The lack of logic and common sense in the different levels of leadership in California is mind-boggling. 

A governor who deems their state to be a sanctuary for immigrants not in the country legally.

State legislators who handcuff police officers when they are forced into use of deadly force scenarios.

A Mayor that sits idly by as homeless people defecate in the streets.

State mandates that require an ID and a background check every time you want to purchase ammunition. What could possibly happen next, you ask? Well, let us tell you.

A federal judge ruled last week that a California law banning semi-automatic rifles is not a violation of the right to bear arms as afforded by the Second Amendment. While the decision to uphold the existing law is disturbing enough, wait until you hear the rationale behind it. 

U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton of Santa Ana, Calif. ruled on July 22 to uphold the current state law banning the ownership, manufacture, or sale of “semiautomatic rifles (and the bullet buttons that alter a conventional rifle into a rapid-fire weapon),” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Buckle up, it is about to get good. In her ruling, Staton called the rifles “incredibly effective killing machines” that are not needed for self-defense.

Well, let’s hope they are effective. If my rifles are ineffective, I am getting rid of them.  The California Rifle & Pistol Association disagree with her assertion, and so do I. Why should self-defense be limited to one shot over longer periods before being capable of the next shot?

She decided that semi-automatic rifles should be deemed “dangerous and unusual weapons” that are used in military service, not civilian homes, and therefore not protected by the Second Amendment.

Where do I start? The 2nd Amendment is not about self-defense. Defense of your home is a benefit of the right to keep and bear arms.

Next, what the judge does not seem to grasp is that the type of weaponry in the possession of the US military is not the same as the stuff owned by most American gun-owners. I have never met anyone who owns a 240B, a M203, a MK-19 or a truck-mounted M2 .50 caliber automatic rifle.

Lastly, the 2ndAmendment guarantees us the ability to defend against a tyrannical government. How do we do that with revolvers and slingshots? That is what California would like to mandate.

Staton “cited congressional findings that semi-automatic rifles have a rate of fire, 300 to 500 rounds per minute, that makes them ‘virtually undistinguishable’ from machine guns, and that they are the ‘weapons of choice’ for gangs, hate groups, and ‘mentally deranged persons bent on mass murder,’” the San Francisco Chronicle described.

I recently did an exercise with an AR-15.

Using 30-round magazines, I fired off every round as quickly as I could, ejected that magazine, loaded another one, let the bolt ride forward and fired the fresh 30 as fast as possible, ejecting and reloading a final time.

I did so while trying to maintain a solid sight picture on the target. The best I was able to do was 44.53 seconds.

That averaged out to around 80 rounds per minute – a far cry from the 300 to 500 rounds per minute the judge alluded to.

500-800 rounds per minute is a figure based on cyclic rate of fire. Translation: 500-800 rounds per minute is the maximum number of rounds a weapon could cycle before experiencing mechanical breakdown or malfunction. This is not the actual rate of fire.

Contrary to Staton’s irrational thought process, semi-automatic weapons are completely distinguishable from machine guns.

She added that there is clear evidence that the bullets fired by semi-automatic rifles “can pass through both humans and buildings and therefore pose a greater risk of striking innocent bystanders.”

Pass through buildings? Ummmm…what?

That type of statement should be accompanied by some background context. What type of building? Are the doors and windows open? Is the building made of cardboard or cinderblock?

I had a Winchester Model 7mm Magnum bolt-action rifle. It was a single-shot rifle. The rounds traveled between 2330 and 3100 (an M4 travels at just short of 3000 feet per second) depending on the load.

Its kill ability is not based on whether the rounds are fired bolt-action or semi-automatic.  Incidentally, a bolt-action is typically considered more powerful than a semi-automatic as it has a tighter gas seal around the breech.

But do not tell the gun experts over in the California Senate or Assembly. They will start coming after bolt-action rifles, gas seals and anything else they can think of.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, The California Rifle & Pistol Association’s lawsuit cites a 2011 opinion by Brett Kavanaugh that ruled “the Second Amendment should be interpreted to allow possession of semi-automatic weapons and prohibit mandatory gun-registration laws.”

Attorney Eric Tirschwell of Everytown for Gun Safety, an avid supporter of Staton’s ruling said:

“It is the latest confirmation from the courts that there is no conflict between reasonable gun safety laws and the Second Amendment.”

However, Staton’s ruling is uncommon and goes against the grain of previous court rulings that stated that banning semi-automatic weapons or high-capacity magazines would interfere with law-abiding citizens’ right to self-defense.

