California Semi-Auto Ruling Only The Start – Even If SCOTUS Upholds It

AR15-Black White iStock-534364755
California Semi-Auto Ruling Only The Start – Even If SCOTUS Upholds It IMG iStock-534364755

California/United States – -( Loyal AmmoLand News readers are justifiably thrilled by the ruling of U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez in Miller v. Bonta. The celebration is warranted – a product of decades of legal scholarship and the successful legal efforts to strike down handgun bans in D.C. and Chicago in the Heller and McDonald cases.

Judge Benitez has made excellent use of the facts about rifles in general and their lack of use in crime. He also has used the clear textual standard from the Heller ruling – something that Second Amendment supporters should take note of:

If a firearm is commonly used for lawful purposes, it is protected under the Second Amendment.

In his ruling, he cited that the production of modern multi-purpose semi-automatic rifles is twice that of the Ford F-150 pickup truck – a similar comparison was made to the Chevy Suburban sport-utility vehicle when the way FBI crime data blew up Beto’s gun-ban plan was discussed. Now, that is pretty darn common, don’t you think?

Judge Benitez also noted the FBI’s crime data in his ruling, using the 2019 Uniform Crime reports information for California. Here’s what the data showed: Rifles of all types – not just the AR-15 – were involved in 34 killings in that state. Knives were used in 252. Meanwhile, the modern multi-purpose semiautomatic firearms are being used for a wide variety of lawful purposes, like hunting, three-gun matches and other competitions, not to mention target shooting and informal plinking.

Then of course, there is the matter of self-defense. AmmoLand News has covered cases where the AR-15 – or some variant – was used in self-defense or to help protect others multiple times. This was, as loyal Ammoland readers should remember, the purpose cited by the plaintiffs in Heller.

There’s more, though: Benitez also touched on the Supreme Court’s unanimous Caetano v. Massachusetts ruling as well, but he pulled off a double play. First, he used it on the obvious grounds that advancing technology did not negate Second Amendment protection, but he also noted that with a mere 200,000 stun guns, the Supreme Court declared they were in common use.

If 200,000 is enough to meet the standard of being in common use, then the nearly 20 million modern multi-purpose semiautomatic rifles are clearly worthy of protection on the textual basis of Heller – and anti-Second Amendment extremists know it!

Gavin Newsome is already having a temper tantrum over the ruling. California Attorney General Rob Bonta has vowed to fight the ruling. We are still years away from the Supreme Court hearing this case, and have the Ninth Circuit to go through, as is the situation with the Duncan case. But the fight will not end with the Supreme Court cases.

Anti-Second Amendment extremists want to pack the Supreme Court, with an eye towards not just winning cases like these in California, but also overturning Heller and McDonald. The fight to protect those rulings will begin after that. To prevent anti-Second Amendment extremists from overturning the landmark cases, Second Amendment supporters need to support the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and Political Victory Fund to ensure that the current anti-Second Amendment regimes in the House, Senate, and White House are defeated at the ballot box as soon as possible.

Miller v Bonta Opinion

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post,, and other national websites.Harold Hutchison

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“The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) “To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carrying a war… Read more »


Excellent citations here. Some I had never seen before. And I follow this stuff very closely.


Thanks. Writing a book and have loads of them.


Absolutely spot on.


this was a great article – UNTIL this writer starts up with *why we should support NRA* How about we Support the FPC, GOA & SAF – no, NEVER again will I put my cash to Wayne LPierre, ghet rid of Him & re-organize – the NRA wasn’t in this fight the FPC was however. WE 2A people do need to come together, but nothing like a cringe worthy last plea for NRA to shatter it – & BTW the NRA should have had our backs at the beginning of that napping clown Biden, the NRA has only had our… Read more »


Perfectly said! As soon as I read his NRA plug I knew it was Harold. Has he ever written an article where he hasn’t pimped for the NRA?

I’ve joined the SAF and the CPRA. I will soon join FPC & GOA. I threw the NRA renewal I recieved yesterday in the trash, sadly.


This article is good stuff. But it ends with a plea to support the NRA. Not Good! There are plenty of more worthy organizations which support and fight for our 2A rights and my support, membership and money will go to them until the NRA cleans up its act, starting with new leadership.

Deplorable Bill

Finally, someone in the communist progressive demoncrapic of California has some righteous and is willing to stand up and defend the constitution.

