California’s 30-year-old ban on assault weapons was overturned by a federal judge earlier in the week, according to The Washington Times.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled Friday that it violated the constitutionally protected right of Americans to bear arms, according to the report.
Benitez based his ruling, partially on the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles, which according to the judge, is an unlawful deprivation of commonly allowed weapons to law-abiding citizens of California which are widely allowed in most states.
“Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive,” Benitez said in his 94-page ruling that restored the gun rights of millions of Americans, according to CBS News.
The judge spoke in defense of many modern weapons, which he said the firearms in question were used by the vast majority of people for legal reasons.
“Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle,” the judge said in his ruling’s introduction.
Governor Gavin Newsom harshly condemned overturning the 1989 ruling, saying the decision was “a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period.”
The Golden State governor called the comparison made by Benitez an example that “completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon,” Newsom said. “We’re not backing down from this fight, and we’ll continue pushing for common-sense gun laws that will save lives.”