California: Court Denies Request to Temporarily Block Enforcement of Los Angeles Ordinance Banning So-Called “Large-Capacity” Magazines



As previously reported, a majority of California Sheriffs, two law enforcement organizations, the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), and several other individuals filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate Los Angeles’ recently enacted ban on the  the possession of standard capacity magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds.  The lawsuit, Bosenko v. City of Los Angeles, challenges the magazine possession ban on legal “preemption” grounds, because California state law allows for the possession of such magazines, and specifically authorizes their possession in a variety of circumstances that the City improperly prohibits.

On November 12, 2015, the trial court denied a preliminary emergency request to temporarily block the city from enforcing the ordinance while the case proceeds. The court cited a lack of “irreparable harm” that would result if the ordinance goes into effect, because individuals can store their magazines outside the City or not travel into Los Angeles with their magazines while the case is litigated.  The court agreed to expedite the case, however, and made no ruling on the ultimate merits of whether the City’s archaic ban is preempted by the state’s comprehensive regulation of standard-capacity magazines. The parties will now have an opportunity to fully brief the preemption issues for the court, and a final ruling from the trial court is expected in the first half of 2016. Because the court made no findings whatsoever on whether the ordinance is preempted, any other jurisdictions that might consider adopting similar ordinances will face immediate litigation. If you learn of similar ordinances being considered in your area, please promptly contact the law offices of Michel and Associates, P.C.

To help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the ordinance, the NRA and CRPA have prepared a detailed Compliance Guide for individuals who may be impacted by the new law. The complimentary guide explains the ins and outs of the ordinance, your options for lawfully keeping your magazines while the case proceeds, and how to effectively protect your rights during encounters with law enforcement. Under the conditions of the ordinance, the mere possession of any so-called “large-capacity” magazine within Los Angeles on or after November19, 2015 will be a misdemeanor offense. Los Angeles residents must remove any banned magazines from Los Angeles city limits before that date.  If you are a Los Angeles resident and you fail to exercise any of your options discussed in the Compliance Guide before November 19, you should contact an attorney experienced in firearms law to discuss your situation.

Significantly, the ordinance doesn’t only apply to Los Angeles city residents. Non-resident gun owners must avoid traveling through any part of the city of Los Angeles while possessing any banned magazine. It is practically impossible to know all of the city’s exact boundaries, as illustrated by this map. The borders of Los Angeles intersect every major Southern California freeway. In some cases the city of Los Angeles completely surrounds other smaller cities, like Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. So anyone traveling out of Santa Monica or Beverly Hills, and anyone traveling through the city of Los Angeles with a banned magazine can be prosecuted.

Stay tuned for further information as this case continues towards a resolution on the merits. As the case progresses, all filings in the case can be viewed here. In the meantime, please refer to the information below on ways you can help fund this lawsuit and others like it that seek to preserve and promote your Second Amendment rights.

Help Us Help You

Please help us fight for your right to choose to own a gun for sport, or to defend yourself and your family. The NRAand CRPA work together in California to fight for you, in cities and counties across the state, in regulatory agencies, and in the courts.  Even with the generous rates that our team of civil rights attorneys, legislative advocates, experts and consultants grant us, these ongoing efforts are still expensive. You can support our pro-Second Amendment efforts in California by donating to the NRA Legal Action Project.  All donations will be spent to specifically benefit California gun owners.

Second Amendment supporters should be careful about supporting litigation or other efforts promised by other individuals and groups that lack the experience, resources, skill, or legal talent to be successful. The NRA and CRPA national team of highly regarded civil rights attorneys, legislative advocates, and scholars has the experience, resources, skill and expertise needed to maximize the potential for victory in California’s often hostile political environments.

For a summary of some of the many actions the NRA and CRPA has taken on behalf of California gun owners, including the Peruta case, click here.