

In response to today’s decision, CRPA President Chuck Michel said that “We are truly disappointed that the Ninth Circuit en banc panel decided to go against the solid constitutional reasoning of other judges to strike down this win for gun owners. We will be appealing to the Supreme Court for a final determination because gun owners deserve to have someone fighting for them and their rights. The Second Amendment is a fundamental right, and it is time that courts stop treating that right like a second-class gift from government.”

Now that the en banc ruling has come down, the Duncan plaintiffs will petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court—with CRPA’s full and focused support. The effort to persuade the Court to take the case will require as much support from California’s Second Amendment community as possible. And the timing could hardly be better because the Supreme Court recently heard New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen and is expected to release a pro-Second Amendment decision in Spring 2022. The iron is hot right now to take this case to the Supreme Court, but CRPA needs your help to strike it. Remember that CRPA’s successes in the Duncan case were possible only because of the generosity and commitment of our members. CRPA needs that support today more than ever.

CRPA WILL ACT PROMPTLY TO PRESERVE THE STATUS QUO WHILE CRPA REQUESTS CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT. For now, it appears that gun owners who possess magazines over 10 rounds may continue to possess them while the parties work to exhaust their avenues for rehearing and appeal. CRPA will release additional information on the status for individual gun owners as it becomes available.

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Please help CRPA continue the fight against California’s unconstitutional laws by DONATING to the Litigation Victory Fund! And make sure you are subscribed to CRPA email alerts and visit the CRPA website for the latest developments in Duncan.

 

READ FULL OPINION HERE

 

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