Appeals court upholds California city's gun-magazine ban

AP News
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Posted: Mar 04, 2015 3:29 PM

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — An appeals court on Wednesday upheld a San Francisco Bay Area city's ban on gun magazines that can hold more than 10 bullets.

The 9th US. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected gun owners' arguments that Sunnyvale's ban violated Second Amendment rights raised by the National Rifle Association and others opposed to the ordinance.

"Sunnyvale's interests in promoting public safety and reducing violent crime were substantial and important government interests," Judge Michael Daly Hawkins wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel.

Hawkins said the ban "does not affect the ability of law-abiding citizens to possess" handguns, a fundamental right strengthened by a seminal U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008. Gun right advocates have used the Supreme Court ruling to challenge numerous restrictions enacted across the country.

State law banned the sale and manufacturer of high-capacity magazines since 2000. But Sunnyvale's voter-approved ban goes further, prohibiting possession of high-capacity magazines. The ruling upheld a lower court.

San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities in California and across the country have enacted or are considering similar bans.

Several other federal courts across the country have made similar rulings. None have struck down a ban.

Chuck Michel, a gun-rights lawyer challenging the ban, said he plans to appeal the ruling. Michel could ask a larger panel of 9th Circuit judges to reconsider the case or he can petition the U.S. Supreme Court.