California court upholds state-wide ban on assault weapons

A state appeals court has ruled that the ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 will remain in place. The ban has been in place since 1989. The ruling was filed late last week and is the first decision made since the U.S. Supreme Court limited California’s ability to regulate firearms.  

Just last year the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot take away people’s right to carry a concealed weapon. Now a CA court of appeal is saying that the Supreme Court ruling will not overrule the state’s assault weapons ban.  

"But the big question remaining was, does that apply to every kind of firearm or weapon? The California court has said, no it doesn’t. Our AR-15 ban still stands," said Steven Clark, a Legal Analyst. 

The Third District Court of Appeal ruled Friday that high-capacity rifles like the AR-15 cannot be sold or possessed in the state of California. The ruling also upheld the conviction of Alex Bocanegra from San Jose, who was charged with attempted murder when he used an assault rifle to shoot at a former friend.  

"You will see cases that spring up all over the United States on issues that still limit the absolute right to possess a firearm under any circumstances and any type of weapon like you see here with the AR-15," Clark said.  

At Reed’s Indoor Range in Santa Clara, KTVU talked to gun owner Mohamed Jamal who believes he should be able to own any firearm he needs to protect himself and his property, especially since he says his business has become a target for thieves.  

"For protection, for self-protection. Just on the 1st of this month, I own a shop in San Lorenzo. I had an attempted robbery when a bunch of guys drove their car into my shop. They came out with guns, you know," Jamal said.     

Jamal says he now owns four firearms and practices shooting at Reed’s. On Monday, the Firearms Policy Coalition also filed a lawsuit aiming to eliminate the 10-day waiting period when legally buying a firearm in California. 

"Issues like the 10-day waiting period, issues like registration of firearms and regulating certain types of firearms are still going to need to be resolved in the court system and I think you’ll see this make its way back to the United States Supreme Court," Clark said.   

We reached out to the Firearms Policy Coalition for comment but didn't hear back from them in time for this report.