California will turn large numbers of gun owners into criminals beginning July 1, when a state law that bans magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition goes into effect.
So far, though, gun owners aren’t showing any willingness to turn in their magazines, as the law demands.
“We see no compliance from gun owners,” UCLA School of Law Professor Adam Winkler told The Sacramento Bee. “As best as we can tell, no gun owners are giving up their high-capacity magazines or selling them out of state.”
Winkler was speaking of Proposition 63, which was passed by voters in November and bans magazines holding more than 10 rounds. It also restricts ammunition sales to licensed vendors.
Gun owners are required to turn in magazines but will not be compensated for them.
Sheriff Refuses to Enforce Gun Control Law
“We’re not going to be knocking on anybody’s door looking for them,” Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko told The Bee. “We’re essentially making law-abiding citizens into criminals with this new law.”
Persons caught with magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Yet no one knows how many Californians will be in violation of Proposition 63. Estimates indicate that there may be more than 6.5 million gun owners in the state – and hundreds of thousands of such magazines in California.
Proposition 63 would ban common clips for popular semiautomatic rifles, including the AR-15 and AK-47, and the highly popular Ruger 10/22 hunting and target rifle.
Bosenko noted that no one in his county, which includes the city of Redding, has turned a banned magazine into his office.
The law still could be overturned. A civil rights lawsuit filed by the California Rifle & Pistol Association alleges that the law violates several provisions of the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, and Guarantee of Due Process.
“The reason for the popularity of these magazines is straightforward: In a confrontation with a violent attacker, having enough ammunition can be the difference between life and death,” C.D. Michel, the attorney who filed the suit, wrote. “Banning magazines over ten rounds is no more likely to reduce criminal abuse of guns than banning high horsepower engines is likely to reduce criminal abuse of automobiles.”
Others disagree. Said Ari Freilich, staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “There’s just a lot of data that shows that large-capacity magazines are particularly attractive to mass shooters and to individuals committing crimes against law enforcement. They do not have legitimate self-defense value.”
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