Her ruling should be appealed and heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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The gun battle in California is just one of many they’ve seen this year.

In March, for one week, it was legal for Golden State residents to buy standard capacity feeding magazines.  And they bought a LOT of them.

One million of them, to be precise.

The floodgates opened when US District Judge Roger Benitez overturned the state’s nearly 20-year-old ban in late March.

But a week later, sales were halted.  With that said, it was ruled that those who bought the magazines can legally own them while the state appeals his ruling.

According to The UK Daily Mail, more than a million high-capacity ammunition magazines were sold in California during that one-week window.

Reform groups say you should ignore those numbers.  They argue that gun rights organizations are just trying to “make the case that magazines holding more than 10 bullets are so common now that a ban is impractical.”

According to The UK Daily Mail, while the individual magazines aren’t tracked, there’s plenty of “anecdotal evidence”.

“Everything was all sold out. I basically took whatever I could get,” said Chris Puehse, who owns Foothill Ammo in Shingle Springs, east of Sacramento.

He says he fielded dozens of calls and buyers stacked up 20 deep in his one-man store to buy the hundreds of magazines that arrived in two shipments last week.

“People loved it. It was like we were out of prison and were not treated like bastard stepchildren of the country anymore,” he said. “It was like we were out of prison and were not treated like bastard stepchildren of the country anymore.”

Here are the details.

At the end of March, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California ruled that California’s ban on ammunition magazines holding more than ten rounds violates the Second Amendment.

And it’s sure to have implications in legal battles across the country, including states like Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez blocked the implementation of California’s “high-capacity” magazine ban two days before it was to go into effect.

Judge Benitez said the ban would never survive the test of District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008, saying:

“When the simple test of Heller is applied … the statute is adjudged an unconstitutional abridgment.”

It’s been an ongoing battle. On July 17, 2018, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld Benitez’s ruling, voting 2-to-1 against the ban and sending the case back to Benitez.

Then he again ruled against the ban, issuing an order barring California Attorney General Xavier Becerra from enforcing the ban.

His ruling was based heavily upon Heller, saying:

“Millions of ammunition magazines able to hold more than 10 rounds are in common use by law-abiding responsible citizens for lawful uses like self-defense. This is enough to decide that a magazine able to hold more than 10 rounds passes the Heller test.“

The case is Duncan v. Becerra, No. 2:17-cv-56-81 in the U.S. District Court for Southern California.

“Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts,” he wrote as he declared the law unconstitutional.

Conclusion From The Ruling

Magazines holding more than 10 rounds are “arms.” California Penal Code Section 32310, as amended by Proposition 63, burdens the core of the Second Amendment by criminalizing the acquisition and possession of these magazines that are commonly held by law-abiding citizens for defense of self, home, and state.

The regulation is neither presumptively legal nor longstanding. The statute hits at the center of the Second Amendment and its burden is severe. When the simple test of Heller is applied, a test that persons of common intelligence can understand, the statute fails and is an unconstitutional abridgment. It criminalizes the otherwise lawful acquisition and possession of common magazines holding more than 10 rounds – magazines that law-abiding responsible citizens would choose for self-defense at home.

It also fails the strict scrutiny test because the statute is not narrowly tailored – it is not tailored at all. Even under the more forgiving test of intermediate scrutiny, the statute fails because it is not a reasonable fit.

It is not a reasonable fit because, among other things, it prohibits law-abiding concealed carry weapon permit holders and law-abiding U.S Armed Forces veterans from acquiring magazines and instead forces them to dispossess themselves of lawfully-owned gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds or suffer criminal penalties. Finally, subsections (c) and (d) of § 32310 impose an unconstitutional taking without compensation upon Plaintiffs and all those who lawfully possess magazines able to hold more than 10 rounds.

Accordingly, based upon the law and the evidence, upon which there is no genuine issue, and for the reasons stated in this opinion, Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment is granted. California Penal Code § 32310 is hereby declared to be unconstitutional in its entirety and shall be enjoined.

The state of California has actually prohibited buying or selling such magazines since 2000, but those who had them before then were allowed to keep them.

That changed in 2016, when the Legislature and voters approved a law removing that provision.

The California arm of the National Rifle Association sued.  Benitez sided with their argument that the ban on magazines infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Benitez had temporarily blocked the law from taking effect with a 2017 ruling.

But the latest ruling goes much farther, in essence striking down the entire ban.  That allows individuals to legally acquire the high-capacity magazines for the first time in nearly two decades.

