U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez on Friday barred California from enforcing its ban, saying it violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms and deprives Californians of possession of assault-type weapons commonly permitted in d ‘other states. He granted a 30-day stay of the injunction.
At a press conference Thursday announcing that an appeal had been filed, Bonta, a Democrat, called the judge’s opinion “disturbing, disturbing and very concerning.”
“We cannot be and we are not discouraged by this decision,” he said.
Bonta said his office would ask the appeals court to stay the district court’s decision, which would extend the stay for 30 days and leave the laws in place during the appeal process.
Bonta, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and others who spoke at Thursday’s press conference called Benitez an ideologue and claimed his move was a legal aberration.
“It’s insulting to read his ruling in which he called the kind of weapon that killed my son a pocket knife,” said Mattie Scott, who heads the California chapter of the Brady Center and lost her son to it. gun violence in 1996. “Pocket knives were not invented to kill as many people as possible. Pocket knives don’t tear families apart. “
Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Giffords Law Center, said they expect the Ninth Circuit to overturn Benitez’s decision, but also expect gun lobbyists to continue trying to get similar cases before Benitez to advance them in the federal system.
The judge’s decision fell Miller vs. Bonta, a 2019 lawsuit filed by California residents, the San Diego County Gun Owners PAC and other gun rights groups.
California became the first state to ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons in 1989, following a shooting at an elementary school in Stockton that left five children dead.
Six other states and Washington, DC, have banned certain semi-automatic firearms.
In recent years, the United States Supreme Court has refused to challenge assault-type weapon bans in several states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Illinois, leaving lower court compliance with these laws in place. . Gun rights advocates, however, see new legal challenge opportunities with the recent addition of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, giving the High Court a conservative 6-3 tilt.
In April, the Tory majority bench decided to consider a case over a New York law that prohibits an individual from carrying a concealed handgun in public in what will be the first major gun rights court ruling. on fire for a decade.
This story has been updated with additional feedback and background information.
CNN’s Alexandra Meeks, Josh Campbell and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.