In California, assault weapons including the AR-15 reauthorized by a judge

GEORGE FREY via AFP

In California, assault weapons including the AR-15 reauthorized by a judge (illustrative photo taken in Utah)

UNITED STATES – An American judge on Friday, June 4 overturned the ban on assault rifles in California, in force for three decades, a decision immediately condemned by the governor of this state, Gavin Newsom, in a context of resurgence of gun-related homicides in the United States.

In his 94-page long ruling, Federal Judge Roger T Benitez called the ban on assault weapons (which has existed since 1989) unconstitutional, defending the right of Americans to own semi-automatic rifles.

“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the highly prized AR-15 semi-automatic rifle is the perfect tool to defend both home and country,” he argued. “Weapons and ammunition in the hands of criminals, tyrants and terrorists are dangerous. It is best to leave them in the hands of responsible and law-abiding citizens, ”he said.

Increased violence in the United States

Benitez said he would give the state of California 30 days to appeal his ruling, which Gov. Newson has vowed to challenge, calling it a “direct threat to public safety” and recalling that in mass shootings AR-15 is often used.

“We are not backing down from this fight and we will continue to fight for gun laws that go the right way and save lives,” he said in a statement.

The announcement comes amid heightened violence in the United States and just over a week after an employee of a public transport company killed eight people at his company’s California site before giving himself up. dead.

A search this week at the home of the shooter “burned down shortly before the attack” found 12 firearms, 22,000 ammunition and supposed Molotov cocktails.

Firearms ″ epidemic ”

Mass shootings have occurred recently in Florida, Indiana, California, Colorado and Georgia. An outbreak of violence described by President Joe Biden “epidemic”.

In the fall, the United States Supreme Court is set to consider an appeal by the powerful NRA gun lobby against a New York law restricting the carrying of firearms outside one’s home.

It will be the first time in more than a decade that the country’s highest court will consider a major case involving the Second Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment, which is the subject of divergent interpretations, states that “a well-organized militia being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to own and bear arms will not be infringed. ”.

For supporters of firearms, it guarantees a right to carry weapons for every citizen. Others, however, consider that the authors of the Constitution only wanted to protect the right to possess and use weapons within the framework of a force of maintenance of order, like the army or the police force. In the United States, the coronavirus pandemic has certainly reduced workplace violence, with citizens staying in their homes, but gun sales have skyrocketed.

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Source: Le Huffington Post by www.huffingtonpost.fr.

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