Judge Rules California’s Ban On Semiautomatic Guns Is Unconstitutional

A federal judge who previously overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons did it again, ruling Thursday that the state’s attempts to prohibit sales of semiautomatic guns violates the constitutional right to bear arms. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez concedes that powerful weapons like AR-15 rifles are commonly used by criminals. But he said the guns are importantly also owned by people who obey the law and feel they need firearms to protect themselves. Benitez issued his newest ruling after the 9th Circuit sent the case back to him to reconsider under a new standard. California Attorney General Rob Bonta says his office has already filed a notice of appeal.