Federal Judge Strikes Down California’s Ammunition Background Check Law
In the Golden State, known for its stringent gun laws, a refreshing breeze of constitutional adherence has recently swept through, courtesy of U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez. Judge Benitez just issued a ruling that strikes down California’s invasive statute mandating background checks for every ammunition sale within its borders. This statute not only burdens law-abiding citizens but also bizarrely prohibits Californians from bringing home ammunition purchased in other states. Benitez declared the law a violation of both the Second Amendment and the Constitution’s dormant Commerce Clause.
The crux of Judge Benitez’s decision, spanning 32 insightful pages, illuminates the irrationality of the state’s approach towards ammunition sales. Comparing the unnecessary repetition of background checks for ammunition purchases to the absurdity of undergoing a credit check every time one buys gas for a car, Benitez highlights the disproportionate infringement on constitutional rights. His analogy underscores the irrationality of California’s law, emphasizing that while a background check is a prerequisite for purchasing a firearm, repeating such checks for ammunition purchases is excessive and constitutionally dubious.
The judge’s historical analysis further dismantles the state’s argument by demonstrating a glaring absence of analogous laws at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification. The attempt by California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) to cite laws that discriminated against minority groups as historical analogues only served to underscore the state’s desperate reach in justifying its unconstitutional statute. Benitez’s rebuke of these cited laws as “long, embarrassing, disgusting, insidious, [and] reprehensible” serves as a potent reminder of the importance of not using embarrassing history to justify present-day infringements on fundamental rights.
This decision represents a significant victory for Second Amendment advocates, affirming the constitutional right to purchase ammunition without undue governmental interference. It’s a testament to the enduring power of the Constitution and a reminder that the rights it enshrines must not be casually eroded by overzealous legislative actions.
As this ruling now opens the door for Californians to purchase ammunition without the previously mandated background checks, and to legally bring ammunition purchased in other states back home, it stands as a beacon of constitutional fidelity. However, with the California Attorney General’s office likely to appeal this decision, the battle for Second Amendment rights in California is far from over.
Yet, for now, gun owners and Second Amendment advocates can take solace in Judge Benitez’s ruling, which not only reaffirms the constitutional right to bear arms but also restores a measure of common sense to California’s gun laws. In the broader fight for gun rights in America, this ruling is a reminder that the Constitution remains the supreme law of the land, and its protections for individual liberties are not to be trifled with.