Ninth Circuit Returns to Form, Upholds Bizarre California Gun Regulation


Well, we all knew it wouldn’t last. Weeks after two different Ninth Circuit panels surprisingly upheld Second Amendment rights by blocking California’s confiscation of large-capacity magazines and Hawaii’s ban on open carry, the nation’s most progressive circuit returned to form. In a ruling earlier this month, it upheld one of the most bizarre and nonsensical gun regulations in the nation. It did so by essentially ignoring the plain language of Heller and approving a legal regime that will naturally and inevitably lead to diminishing options for citizens who seek to lawfully exercise their constitutional right to self-defense.

Here are the basic facts. California’s Unsafe Handgun Act requires new handguns sold in the state to have three key safety features. First, new guns must have an indicator that shows when a round is loaded in the weapon’s chamber. Second, new guns must have a magazine-detachment mechanism that prevents the gun from discharging when a magazine is not in it. Finally, the third provision “requires new handguns to stamp microscopically the handgun’s make, model, and serial number onto each fired shell casing.”

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