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California Leaders File Appeal To Preserve State's Assault Weapons Ban

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at San Francisco General Hospital  on June 10, 2021 in San Francisco, California.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at San Francisco General Hospital on June 10, 2021 in San Francisco, California. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that the state of California has filed an appeal to a recent decision by a U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego to overturn California's three-decade-old ban on assault weapons stating that California's ban on assault weapons violates the constitutional right to bear arms. In his ruling, Benitez compared the popular AR-15 assault rifle to a Swiss Army knife. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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The following article was originally published June 10, 2021 through a collaboration with KPCC and LAist.

Story by Lita Martinez

California officials have filed an appeal against last week's court ruling that overturned the state's decades-old assault weapons ban.

In a news conference Thursday, state Attorney General Rob Bonta called the decision "disappointing." He argued for what he called "common sense" gun control in the wake of last month's mass shooting in San Jose.

In his 94-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Benitez of San Diego compared the assault weapons to Swiss Army knives and argued the ban has not curbed gun violence in the state.

Governor Gavin Newsom had pointed criticism for Judge Benitez, calling him "a stone-cold ideologue" and a "wholly-owned subsidiary of the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association."

"Weapons of war don’t belong on our streets," Newsom later tweeted. "CA's assault weapon ban has saved countless lives — we will do everything in our power to keep it in place."

The current law banning assault weapons remains in effect for 30 days to allow enough time for an appeal to make its way through the courts.

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