SAN FRANCISCO (November 30, 2021) — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) has issued the following statement in response to today’s misguided Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Duncan v. Bonta, which held that California’s law banning so-called “large capacity magazines” (those that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition) is permissible under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, Takings Clause, and Due Process Clause:
Today’s misguided decision makes it crystal clear that the Ninth Circuit will not respect the Constitution until the Supreme Court requires it to. Rather than following the binding Supreme Court’s D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago opinions, the Court of Appeals again used legal gamesmanship to avoid the constitutionally required result just as it has for over a decade.
The Supreme Court must make clear in its upcoming Second Amendment opinion that the Bizarro World subversion, obstruction, and avoidance doctrines employed by hostile and recalcitrant judges, as the Ninth Circuit did in this case, cannot continue. That has been and remains a focus of our FPC Law program, which has filed dozens of briefs in the past year, including many at the Supreme Court.
In April, FPC filed a brief in this case that highlighted the history of repeating arms capable of firing more than 10 rounds, and made the point that such magazines are not only common now, but have been for centuries. Judge Bumatay’s dissent adopted the approach we articulated and encouraged in our brief and starkly contrasts with the flawed majority opinion.
FPC believes that individuals have a natural right to keep and bear arms—one that is enshrined in our Constitution and which pre-exists government itself—and that entitlement includes the right to purchase and possess firearm magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Just as we have with our Miller v. Bonta challenge to California’s assault weapons ban, the first post-trial victory of its kind in U.S. history, FPC will continue to aggressively execute our mission and litigate these issues in courts across the country until all people can access and exercise their full right to keep and bear arms, including through the possession of the common magazines California unconstitutionally bans.