The U.S. 9th Circuit on Thursday vacated an important Second Amendment legal victory which found California's magazine ban unconstitutional, setting the case up for a rehearing.
The court this week granted a rare en banc hearing petition filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in the case of Duncan v. Becerra. In doing so, it set aside a key ruling handed down last August by a three-judge panel of the same court that held California's ban on firearm mags capable of holding more than 10 rounds violates the Second Amendment.
A rehearing will involve 11 judges from the circuit who are not in senior status. Notably, 10 of the 29 circuit judges currently on the court's list were recently appointed by President Trump.
The California Rifle & Pistol Association is looking forward to another day in court on the case, having won first a lower court ruling in 2019 as well as that of the appeals court last year.
“We’re excited to have another opportunity to defend what Californians already know – law-abiding citizens’ ability to purchase, possess, and use standard-capacity magazines in California is a fundamental civil right and shall not be infringed," said Chuck Michel, CRPA's president and general counsel.
Meanwhile, anti-gun groups are eager for another swing at the ruling with what has traditionally been the country's most liberal circuit court.
"The Constitution, properly understood, should not entitle people to weapons of war, or prevent states from prohibiting military-style firearms or the large-capacity magazines they use," said Jonathan Lowy, Brady's chief counsel. "The Ninth Circuit was correct to review this incorrect decision, and hopefully begin to reinstate the authority of Californians to enact strong gun laws that protect them from gun violence."
Oral arguments are expected in mid-March with a decision to follow likely several months later. Either way, the case will likely end up at the Supreme Court.