A U.S. federal judge overturned California’s 32-year-old ban on assault weapons on Friday, describing it as a “failed experiment” and prompting criticism from the state’s governor and attorney general, reports Reuters. California has prohibited the sale of assault weapons since 1989. The ban was challenged in a 2019 lawsuit against California’s attorney general by plaintiffs including James Miller, a state resident, and the San Diego County Gun Owners, a political action committee. The federal judge said that he had granted a 30-day stay of the ruling at the request of California Attorney General Rob Bonta, a move that would allow Bonta to appeal it.
Seven states, including California, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning assault weapons, according to the Giffords Law Center, a gun-control group. California Gov. Gavin Newsom described Friday’s overturning of the ban on assault weapons as a direct threat to public safety and called it a “disgusting slap” in the face to those who have lost loved ones to gun violence.