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Gun Owners File Emergency Application for Injunction Pending Appeal

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD | Last updated on

California gun owners have made a last ditch effort to block the enforcement of a Sunnyvale law that is one of the strictest gun-laws in the country. The new law, known as Measure C, was passed in November, and bans ammunition magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds, requires sellers of ammunition to record sales, requires the reporting of lost or stolen guns, and requires the disabling or locked storage of guns not in the owner's immediate possession.

The main provision the gun owners are challenging is Sunnyvale, California Municipal Code § 9.44.050, which deals directly with the prohibition of large-capacity magazines. The Sunnyvale law, and the disposition of this case may pave the path for what's becoming a new trend in gun laws -- enacting them on the local, city level. If this law passes constitutional muster, we can be sure to see many more cities enacting them in the future.

Fyock, et al. v. City of Sunnyvale, et al. -- District Court

In December, six Sunnyvale residents, owners of large-capacity magazines prohibited by the law, challenged the enforcement of § 9.44.050, seeking a preliminary injunction to block it's application. Last week, Judge Ronald M. Whyte, denied the motion for preliminary injunction finding that in balancing the equities, the balance "weigh[s] sharply against granting Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction."

He noted that, "The right to possess magazines having a capacity to accept more than ten rounds lies on the periphery of the Second Amendment right, and proscribing such magazines is, at bare minimum, substantially related to an important government interest," and added that no other court has granted a preliminary injunction against laws prohibiting large-capacity magazines, nor has any court found such a law to violate the Second Amendment.

Fyock, et al. v. City of Sunnyvale, et al. -- Emergency Appeals

The following day, the Ninth Circuit denied the plaintiffs' emergency motion for injunction pending appeal. On Monday, the plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court to weigh in, filing an emergency motion for injunction pending appeal with Justice Kennedy, who is the Circuit Justice for the Ninth Circuit.

On Tuesday, Justice Kennedy asked the City of Sunnyvale to file a response, due later today, reports SCOTUSblog. There's no decision yet, but if the Supreme Court agrees with the lower court's it's not looking good for the gun owners.

Update: Justice Kennedy denied the gun owners' motion for emergency application for injunction pending appeal on Wednesday afternoon, reports SCOTUSblog. The motion was denied in an order with no explanation.

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