Duncan v. Becerra, No. 19-55376 (9th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
California Government Code 32310, which bans possession of large capacity magazines (LCMs) that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition, violates the Second Amendment.
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for plaintiffs who brought suit challenging section 32310. The panel applied a two-prong test to determine whether firearm regulations violate the Second Amendment. First, the panel held that section 32310 burdens protected conduct because firearm magazines are protected arms under the Second Amendment; LCMs are not unusual arms; LCM prohibitions are not longstanding regulations and do not enjoy a presumption of lawfulness; and there is no persuasive historical evidence in the record showing LCM possession falls outside the ambit of Second Amendment protection.
Second, the panel held that strict scrutiny is the appropriate standard to apply where section 32310 strikes at the core right of law-abiding citizens to self-defend by banning LCM possession within the home; section 32310 substantially burdens core Second Amendment rights; decisions in other circuits are distinguishable; and Fyock v. City of Sunnyvale does not obligate the panel to apply intermediate scrutiny. Although the state has compelling interests in preventing and mitigating gun violence, the panel held that section 32310 was not narrowly tailored to achieve such interests. Finally, even if intermediate scrutiny applied, section 32310 would still fail under the more lenient standard.