Rob Bonta

California Appeals Ruling That Overturned State's Assault Weapons Ban

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Following a recent federal ruling that struck down California’s ban on assault weapons, state leaders are reacting.

“The decision was disappointing and the reasoning, such as equating assault weapons to swiss army knives and false claims that COVID-19 vaccines have killed more people than mass shootings, was shocking,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said Thursday.

Governor Gavin Newson also slammed U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, who found the 32-year-old initial ruling unconstitutional and said it has no effect on stopping mass shootings.

Several gun owners’ advocates, from San Diego County, were listed as plaintiffs in the case. NBC 7's Lauren Coronado reports.

Benitez issued a 30-day stay that Bonta has petitioned to keep in effect through the appeals process.

Local gun advocates are praising the ruling.

“I thought it was long overdue,” John Sivers said. “I’m surprised it took 32 years for somebody to challenge the law.”

Gun rights advocates believe this polarizing case has implications for gun laws beyond California.

“There’s a lot of things I think the Supreme Court is going to have to come down and make a decision on because I think it’s unfair. People who live in one state have to live under a different set of rules or laws than people in an adjoining state,” Sivers said.

According to the FBI, nationally, handguns are the most common weapon used in mass shootings.

“Image if the equipment of 40 wide-bodied planes crashed each year, killing that many people. We would ground all the planes in the United States and try to figure out what’s going on. We do not have this urgency when it comes to gun violence,” Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital trauma surgeon Dr. Andre Campbell said.

Many are wondering what this ruling changes, and for now, it changes nothing until a higher court makes a decision.

If the conservative-leaning Supreme Court ever takes up this case, gun owners may be able to bring banned rifles back into the state.

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