Assault weapons, handguns, age limits: gun rights groups increasingly turn to the courts

Assault weapons, handguns, age limits: gun rights groups increasingly turn to the courts

(ASSOCIATED PRESS) Semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. In recent years gun ownership groups have filed numerous suits seeking to strike down gun-control laws, and expand gun-owning rights When U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez issued a sweeping ruling striking down California’s decades-old laws regulating assault weapons on June 4, the reaction was swift and loud. Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose father was a state appeals court judge, labeled Benitez “a wholly owned-subsidiary of the gun lobby.” Attorney General Rob Bonta called the 95-page ruling — whose opening sentence compared assault-style weapons to Swiss army knives — “fundamentally flawed” and promised a swift appeal. Yet the ruling was just one of a half-dozen challenges to the state’s gun laws pending in the San Diego federal courts. And it was one in a larger national courtroom assault in the past several years against gun laws by gun-rights groups, one of which called Benitez’s decision “a historic victory for individual liberty.” The ruling is under appeal and its effect — which prohibited the state from continuing to enforce the gun regulations — is on hold while the case is under review by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. So are two other rulings Benitez made in the past two years, one that struck down the state’s ban on high-capacity magazines, and a second that did away with ammunition background checks. The trio of cases are part of a wide-ranging legal campaign by gun ownership advocates […]

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