When U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez blocked the implementation of California’s “high capacity” ban, he explained that he did so in part because the ban failed “the simple test of Heller.”
Benitez was referencing the seminal Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v Heller (2008); a ruling which reaffirmed that Second Amendment rights are individual rights that the government is prohibited from infringing. Heller struck down a Washington DC gun ban — demonstrating that federal districts are barred from infringing gun rights—and in 2010, the McDonald v Chicago ruling affirmed that states are barred from infringing said rights as well.
Heller and McDonald are two sides of the same coin, both upholding and protecting the individual right to keep and bear arms.
The California “high capacity” magazine ban was set to go into effect on July 1. But Breitbart News reported that Benitez issued an injunction on June 29 to prevent the ban’s implementation. Although the ban was the result of a majority vote–via the passage of Proposition 63–Benitez indicated that natural rights are not up for a majority vote; that “[The] constitution is a shield from the tyranny of the majority.”
He pointed to Heller and explained that the “high capacity” magazine ban cannot stand “when the simple test of Heller is applied.”
Benitez: “When the simple test of Heller is applied…the statute is adjudged an unconstitutional abridgment.”
— NRA (@NRA) June 30, 2017
Even when viewed pragmatically, Benitez described the “high capacity” magazine ban as a “haphazard solution likely to have no effect” on gun crime but a burdensome effect on law-abiding citizens. ABC News quoted Benitez, saying the ban would mean “hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens [would] have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.