On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez blocked a California law requiring background checks for people buying ammunition. Judge Benitez of San Diego ruled in favor of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, which asked him to stop the checks and related restrictions on ammo sales.
“The experiment has been tried. The casualties have been counted. California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” Benitez wrote in a 120-page opinion granting the group’s motion for a preliminary injunction. Benitez also saying the law “defies common sense while unduly and severely burdening the Second Amendment rights of every responsible, gun-owning citizen desiring to lawfully buy ammunition.”
He expected the state to appeal the ruling. But in the meantime “Californians can sleep a little easier tonight knowing their Constitutional rights were restored and strengthened by this decision,” he said.
As expected, the ruling was short-lived, when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday granted the state attorney general’s request to stay the judge’s order.
“This means that the same restrictions that have been previously in effect regarding ammunition in California are back for the time being,” the National Rifle Association, said in a news release.
The law, which took effect in July, requires Californians to pass an in-store background check before buying ammunition. Gun rights activists complained the law’s red tape and database errors unfairly limited legal purchases of ammunition.