Maui News

Hawaiʻi Supports California’s Large-Capacity Magazine Ban

October 20, 2017, 1:52 PM HST
* Updated October 20, 1:55 PM
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On Thursday, Oct. 19, Attorney General Doug Chin announced that Hawaiʻi joined a coalition of 12 states and the District of Columbia in filing a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a California ban on the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines for guns.

Attorney General Doug Chin. Courtesy photo.

The California law bans magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Officials say the large-capacity magazines, or LCMs, are disproportionally used by mass shooters to kill and injure large numbers of people quickly, including law enforcement officers.

The brief urges the court to overturn a lower court’s order preliminary enjoining the law and argues that nothing about the Second Amendment, under Supreme Court precedent, prevents states and D.C. from enacting reasonable gun regulations.

“The United States Supreme Court has made clear that just as there are reasonable restrictions on every other constitutional right, there are reasonable restrictions on gun ownership,” said Attorney General Chin. “Such sensible restrictions include allowing states the right to prevent individual ownership of what are – quite simply – weapons of war.”

“Both common sense and empirical evidence suggest that prohibiting LCMs will reduce the number of crimes in which LCMs are used and reduce the lethality and devastation of gun crime when it does occur,” the brief notes. “At the same time, there is no proof that LCMs are necessary – or even commonly used – for self-defense.”

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The brief underscores that a policy judgment an individual state may make, US Supreme Court precedent supports a state’s ability to experiment with and reform gun laws. “In dismissing California’s reliance on the empirical and anecdotal evidence before it, the court below applied a cramped and overly demanding standard of what constitutes substantial evidence and eliminated the deference to which California’s predictive judgments are entitled,” the brief says.

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In addition to Attorneys General Chin and Racine, the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington joined the brief.

Click here for a copy of the brief.

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