Large-capacity gun magazines are now illegal in Sunnyvale, Calif. The Silicon Valley community's voter-approved ballot measure, banning magazines carrying more than 10 cartridges, withstood a legal challenge this week.
U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte of San Jose allowed Sunnyvale to enforce the ban, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. Whyte ruled it would have little impact on the constitutional right to possess firearms for self-defense.
The ruling comes two weeks after another judge rejected gun advocates' attempt to block a similar law in San Francisco.
Although millions of Americans own guns with magazines carrying more than 10 cartridges, "it is rare that anyone will need to fire more than 10 rounds in self-defense," Whyte said in his ruling denying an injunction against the Sunnyvale ordinance, which is now in effect.
He cited a National Rifle Association report that found Americans who used their firearms to defend themselves fired an average of 2.1-2.2 shots.
Although opponents of the ordinance offered several anecdotes about people who needed high-capacity weapons to protect themselves, Whyte said the "burden on Second Amendment rights ... is relatively light" and was far outweighed by the "compelling government interest in public safety" that the new law promotes.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that individuals have a constitutional right to possess handguns in their home for self-defense. But the court also said the federal, state and local governments could enforce reasonable gun-control laws, such as bans on possessing "dangerous or particularly dangerous weapons or carrying guns in sensitive areas."
Via The San Francisco Chronicle.