Federal Judge Overturns California’s Decades Old ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban, Gov. Newsom Vows to Fight Ruling

A longtime ban on “assault weapons” in California was overturned by a federal judge yesterday in a ruling that triggered liberals by likening the AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife.

In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego said that “Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.

“Firearms deemed as ‘assault weapons’ are fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles,” Benitez added.

Benitez ruled that the assault weapons ban violates the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms and deprives Californians from owning assault-style weapons commonly allowed in other states while issuing a permanent injunction so the law cannot be enforced.

In a tweet, California Governor Gavin Newsom vowed to fight the decision and denounced the comparison made by Benitez. The state’s Attorney General Rob Bonta also pledged to appeal.

“Overturning CA’s assault weapon ban and comparing an AR-15 to a SWISS ARMY KNIFE is a disgusting slap in the face to those who have lost loved ones to gun violence,” Newsom stated.

Newsom then declared, “This is a direct threat to public safety and innocent Californians. We won’t stand for it.”

Benitez also criticized the media in his decision as he noted, “One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter.”

In CNN’s article, they provided 2019 FBI data which showed that the handgun was the most commonly used weapon in murders and accounted for 6,368 victims in 2019, while knives or cutting instruments accounted for 1,476 murders, rifles accounted for 364 murder victims, and “firearms, type not stated” accounted for 3,281 victims, the data shows.

Still, they noted, an AR-15 style rifle has been the weapon of choice for the most violent mass killings in modern history, including in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh; the Route 91 Harvest musical festival in Las Vegas; a massacre at a church in Texas; the Pulse nightclub in Orlando; a high school in Parkland, Florida; and the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.