Granted this is from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals at the federal level (and Illinois is in the Seventh Circuit), but the news today out of California is good. Judge Roger Benitez, aka St. Benitez, has struck down Cali’s magazine ban for the second time in Duncan v. Bonta.
The first time it happened back in 2017, prior to Bruen, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his decision. Then, when SCOTUS released the Bruen decision last summer, they also granted certiorari in the magazine case, vacating the Ninth Circuit’s decision, and they remanded it back to the District Court for a “do over.” AKA: Try again Ninth Circuit.
Removable firearm magazines of all sizes are necessary components of semiautomatic firearms. Therefore, magazines come within the text of the constitutional declaration that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Because millions of removable firearm magazines able to hold between 10 and 30 rounds are commonly owned by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, including self-defense, and because they are reasonably related to service in the militia, the magazines are presumptively within the protection of the Second Amendment. There is no American history or tradition of regulating firearms based on the number of rounds they can shoot, or of regulating the amount of ammunition that can be kept and carried. The best analogue that can be drawn from historical gun laws are the early militia equipment regulations that required all able-bodied citizens to equip themselves with a gun and a minimum amount of ammunition in excess of 10 rounds.
He also shared this little tidbit . . .
One government solution to a few mad men with guns is a law that makes into criminals responsible, law-abiding people wanting larger magazines simply to protect themselves. The history and tradition of the Second Amendment clearly supports state laws against the use or misuse of firearms with unlawful intent, but not the disarmament of the law-abiding citizen. That kind of a solution is an infringement on the Constitutional right of citizens to keep and bear arms. The adoption of the Second Amendment was a freedom calculus decided long ago by our first citizens who cherished individual freedom with its risks more than the subservient security of a British ruler or the smothering safety of domestic lawmakers. The freedom they fought for was worth fighting for then, and that freedom is entitled to be preserved still.
Again, while this isn’t precedent in the 7th Circuit, this can’t hurt our chances in front of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. If they ignore this and rule against us, I can’t help but think this improves the likelihood of either the California case Duncan v. Bonta or our case from Illinois gets accepted by SCOTUS to resolve conflicting opinions between appellate courts.
Time will tell.