High-Capacity Gun Magazine Ban Upheld

A federal judge Wednesday allowed Sunnyvale to enforce its voter-approved ordinance outlawing possession of high-capacity magazines for firearms.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte rejected a Second Amendment challenge to the law saying the banned magazines with a capacity to accept more than 10 rounds “are hardly central to self-defense.”

He pointed out a National Rifle Association report that showed people fire an average of two shots to defend themselves.

The ruling follows an attempt to block a similar San Francisco high-capacity magazine ban just two weeks ago.

Whyte called the right to possess high capacity magazines “on the periphery of the Second Amendment right” and declined to be the first judge to hold that such a ban violates the Second Amendment.

Sunnyvale residents passed a voter initiative in 2013 by nearly 67 percent of the vote, to ban the magazines.  The law was challenged by several local residents who argued it violated their constitutional right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

Whyte found the Sunnyvale law was enacted by a vote of the public and in so doing the residents determined the ban promoted public safety.  In addition, he found the public has an interest in protecting the safety of police officers and high-capacity magazines pose a “special danger to law enforcement officers.”

He refused to issue the preliminary injunction.

The ruling may be appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Case: Fyock v. City of Sunnyvale, No. 13-cv-5807RMW




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