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October 16, 2020

Gun News

Federal Appeals Court Blocks California's Ban on High-Capacity Magazines

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on threw out a California law banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, ruling that the measure violates citizens' constitutionally protected right to bear arms.

The ban, passed in the wake of mass shootings, bars citizens from owning "large capacity magazines" that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition.

"Even well-intentioned laws must pass constitutional muster," Appellate Judge Kenneth Lee wrote for the three-judge panel's majority, ruling that the magazine ban "strikes at the core of the Second Amendment."

"California's law imposes a substantial burden on this right to self-defense... Its scope is so sweeping that half of all magazines in American are now unlawful to own in California," Lee wrote in the ruling.

The ruling was a split 2-1 decision, with Chief U.S District Court Judge Barbara Lynn, the third judge on the appellate panel, dissenting.

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The 1911 pistol has become synonymous with American power and durability. The original design by John Moses Browning had its official birthday in 1911 when the government was looking for a reliable man-stopper to replace the 38 caliber pistols that were in service. The .45 became the weapon of choice for the U.S. Army, Navy, and the Marine Corps.

The U.S. was so impressed with this weapon it bought over 2.7 million M1911s and M1911A1s between 1911 and 1986 when Beretta replaced it. This gun has been everywhere from WWI, WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War. Even now some units of the US Navy, Marine Corps, and Special Forces use it as their sidearm.

The original M1911 produced by Colt has become a portfolio item for a broad range of manufacturers, both American and foreign, and nowadays you can find 1911s manufactured in South America, Asia or Europe. Since the 1911 pistol is a standard, whenever a gun company is expected to be taken seriously, it develops a 1911 of its own.

Did You Know?

What is the 'gunshow loophole'?

The law on selling, receiving and possessing firearms is clear. Yet not every individual providing the gun in a transfer requires an FFL, which in turn means that not every buyer is legally subject to a background check. This potentially enables guns to fall into the hands of users who might otherwise not be allowed to own a firearm.

According to the ATF, anyone can sell a gun without an FFL from their home, online, at a flea market or at a gun show as long as he or she is not conducting the sale as part of regular business activity. One example would be someone who sells a firearm from his or her personal collection. Others who are exempt include those giving guns as gifts. Only individuals whose "principal motive" is to make a profit via sale must obtain an FFL.

Commonly referred to as the "gunshow loophole," this ambiguity also explains how a purchase can occur without a background check - and without breaking the law. A 2017 survey by Harvard and Northeastern universities estimates that roughly one in five transactions occur without a background check.

A gun may also be purchased on behalf of a third party as long as it is a gift and as long as the recipient does not violate federal restrictions on gun ownership to the best of the gift giver's knowledge. The same applies to the general transfer of guns. Children younger than 18 may possess guns that were given to them by parents or guardians as gifts provided that they have written permission.

Thanks for reading,

The Editor

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