Judge overturns California’s 32-year ban on assault weapons


FILE – In this June 29, 2004, file photo, Steve Sposato, who lost his wife in a shooting, holds an automatic rifle as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., left, then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, second left, and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., right, look on at a news conference in San Francisco. Sposato’s wife, Jody Sposato, was killed in 1993 in the high-rise shooting at a San Francisco law firm. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled Friday, June 4, 2021, 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. Gov. Newsom condemned the decision, calling it “a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period.” (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge has overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, calling it a “failed experiment” that violates the constitutional right to bear arms. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled Friday that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states. California first restricted assault weapons in 1989, with multiple updates to the law since then. California’s attorney general argued that assault weapons are more dangerous than other firearms and are disproportionately used in crimes and mass shootings. But Benitez said the guns are overwhelmingly owned for legal purposes. Gov. Gavin Newsom calling the decision “a direct threat to public safety.”

David Katz joins The Pat Thurston Show to discuss the decision below.

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