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AG Nessel joins bid to uphold laws restricting gun magazine capacity

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 17 attorneys general in supporting a California law challenged in federal court 
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LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 17 other attorneys general in a coalition supporting the state of California’s efforts to restrict the capacity of firearms magazines within its borders. The coalition filed an amicus brief yesterday in support of California in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court, arguing that California’s prohibition on the possession and sale of large-capacity magazines is consistent with the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

“Large capacity magazines can facilitate the infliction of mass injuries and death in a very short period of time,” Nessel said. “California has the right to take the necessary measures under state law to reduce mass shootings and save lives. I proudly stand with my colleagues in supporting California’s constitutional and common-sense approach to curbing gun violence.” 

The case, Duncan vs. Bonta, concerns the constitutionality of a California law that allows for the possession and sale of firearms magazines that accept up to ten rounds of ammunition but prohibits larger capacity magazines (“LCMs”). The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California issued a preliminary injunction against California’s LCM ban, and California has appealed the decision. The Ninth Circuit has stayed the lower court’s preliminary injunction while it considers California’s appeal granted, allowing the law to remain in effect for now. 

In the amicus brief, the attorneys general argue that California’s large-capacity magazine law is a constitutionally permissible restriction. 

This brief is AG Nessel’s most recent action to address the national scourge of gun violence. Since taking office in 2019, Nessel has been a vocal supporter of gun control measures. Those measures include pushing for a federal ban on handgun sales to anyone under the age of 21, greater accountability for gun manufacturers, initiatives to rid the streets of untraceable ghost guns, and a prohibition on firearms in the Capitol and other state buildings. 

In September of this year, AG Nessel gave testimony before the Michigan Senate in favor of gun control laws that increased the number of background checks for gun purchasers, set safe storage standards, and introduced an Extreme Risk Protection Order procedure that would prevent individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing or owning a firearm for eight years following their conviction. That legislation was signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer earlier this month. 

The amicus brief was co-led by Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell and New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. It was joined by the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.