US gun laws: Judge overturns California assault weapons ban

US gun laws: Judge overturns California assault weapons ban

Getty Images image captionThe AR-15 is a commonly used assault rifle A California judge has overturned the state’s ban on assault weapons, describing the popular AR-15 rifle as "good for both home and battle". Federal judge Roger Benitez said the law went against the constitutional Second Amendment right to bear arms. Judge Benitez found that the way California defines military-style rifles deprives the state’s residents of weapons allowed elsewhere in the US. Governor Gavin Newsom described the ruling as a threat to public safety. America’s gun culture in charts ‘I won’t ever stop fighting to stop gun violence’ California Attorney General Rob Bonta said the authorities would appeal against the decision, which the judge suspended for 30 days to allow the appeal to be lodged. In the opening to his ruling, Judge Benitez wrote: "Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle." An error has occurred Access the world through your BBC Account. Register He said current California legislation banned "fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles". "This case is not about extraordinary weapons lying at the outer limits of Second Amendment protection. The banned ‘assault weapons’ are not bazookas, howitzers, or machine guns. Those arms are dangerous and solely useful for military purposes," the ruling said. In a preliminary decision last year, the judge said California’s complex definition of assault weapons meant ordinary gun-owners could unwittingly end up owning an illegal […]

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