A U.S. judge struck down a three-decade California assault weapons ban on Friday, in a decision swiftly condemned by California Governor Gavin Newsom, which coincides with a sharp rise in gun violence. in the country.
In a 94-page ruling, federal judge Roger T Benitez described California’s assault weapons ban – in effect since 1989 – as unconstitutional and upheld the right of Americans to own semi-automatic rifles.
“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and territorial defense equipment,” he wrote.
“Weapons and ammunition in the hands of criminals, tyrants and terrorists are dangerous; weapons in the hands of responsible citizens who comply with the law are better, ”he argued.
Benitez said the state will have 30 days to appeal the decision, which Governor Newson says poses a “direct threat to public safety” and which it will seek to reverse.
The ruling comes at a time when gun violence has increased in the United States, and just a week after a heavily armed transit worker killed eight people and then committed suicide in San Jose, California. .
A search of the shooter’s house – which was set on fire shortly before the attack – found 12 weapons, some 22,000 ammunition and what appeared to be Molotov cocktails.
Mass shootings have also recently taken place in Florida, Indiana, Colorado and Georgia.
The Supreme Court also plans to examine a lawsuit filed by the arms industry lobby against a New York law that restricts the carrying of weapons outside the home.
This is the first major case in more than a decade in which the country’s highest court will rule on an issue that affects the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which refers to the right to have firearms.
Although the lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic meant a pause in violence, there was a record of arms sales.
In April, President Joe Biden called gun violence in the United States an “epidemic” and “international shame.”
Last year there were 43,000 people killed by firearms and since the beginning of 2021 they have already exceeded 17,000, according to the Gun Violence Archive site.
With information from AFP