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AG Bonta Appeals Judge's Decision Allowing New Semi-Automatic Guns in California
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By Brian Phelps
Published 1 year ago on
March 28, 2023

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State Attorney General Rob Bonta appealed a federal judge’s decision to overturn California’s Unsafe Handgun Act on Monday.

This appeal came after U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney issued a preliminary injunction on March 20 in the Boland v. Bonta case, stating that the Unsafe Handgun Act was “unconstitutional” and that the state could not enforce these laws.

The Unsafe Handgun Act requires all new semiautomatic handguns sold in California to be equipped with unique safety features such as chamber load indicators and magazine disconnect mechanisms. These are not required in other states.

In 2013, the law was amended to also include microstamping the serial number on all ammunition cases fired from the handgun, which has caused most new handgun models to not be sold legally in the state.

Bonta Says Law Saves Lives

Bonta stated that the Unsafe Handgun Act was necessary, as it is in place to save lives and prevent accidental shootings, especially involving children.

“California’s commonsense gun safety laws save lives, and the Unsafe Handgun Act is no exception,” said Bonta. “Accidental shootings are preventable. The fact that children under five are the most likely victims makes these accidental gun deaths even more tragic and inexcusable.”

The motion for appeal does not intend to immediately stop the court’s decision to prevent the microstamping requirement.

Judge Says Californians Have Right to State-of-the-Art Handguns

In his preliminary injunction order, judge Carney stated:

“Californians have the constitutional right to acquire and use state-of-the-art handguns to protect themselves. They should not be forced to settle for decade-old models of handguns to ensure that they remain safe inside or outside the home.”

The case now goes to the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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