Mississippi News

Fitch joins other states against California gun law

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has joined a coalition of 22 states urging the Ninth Circuit to uphold the Second Amendment and once again declare California’s law limiting magazine capacity as unconstitutional.

“This California law oversteps Constitutional boundaries and threatens the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” said Fitch. “My colleagues and I ask the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the decisions of the district court and smaller appeals court panel, protecting the Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

An 11-member panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will rehear a case en banc challenging California Penal Code 32310, which bans and criminalizes certain ammunition magazines. A 3-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit has already ruled the 2016 law violates the Second Amendment and struck it down last August, but California’s Attorney General appealed, and rehearing en banc was granted last month. Forty-one states, including Mississippi, have no ban on large capacity magazines, like the 11-plus magazines at issue in California.

The Second Amendment states, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The states argue in their amicus brief that California’s law banning the possession of commonly-used arms, even in the home for self-defense, strikes at the core of the Second Amendment.

The right to self-defense is essential to millions of Americans. California first prohibited the manufacture, import, and sale of these magazines in 2000. In 2013, California banned the purchase or receipt of such magazines. And in 2013, the State outlawed mere possession of them, essentially barring use of the millions of guns that use them, including in the home for self-defense.

As the Ninth Circuit 3-judge panel has already properly recognized, the Second Amendment has been particularly useful in guarding the possibility of self-defense in many disadvantaged communities. The same is true for women; guns can serve as a force equalizer and allow women to protect themselves more effectively against “abusers and assailants.” Similarly, those in high-crime communities where law enforcement is stretched thin often highly value the right to own weapons for self-defense. 

Oral arguments are scheduled for June 20, 2021.

For a copy of States’ Amicus Brief, click here.

In addition to Mississippi, the following states joined the Arizona and Louisiana-led brief: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Attorney General Lynn Fitch office news release

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