NRA files second lawsuit challenging gun laws, this time targeting ban on high-capacity magazines

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In this handout photo provided by the San Bernardino County Sherrif’s Department, four guns are seen near the site of a 2015 shootout between police and suspects in San Bernardino.

A coalition including the National Rifle Assn. on Thursday filed a second lawsuit challenging California’s new gun laws, this time arguing a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines is unconstitutional.

NRA attorneys representing the California Rifle and Pistol Assn., the group’s state affiliate, filed the lawsuit in federal court in San Diego, maintaining the law banning possession of magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition violates the due process and takings clauses of the Constitution.

“Legislators in California routinely enact laws that only affect the law-abiding and do nothing to enhance public safety,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “This lawsuit, and others that will follow, is an effort to ensure the rights of law-abiding gun owners are respected in California.”

Last month, the NRA and affiliated groups filed a lawsuit challenging another new law that bans the sale of semiautomatic rifles with bullet buttons that allow, with a tool, the removal and replacement of the magazine.

The new gun laws were approved last year by the Legislature and governor in response to the 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting. Voters in November approved a ban on the magazines when they passed Proposition 63.

The lawsuit cites a section of the Constitution that says the government shall not take private property without just compensation. It also noted the magazines have been purchased legally for years so it is a violation of due process to now take them without the owner having recourse.

“Banning magazines over ten rounds is no more likely to reduce criminal abuse of guns than banning high horsepower engines is likely to reduce criminal abuse of automobiles,” the lawsuit says.

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