California fights in court to uphold the ban on the sale of assault rifles | International

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A person views an AR-15 rifle at a weapons market in Costa Mesa, California.PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP

California authorities announced Thursday that they have appealed the ruling of a federal judge who has deemed the sale of assault rifles in the state unconstitutional. Less than a week has passed for prosecutor Rob Bonta and Governor Gavin Newsom to file in court the formal complaint of the decision communicated Friday by Roger Benitez. The judicial opinion of the togado is full of controversial statements, among them the comparison of the AR-15 rifle with a Swiss army knife. This has caused a wave of outrage in the entity with the strictest regulations for the sale of arms in the United States. “The decision has been disappointing … and the false claim that covid vaccines have killed more people than shootings is shocking. In many ways the ruling is disturbing, ”Bonta said this Thursday in San Francisco when announcing the first step of the fight in court.

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California is one of the states along with Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, as well as the city of Washington D.C., that have imposed restrictions on the sale of assault rifles. The standard was first approved in 1989 and has since been revised with several updates. Benitez, a conservative San Diego-based district judge, has put his continuity in jeopardy with an assessment that he considers unconstitutional after being in effect for more than three decades. The ruling provided 30 days for California authorities to appeal. Prosecutor Bonta announced Thursday that his appeal calls for maintaining the veto on assault weapons until the matter is decided.

"In California the modern movements to regulate weapons began, supported by the two political parties, by the way," Governor Newsom recalled this morning, who also added that Republican Ronald Reagan was one of the first to support the pioneering initiatives. regulation more than 30 years ago after a Stockton elementary school shooting in January 1989 left five children between the ages of six and nine dead. “Gun control laws save lives. Point. The data shows it, ”added Newsom.

Newsom, the son of a judge, has harshly criticized Benitez. “It is very unserious. He is a ruthless ideological judge. It is completely in the hands and is a subsidiary of the pro-gun lobby and the National Rifle Association, ”said the governor, notoriously annoyed, who recalled that the judge's decision came at the same time that California was mourning the killing of nine people in San José at the hands of a shooter, who committed suicide after the crime. Bonta and Newsom made the appeal public at an event at the Zuckerman Hospital in San Francisco, specializing in the care of gunshot wounds, where they were accompanied by family members who have lost loved ones at the hands of gun violence.

Benitez's opinion, in which he described the AR-15 as a reliable weapon for the home and for the battlefield, has led to the absurdity. This Thursday a specialist in traumatology was forced to say that the comparison "is totally wrong." “The injuries caused by one are not comparable to the others. Bullets cause absolute devastation to the human body. It is as if a bomb exploded in the tissues of a patient ”, explained Dr. André Campbell, with 20 years of experience.

Judge Benitez considers that the ban on the sale of assault rifles has not had the expected results. "It is a failed experiment," he considered in his opinion. The facts point in another direction. A federal law prohibited this type of weapon in the United States between 1994 and 2004. A study carried out in 2019 found that in that period there was a 70% decrease in deaths in public shootings. High-powered rifles were responsible for 85% of the recorded victims, 430 people, in 44 incidents of gun violence between 1981 and 2017.

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