SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge Friday overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, ruling that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Roger T. Benitez, who has favored pro-gun groups in past rulings, described the AR-15 rifle, used in many of the nation’s deadliest mass shootings, as an ideal weapon.
“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment,” he wrote in Friday’s decision.
“Yet, the State of California makes it a crime to have an AR15 type rifle,” Benitez continued. “Therefore, this Court declares the California statutes to be unconstitutional.”
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