A San Diego federal judge blocked California’s law that requires a criminal background check to purchase ammunition, which had been the only law of its kind in the country.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez issued the ruling, in response to litigation from the California Rifle & Pistol Association. The ammunition background check law had entered into effect in July, and often made it impossible for law abiding gun owners to purchase ammunition due to the lengthy background process involved.
This isn’t the first California gun control law that Benitez has overturned. The San Diego judge previously overturned the state’s ban on standard capacity rifle magazines, although his ruling on the matter was promptly reversed by a higher court of appeals.
Benitez slammed the ammunition regulation in a forceful 120-page ruling, explaining that it was a clear cut violation of the Second Amendment.
“The experiment has been tried. The casualties have been counted. California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured.
Criminals, tyrants, and terrorists don’t do background checks. The background check experiment defies common sense while unduly and severely burdening the Second Amendment rights of every responsible, gun-owning citizen desiring to lawfully buy ammunition.”
Benitez cited data that indicated the woefully executed law ended up denying ammunition purchases to lawful gun owners at least 16% of the time they attempted an ammunition purchase.
California had also been banning the importation of ammunition from other U.S. states, a clear violation of interstate commerce laws.
The onerous gun control law may find a way to survive if the state appeals the ruling to a higher court, but California’s gun-grabbing state government was quite decisively walloped in Judge Benitez’s courtroom.
If Democrats Win, Will Guns Sales Go Through the Roof?
No matter who wins in 2020, the biggest story of this election cycle has been the record levels of gun sales. In a piece titled “Guns Sales Break Records With Gun Control Legislation Likely If Democrats Win”, Newsweek highlights the meteoric rise of gun sales in 2020 and how these sales will only go up under a Biden administration.
It’s likely that a Biden win on November 3, 2020 will give life to gun control measure such as universal background checks, assault weapons bans, and national gun buybacks. Scott Reeves of Newsweek noted that “coronavirus pandemic, urban riots and the likelihood of increased regulation if the Democrats win the White House, regain control of the Senate and hold the House” have led to the unprecedented firearms sales. A Biden win would only accelerate this trend, as people become frightened by the prospect of gun control.
Through September, background checks recorded by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reached 28.826 million. This total surpassed 2019’s record of 28.369 million, representing a 28 percent increase, according to the FBI report. As of September 30, Illinois was leading the nation in background checks with 5.6 million. Reeves noted that other states such as Kentucky (2.364 million) checks, Texas (1.730 million), Florida (1.386 million), Indiana (1.203 million), California (1.187 million) and Pennsylvania (1.030 million), were also experiencing significant upticks in gun sales.
Since NICS came into effect on November 1998, a total of 361.830 million background checks for all purposes have been completed since the program began in November 1998.
Zogby Analytics provided some more data showing how enthusiastic Americans are about buying guns:
Zogby Analytics in Utica, New York found that the number of gun owners increased 3.9% between October 2019 and October 2020 to 31.3% of the population. The number of individuals in a household keeping a gun at home, work, vacation cottage or club for personal protection, hunting or target shooting increased 7% to 42.2% in the last year. Membership in the National Rifle Association, a gun rights advocacy group, increased 6% to 17.7% in the last year, Zogby’s polling found.
“While there is fierce debate in Washington D.C. and among voters about what certain types of guns and accessories constitute ‘assault weapons,’ adults in the U.S. are buying and keeping more guns,” Jonathan Zogby declared.
Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an anti-Second Amendment organization, is of the opinion that uncertainty brought about by the Wuhan virus pandemic, riots, and the election are contributing factors to the rise in gun sales.
“Typically, gun sales rise in times of fear,” he said to Newsweek. “We live in a time when there’s a lot of fear, including fear that there might be more gun regulation with a Democratic President and Democratic majorities in Congress. And, there’s been a lot of unrest.”
Americans actions speak louder than their words. Even if Joe Biden does the unthinkable (and the very unlikely) by winning on November 3, his administration will encounter stiff resistance from gun-owning Americans across the political spectrum.
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