Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Supreme Court Judge Refuses To Stay California City’s Magazine Ban

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy rejected a request to block enforcement of Sunnyvale, CA’s new ban on large capacity magazines. The ban, which was passed in 2013, went into effect last week.

A group of gun owners has been challenging the ban in court, alleging that it violates their constitutional rights. Last week, an appeals court refused to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the ban from going into effect while the legal challenges to the ban are still underway.

The appeals court ruled that the ban “applies only the most minor burden on the Second Amendment,” adding that “Sunnyvale’s interests in promoting public safety and reducing violent crime were substantial and important government interests.”

Following last week’s appeals court ruling, the plaintiffs turned to Justice Kennedy as a last resort. His refusal to issue an injunction is not all that surprising, given that the Supreme Court rarely awards emergency injunctions in cases like this.

In practical terms, though, this means that any resident of Sunnyvale who owns a magazine that holds more than ten rounds is now committing a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

While it is not clear how many Sunnyvale residents will be affected by the ban, research has shown that more than half of the magazines in the United States hold more than ten rounds.

The ongoing legal battle over the ban will continue in April, when the parties are due to submit their briefs.

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