Fed judge: Firearms limits can be harmful

Gun control is not the one-sided argument its proponents claim. In addition to the Second Amendment, there are practical considerations.

For example, as a federal judge in California recognized recently, there is the very real potential for new limits on firearms to be harmful.

California law has banned high-capacity magazines for firearms — those holding more than 10 cartridges or shells — since 2000. The statute enacted then permitted gun owners who already possessed high-capacity magazines to keep them.

But in 2016, both state legislators and Golden State voters decided existing owners of the magazines ought not to have them, either.

That prompted a court challenge. A few days ago, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, sitting in San Diego, ruled high-capacity magazines are permissible in California. In his decision, Benitez cited three home invasion situations.

In one, a lone woman took on three armed assailants, even as she was using her phone to call for help. Fortunately, her weapon had a high-capacity magazine. Had that not been th case, she would have run out of cartridges before repelling the invaders. As it was, she killed one and drove the other two away.

“She had no place to carry an extra magazine and no way to reload because her left hand held the phone with which she was still trying to call 911,” Benitez noted.

The judge also cited two situations in which women with guns faced home invaders but ran out of ammunition. In one, a woman and her husband were each shot twice — after she fired all the cartridges in one pistol and was unable to get to another one.

Benitez reinforced his ruling with the comment that, “Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts.”

Of course, the case is being appealed. But it makes the critical point, often dismissed by gun control advocates, that limits on firearms can create victims.


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