Second Amendment, Firearm Regulation, Large Capacity Magazines


This comment addresses the Ninth Circuit’s decision to apply strict scrutiny to a ban on large-capacity magazines in Duncan v. Becerra. Since its construction, the Second Amendment has afforded states the ability to regulate firearms in their respective jurisdictions. However, absent Supreme Court precedent designating a guiding standard of judicial review, American courts have come to a consensus that intermediate scrutiny is appropriate when a gun regulation does not impose a severe burden on the core protection guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Inconsistent with this approach, the Ninth Circuit used strict scrutiny to strike California legislation that regulated the possession of large-capacity magazines. Is applying the highest and most stringent standard of judicial review with a presumption of unconstitutionality to a ban on weapons capable of killing ten people in a matter of seconds consistent with the limitations on the scope of the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller? In light of legal precedent, the answer is likely no. Consequently, the use of strict scrutiny on such legislation prevents states from mitigating gun violence aided by large-capacity magazines in their communities.

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