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California Federal Judge Reverses Own Ruling To Unban Blunt Weapons

A federal judge based in San Diego ruled that a state law that bans billy clubs and other blunt weapons is unconstitutional, reversing his previous ruling that upheld California’s ban.

In the Friday decision, U.S. District Judge T. Roger Benitez struck down the California law, ruling that it “unconstitutionally infringes the Second Amendment rights of American citizens” and that the state government must cease enforcement, The San Diego Union Tribune reported.

Blunt weapons have been banned in the state since 1917 with exemptions for police officers and security professionals, the outlet noted.

In 2021, Judge Benitez described the ban as “longstanding” in a ruling that upheld the law.

While that case was under appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen held that the Second Amendment protects individuals’ right to carry a gun for protection outside the home, according to NBC San Diego.

After the SCOTUS ruling, the 2021 case was sent back to Benitez’s desk for a re-review.

In light of the Bruen decision, Benitez decided that lawyers from California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office failed to prove that, as the SCOTUS majority wrote, “the regulation is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

“During the time the Founders were alive and all of the way up to the end of the Civil War in 1865, there were no state restrictions in any of the states or territories on possessing or carrying a billy,” Benitez wrote in his ruling.

Bonta said Benitez’s ruling “defies logic” and that he plans to appeal, arguing that the Bruen decision “did not create a regulatory straitjacket for states,” according to NBC. (RELATED: Biden-Appointed Federal Judge Blocks California Law On ‘Abnormally Dangerous’ Firearms)

Alan Beck, the lawyer representing two military veterans who challenged the longstanding blunt weapon ban, disagreed, the Tribune reported.

“Essentially any stick can be construed as a billy club — it doesn’t make sense, not just for constitutional reasons, but for public policy,” Beck said. “If people have the right to own and carry a handgun, it makes very little public policy sense that they can’t carry a billy club.”

“I thought it was a straightforward application of Supreme Court precedent,” he added.

-Daily Caller

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