Ninth Circuit Stays Lower Court Ruling, Allows California Magazine Ban to Stand

Black modern gun and ammunition for it on a dark reflective surface. Short-barreled weapon
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The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday stayed U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez’s decision blocking the enforcement of California’s “high capacity” magazine ban.

On September 22, 2023, Breitbart News reported that Benitez blocked the magazine ban for a second time. He first blocked it on June 29, 2017, when he noted that the ban had to be blocked to prevent “otherwise law-abiding” citizens from being criminalized.

Since that first decision against the ban, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued its Bruen (2022) decision, and Benitez cited that decision when blocking the ban in 2023.

Bruen ruled that New York’s proper cause requirement for concealed carry permit issuance was unconstitutional.

Benitez focused on Bruen’s requirement that gun control have a clear line of historical precedence in order to stand, then decided against the ban, as he could not find historical support.

KQED quoted Benitez, noting, “There is no American tradition of limiting ammunition capacity.”

He noted that historically speaking, detachable magazines “solved a problem with historic firearms: running out of ammunition and having to slowly reload a gun.”

He added, “There have been, and there will be, times where many more than 10 rounds are needed to stop attackers,” Benitez wrote. “Yet, under this statute, the State says ‘too bad.’”

Benitez’s ruling was appealed to the Ninth Circuit, and on October 10, 2023, the Ninth Circuit stayed Benitez’s decision.

The Ninth Circuit’s left-leaning majority ruled in favor of the stay, writing:

…We conclude that the public interest tips in favor of a stay. The public has a compelling interest in promoting public safety, as mass shootings nearly always involve large-capacity magazines, and, although the public has an interest in possessing firearms and ammunition for self-defense, that interest is hardly affected by this stay.

The Ninth Circuit did not mention that in one of the more high-profile shootings in the nation’s history–the February 14, 2018, Parkland high school shooting–the attacker used only ten-round magazines.

Weeks after the Parkland shooting occurred, National Review pointed to a report that indicated the attacker who “killed 17 in Florida on Valentine’s Day had 150 rounds of ammunition in 10-round magazines. Larger ones would not fit in his bag.”

Moreover, when California’s “high capacity” magazine ban was working its way through the state legislature, Breitbart News observed the state was limiting magazine capacity to the same amount that Elliot Rodger had used in the 2014 Santa Barbara killing spree.

Following Rodger’s attack, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said law enforcement found 41 “loaded 10-round magazines” in Rodger’s car.

The case is Duncan v. Bonta, No. 23-55805, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

RELATED — AWR Hawkins: “Long Gone Are the Days” Leftists Just Want to Ban Specific Weapons


AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010, a speaker at the 2023 Western Conservative Summit, and he holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at


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