A federal judge is blocking a California law set to go into effect Saturday that would have barred gun owners from possessing high-capacity ammunition magazines. San Diego based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez ruled that the law banning possession of magazines containing more than 10 bullets would have made criminals of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens who now own the magazines. he issued a preliminary injunction backing the legal challenge by the California Rifle and Pistol Association.
When this ruling came down we were already talking to Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims about how this new ammunition ban would be enforced, it turns out her issues with the ban are exactly what is now being challenged by a federal judge.
"Those that have in their possesion high capacity magazines will be violating the law even though they are currently law abiding citizens and that's the big problem with this particular bill," said Sheriff Mims.
Just minutes after Sheriff Mims shared her thoughts on the state ban, a federal judge issued an injunction echoing the same points as the sheriff, stalling the new state law for now.
"Well ultimately they're going to have to prove this doesn't violate the second amendment," said legal expert David Mugridge.
Mugridge says he expects this to take months to sort out and ultimately it will end up in the hands of the United States Supreme Court.
"They've already got established federal law on guns and this kind of thing. They are going to have to take a look at what California has said and see if that violates what they already accept at federal law," said Mugridge.
This week Fresno County Sheriff's investigators arrested a man, a convict, who was released from prison as part of AB 109. Investigators say he was in possession of a 9mm extended magazine which can hold 15 bullets. Sheriff Mims says it's an example of why it makes no sense for a law abiding person to lessen their ammunition carrying capability.
"Those who commit crimes using weapons are not going to pay attention to any new gun laws that are passed," said Sheriff Mims.
Last November more than 60-percent of Californians voted to support the ban on high capacity magazines. Supporters feel it will eliminate some aspects of gun violence, but we may be waiting several months before we know if the ban will take effect.