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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Sunnyvale Gun Limits Won’t Go to Washington

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Supreme Court refused to intervene after a federal judge upheld the ban of large-capacity gun magazines in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Passed by voters in 2013 by a 66 percent majority, the law is virtually identical to one San Francisco enacted that same year.

Leonard Fyock is the lead plaintiff in the Sunnyvale challenge, which U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte nixed in San Jose last week.

In addition to faulting the gun owners for failing to show that the ban would cause irreparable harm, Whyte found that the 66 percent majority vote in favor of the ban supports denying injunctive relief.

Sunnyvale's ordinance took effect on March 6, and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy refused Wednesday to stay Whyte's ruling on March 12.

Without high court intervention, the matter will likely proceed to the 9th Circuit for an appeal.

The 9th Circuit is also considering a challenge to the San Francisco ordinance, which U.S. District Judge William Alsup upheld in February. That law is scheduled to take effect on April 7.

Sunnyvale's was not the only Golden State gun restriction kept intact last week.

On March 4, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston put the final nail in the challenge to the California Assault Weapons Control Act.

Mark Haynie and Brendan Richards, the plaintiffs in that case, were arrested for owning firearms in violation of the law in 2009 and 2010. They wanted the California Department of Justice to issue bulletins distinguishing guns with "bullet buttons" from assault rifles.

Since Haynie's rifle had a "bullet button," which makes the rifle's magazine detachable, it could not be identified under California penal code as an actual banned assault weapon. Investigators likewise failed to identify the guns that Richards owned as assault weapons after he spent six days in jail.

Judge Illston dismissed their lawsuit with prejudice.

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