A gun-rights group sued Thursday to block California from enforcing its assault-weapons ban, contending it violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms, reports the Associated Press. The lawsuit was the latest among gun advocacy and lobbying groups to challenge California’s firearms laws, which are among the nation’s strictest, and it was filed after a recent series of deadly mass shootings nationwide involving military-style rifles. The lawsuit was filed in the same San Diego federal court district where a judge in April tossed out a nearly two-decade-old California ban on sales and purchases of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 bullets. The new lawsuit says that decision by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez undercuts California’s ban on certain weapons defined as “assault weapons” because they can use large-capacity magazines. Benitez’s decision prompted a weeklong buying frenzy before he stopped sales while the state appeals his ruling.
In July, the California Rifle & Pistol Association — an affiliate of the National Rifle Association — asked the same judge to block a new law requiring background checks for anyone buying ammunition. The latest lawsuit could go before the same judge. It was filed on behalf of three San Diego County men who own legal rifles or pistols and want to use high-capacity magazines in them but can’t because doing so would turn them into illegal assault weapons under California statutes and they could be confiscated, the lawsuit argued. The lawsuit said the term “assault weapon” is “a politically-concocted pejorative term” for weapons lawfully used “in virtually every state” and argued that California is barring law-abiding citizens from getting, making or transferring “firearms in common use for lawful purposes such as self-defense inside and outside the home, competition, sport, and hunting.”