Chuck Michel is an attorney for the NRA and the California Rifle & Pistol Association.

“We’re still digesting the opinion but it appears to us that he stuck down both the latest ban on possessing by those who are grandfathered in, but also said that everyone has a right to acquire one,” Michel said.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra isn’t happy.  He said in a statement that his office is “committed to defending California’s common-sense gun laws” and is reviewing the decision and evaluating its next steps.

Becerra has previously said that similar Second challenges have been repeatedly rejected by other courts. He cited at least seven other states and 11 local governments that already restrict the possession or sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines.

There’s very little doubt that the conflict on magazine size will ultimately end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Michel said the decision “recognizes that the Second Amendment is not a second-class right and that the state has to meet a high burden before it can pass a law that infringes on the right to keep or bear arms.”

In his ruling, Benitez described three home invasions.  In two of them, the female victims ran out of bullets.  In the third, the woman was wearing pajamas… but had a high-capacity magazine.  She took on three people invading her home, firing at them while calling for help.

“She had no place to carry an extra magazine and no way to reload because her left hand held the phone with which she was still trying to call 911,” the judge wrote.

The woman killed one attacker while two escaped.

Judge Benitez ruled that magazines holding more than 10 rounds are “arms” under the U.S. Constitution.  He also said the California law:

“burdens the core of the Second Amendment by criminalizing the acquisition and possession of these magazines that are commonly held by law-abiding citizens for defense of self, home, and state.”

Benitez was an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush. 

He recognized that the goal of the California law is to deter mass-shootings, such as the San Bernardino shooting killed 14 and injured 22.

But he also called such shootings “exceedingly rare” and stressed that everyday robberies, rapes and murders can be countered with firearms.

The governor of California had no comment.

California seems to frequently make news for some of the more outlandish plans to infringe on rights.  In February, they went so far as to go after the safety of police officers.

This time the debate surrounding the authorization for police to utilize deadly force was again challenged, reported KCRA News.

Currently, officers who fear for their lives are able to make and carry out the decision to neutralize a hostile subject. With the proposed legislation, deadly force would only be able to be used if other de-escalation tactics were either unfeasible or attempted without success.

“This means they may use force only if there is no reasonable alternative, including warnings, verbal persuasion or other non-lethal methods of resolution or de-escalation,” Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber said.

Weber claimed that she would try to set a countrywide standard to only allow police to use deadly force to prevent serious injury or death.

If you haven’t heard, New Hampshire is putting officer’s lives at risk as well.

There is no debate here. This change WILL result in more officers being killed on duty.

If this passes, more officers in real and significant danger will not pull the trigger on their service weapons in fear for the public fallback and potential for going to prison simply for protecting their own lives. We are letting narratives control how our officers live and work.

In 2018 we lost around 150 officers while they were serving our communities. We refuse to let 2019 lead to another increase in this metric.

As it stands right now, officers are trained to use multiple techniques to remedy dangerous situations that put their lives and the lives of innocent civilians at risk. When these situations escalate, tough decisions must be made.

defensive handgun uses

California officers face new challenges with the proposed bill. (Photo courtesy LovableNinja)

Democratic Senate President Toni Atkins stated that, “We must acknowledge that we have a problem with disproportionate police use of force here in California.”

If you didn’t already see this racial narrative debunked by 2017’s deadly force stats, check out this article right here.

In fact, the number of California law enforcement-related deaths dropped by one-third last year, from 172 in 2017 to 114 in 2018…. with no major changes in legislation.

We are officers, supporters, family members, friends, neighbors, and patriotic Americans that are tired of seeing blue blood being spilled in the streets. We see the negativity in the media. We see the skewed narratives and bogus accusations that label every law enforcement officer as a racist murderer seeking bloodlust. And we are tired of it.

Let’s be honest folks. 99.99% of officers don’t want to wake up and go shoot someone during their shift. Officers don’t patrol the streets hoping they’ll get to pull the trigger. They want to serve, protect, make their community a better place and then go home to their families, just like every other American does at the end of the day.

When will we end the hate against our brothers and sisters in blue? When will we stop allowing criminals to run the show? When will we stop letting violent gang members and murderers back on the street just so they can turn around and commit another heinous act?

It’s time to stop. It’s time to think. And it’s time to move our nation in the direction it needs.

I’ll leave you with a quote from a very wise man, Edmund Burke.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” 

If you don’t stand up and voice your opinion about these very real issues, who will be there to protect you when you need it most?

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