Judge temporarily stays order reversing California's large-capacity magazine ban

A federal judge on Friday agreed to halt the implementation of his ruling last week that struck down a California law prohibiting large-capacity firearms magazines while the state prepares to appeal his original decision.

U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez issued the stay at the request of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, whose office will challenge Benitez's March 29 ruling in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, the Sacramento Bee reported.

That means California gun owners are still not allowed to buy magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition while the case goes through the judicial process.

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“The court understands that strong emotions are felt by people of good will on both sides of the constitutional and social policy questions,” Benitez wrote in his reverse order. “The court understands that thoughtful and law-abiding citizens can and do firmly hold competing opinions on firearm magazine restrictions. These concerns auger in favor of judicial deliberation. There is an immeasurable societal benefit of maintaining the immediate status quo while the process of judicial review takes place.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra talks during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Jan. 24, 2018. (Associated Press)

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra talks during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Jan. 24, 2018. (Associated Press)

In striking down the magazine ban, Benitez cited a home invasion where a woman used the extra rounds to kill an attacker and two other cases where women ran of bullets. He said the ban violated Californians’ Second Amendment rights to own firearms.

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The law has made it illegal to buy or sell such magazines since 2000, but those who had them before were grandfathered in.

The ruling led to an advertising blitz by some gun manufacturers. Gun maker Berretta promoted an online discount in connection to the ruling, the Bee reported.

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Becerra said lifting the ban would lead to a surge in large-capacity gun magazines into the state.

“It’s clear that there are those who are now trying to flood the state of California with what were until this decision, illegal high-capacity magazines, the type of magazines that are used in firearms to create the mass shootings that we’ve seen throughout this country,” Becerra said at a news conference.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.