Ninth Circuit Hears Debate Over Ammo Background Checks

Ninth Circuit Hears Debate Over Ammo Background Checks

(CN) — The Ninth Circuit heard arguments Monday on whether to reverse an order finding California’s ammunition background check requirement is unconstitutional by the federal judge largely responsible for eviscerating California’s overwhelmingly voter-approved gun control measure, Proposition 63. In April, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, a George W. Bush appointee, blocked California from enforcing the provision in Proposition 63 that requires purchasers to undergo one of two main background checks to confirm they can legally purchase ammunition. The Ninth Circuit granted an emergency stay of Benitez’s 120-page order this past May, after state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said ammunition vendors — including online sellers — immediately began selling ammunition without performing background checks on purchasers. Proposition 63 was passed by 63% of voters in 2016. The gun control legislation has been chipped away at by Second Amendment advocates, including the California Rifle & Pistol Association, whose lawsuits challenging the law have ended up in Benitez’s court due to an obscure court rule in the federal district in San Diego requiring “related cases” be assigned to the same judge. On Monday, a Ninth Circuit panel considered whether to reverse Benitez’s finding that background checks for ammunition purchases are unconstitutional. Deputy Attorney General Nelson Richards said the two background checks ammunition purchasers can use — standard or basic background checks — work in conjunction. He said Benitez got it wrong that being rejected under the default “standard” background check meant a purchaser was subject to a complete ban on the right […]

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