Federal Judge Shoots Down His Own Second Amendment Ruling

Back on March 29, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez struck down a California law that banned high-capacity rifle magazines. The Cuban-born Benitez, an appointee of President George W. Bush, wrote that “Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts.” California’s law, according to the judge, “turns millions of responsible, law-abiding people trying to protect themselves into criminals.” Benitez cited examples of citizens who ran out of ammunition defending themselves against home invasions by violent criminals.

Law-abiding Californians found relief in the ruling, but not state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who complained directly to Benitez. Incredibly enough, the federal judge responded by reversing his own ruling.

“The court understands that strong emotions are felt by people of good will on both sides of the constitutional and social policy questions,” Benitez wrote, citing “an immeasurable societal benefit of maintaining the immediate status quo while the process of judicial review takes place.”

That is a far cry from his noble rhetoric about the Second Amendment, individual liberty, and the right to self-defense. That right stands in peril across the country.

Last week, Colorado became the fifteenth state to allow firearms to be seized from people determined to pose a danger. Gun-grabbers loved it, but not Eagle County sheriff James van Beek, who flagged a violation of the Second Amendment. As the sheriff explained, “Removing the guns in a constitutionally questionable manner, without notice, denying the accused the ability to defend charges, then requiring medical services that are not available, in order to reinstate private property rights, afterward, is like putting a Band-Aid on the probability of a wound, and not allowing its removal until an injury has occurred. In other words, the entire process is ludicrous.”

For further reference, law-abiding citizens should see Stephen P. Halbrook’s Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and “Enemies of the State,”  Those concerned about their liberties should also consult Halbrook’s Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France: Tyranny and Resistance.

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at American Greatness.
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