Los Angeles will be able to start enforcing its new ban on firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition next week, after a Superior Court judge turned down a request from gun rights groups to immediately stop the law from going into effect.
The California Rifle & Pistol Assn. and other critics of the law, including dozens of county sheriffs from elsewhere in California, are suing Los Angeles over the ban, arguing that it is preempted by state law and will add to a confusing patchwork of local rules for travelers.
That case is still headed to trial next year, but the Thursday decision means that Los Angeles can enforce the rules while the court battle is underway. Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer hailed it as "a victory for common sense gun violence prevention laws."
Backers of the ban say it will help curb the bloodshed of mass shootings by forcing attackers to stop sooner to reload. "The use of these magazines has so often led to tragedy," Feuer said. "This law will help prevent those horrible events in the future."
California Rifle & Pistol Assn. President Chuck Michel said the case was "far from over" after the Thursday decision. The main argument behind the lawsuit – whether California law preempts the L.A. rules – remains to be decided, he said.
"The court merely denied injunctive relief, finding that people were not 'irreparably harmed' by having to remove their magazines from the city while this is litigated," Michel said.
"Meanwhile, gun owners should know their rights and be careful about cooperating with police lest they become unwitting victims of this and other counterproductive city gun laws," Michel said.
City Councilman Paul Krekorian, a San Fernando Valley politician who championed the new law, urged Angelenos to turn in any ammunition magazines that violate the new law to police stations before the rules go into effect on Nov. 19.