Arm up and carry on


Guess what? the NRA does not plan to file a “friend of the court” brief in the upcoming Supreme Court case involving New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, challenging the New York “Sullivan Law,” and accepted by the Court… but the author tells us to support the NRA?

Hahahahaha hahaha! No!

The NRA has supported and helped write every gun control law passed by Congress. They are the enemy of the people.


Fudd Harold always shilling for the largest, most successful gun control organization in America’s history.

Charlie Foxtrot

I am still puzzled by the NRA’s move. They usually file these briefs for fundraising and it doesn’t cost that much to file them. Something is up.


You are right…hopefully the leftist BLM Antifa marxist pandemic will have been defeated by the time the court rules against all firearms bans…however, please stop promoting the NRA until it gets it crap together…SAF, FPC, GOC all better alternatives at the moment.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bubb

Praise God for a judge to use facts, not fiction, in ruling on the 2nd Amendment!!


Really??? why support a group of thieves who enrich themselves while pretending to support gun owners, and simultaneously negotiate our rights away at every opportunity?


What the Benitez ruling really shows is how thin is the argument for the popularly supported common sense solutions put forth by the Left. Note in his decision he references a complete lack of criminal justice studies on the use of semi-automatic, magazine fed rifles in crime. Progressive public policy is not built upon fact nor is it justified by fact over time. Progressive public policy in all of its forms is justified and substantiated by a simple quest for power and control. This is why leftists fight critical analysis of any program or restriction inflicted on the American People.… Read more »


Progressivism, leftism and socialism are all the same words for marxism and communism. Such are just duplicitous definitions to hide behind masking their true intentions. Just browse their websites and you’ll not find a whit of difference between any of them. They all dance to the same song and sing the same tune. No matter how they define themselves they hate our Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. All these isms lust to KILL America and annihilate its history and true origins because American federalism, liberty and rule of law stands as a bulwark against their tyranny. Dialoging,… Read more »

Ryben Flynn

Should the unthinkable happen and the full 9th. Circus upholds Judge Benitez’s ruling, it is doubtful California would appeal to the SCOTUS, if they overrule him then it is sure to be appealed.
Whatever the 9th. Circus decides will only affect the 9th. District and maybe only California. Only if the SCOTUS takes the case then all other “assault weapon” bans would be affected. Like Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, etc.


Hubris will drive Newsome and company to appeal to the Supreme Court. The left never learns. Heller and McDonald resulted from the same brand of hubris.


I disagree a little, unfortunately, my family is currently stuck here in CommieFornia – & we are moving to a free place called Texas in 6 months, that having been said(or written) – this ruling may have an affect on other states – again, unfortunately other *stupid blue communist states like Massachusetts, & Maryland look to CommieFornia to set precedents in many ways and this ruling – however it goes, may indeed find it’s way up to SCOTUS, now will SCOTUS take this case up? Hard to tell. But I can see this happening, will Saint Benitez’s ruling hold –… Read more »


California’s AG’s are anti Constitutional going way back, but we’ll start with Harris, Becerra and now Bonta. They side and praise the lower courts decisions when they agree, but when they don’t, they kick it up to the stacked deck 9th Circuit Court. Bad laws are always stayed in place and then they may or may not be heard by the Supreme Court.


Please stop pushing the common use argument.

… the right of the people to keep and bear arms that are in common use shall not be infringed.

Does that sound right to you?

It’s “arms.” All of them. Even if only 1 was ever made as a prototype, it’s covered.

Roland T. Gunner

Harold, what you really ought to do, while you are still young enough, is put down your pen, cancel the lease on your apartment, purchase a one way ticket on a 747 to Charles DeGaul, and enlist in and spend some time in the French Foreign Legion. Get your feet wet; kind of an immersion program.

Roland T. Gunner

200,000 stun guns? Hmn…Aren’t there approximately 250,000 “machine guns” on the NFA National register?


Yeah but most of those are modern ones owned by police.

Got to hate being second class citizens.


As others have said don’t give one penny to the national rifle Association.
Give your money to firearms policy coalition, gun owners of America, or any other gun rights organization that is really working to further the cause.
NRA was complicit in Trumps’ bump stock ban.
until Wayne Lapierre is gone NRA is just wasting your money


Great article Harold Hutchison!