Appeals Court Reinstates Background Checks For Californians Buying Ammo
San Diego, CA – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated a California law requiring citizens to pass background checks before they are allowed to purchase ammunition.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Benitez in San Diego called the state’s law “onerous and convoluted” before he granted a preliminary injunction on April 23, ruling in favor of a lawsuit filed by the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) and six-time Olympic medalist shooting champion Kim Rhode, NBC News reported.
“The experiment has been tried. The casualties have been counted. California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” Benitez wrote in his 120-page opinion, according to the Associated Press.
"In this action, Plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction enjoining California’s onerous and convoluted new laws requiring ammunition purchase background checks and implementing ammunition anti-importation laws,” Benitez said, according to NBC News.
He argued that background checks negatively effect legal ammunition buyers, but that they essentially do nothing to stop criminals from getting their hands on rounds.
“Criminals, tyrants and terrorists don’t do background checks," the judge noted.
The coronavirus pandemic also serves as a reminder for why the right to bear arms is paramount, he continued.
“Presently, California and many other states sit in isolation under pandemic-inspired stay-at-home orders," Benitez wrote, according to The Washington Free Beacon. "Schools, parks, beaches, and countless non-essential businesses are closed. Courts are limping by while police make arrests for only the more serious crimes.”
“Maintaining Second Amendment rights are especially important in times like these. Keeping vigilant is necessary in both bad times and good, for if we let these rights lapse in the good times, they might never be recovered in time to resist the next appearance of criminals, terrorists, or tyrants,” the judge opined.
The federal appeals court granted a temporary stay on the injunction the following day, the National Rifle Association (NRA) said in a press release.
“This means that the same restrictions that have been previously in effect regarding ammunition in California are back for the time being, pending further order from the court,” the NRA explained.
Californians voted for Proposition 63 in 2016, thereby banning “high-capacity magazines” and mandating background checks for ammunition sales, NBC News reported.
The checks have been in effect since July of 2019.