California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom lashed out at a federal judge on Saturday after the judge ruled late on Friday night that California’s far-left assault weapons ban was “unconstitutional” and violated the Second Amendment.
“As the son of a judge, I grew up with deep respect for the judicial process and the importance of a judge’s ability to make impartial fact-based rulings, but the fact that this judge compared the AR-15 – a weapon of war that’s used on the battlefield – to a Swiss Army Knife completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon,” Newsom falsely claimed. “We’re not backing down from this fight, and we’ll continue pushing for common sense gun laws that will save lives.”
The AR-15 is not a “weapon of war,” and it is not “used on the battlefield” as Newsom falsely claimed. The AR-15 is the civilian version of the rifle that the U.S. Military uses, the M4. The M4 is able to fire in a fully-automatic mode, whereas the AR-15 is not.
Newsom, who is facing a likely recall election this summer over his controversial handling of the coronavirus pandemic, also tweeted about the ruling multiple times and included links to left-wing news sites.
Judge Roger T. Benitez of the Southern District of California ruled against the state’s extreme assault weapons ban late on Friday evening.
“The banned ‘assault weapons’ are not bazookas, howitzers, or machineguns,” Benitez wrote. “Those arms are dangerous and solely useful for military purposes. Instead, the firearms deemed ‘assault weapons’ are fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles.”
“One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter,” Benitez continued. “Federal Bureau of Investigation murder statistics do not track assault rifles, but they do show that killing by knife attack is far more common than murder by any kind of rifle. In California, murder by knife occurs seven times more often than murder by rifle. For example, according to F.B.I. statistics for 2019, California saw 252 people murdered with a knife, while 34 people were killed with some type of rifle – not necessarily an AR-15. A Californian is three times more likely to be murdered by an attacker’s bare hands, fists, or feet, than by his rifle. In 2018, the statistics were even more lopsided as California saw only 24 murders by some type of rifle. The same pattern can be observed across the nation.”
Benitez said that the case was “about what should be a muscular constitutional right and whether a state can force a gun policy choice that impinges on that right with a 30-year-old failed experiment.”
“Government is not free to impose its own new policy choices on American citizens where Constitutional rights are concerned,” Benitez wrote. “California may certainly conceive of a policy that a modern rifle is dangerous in the hands of a criminal, and that therefore it is good public policy to keep modern rifles out of the hands of every citizen,” Benitez continued. “The Second Amendment stands as a shield from government imposition of that policy. There is only one policy enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Guns and ammunition in the hands of criminals, tyrants and terrorists are dangerous; guns in the hands of lawabiding responsible citizens are better. To give full life to the core right of self-defense, every law-abiding responsible individual citizen has a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear firearms commonly owned and kept for lawful purposes.”