Semi-automatic assault rifles are still illegal in California, and the ban is constitutional.
According to a ruling on Monday by a California appeals court, the state law banning possession of a semi-automatic assault rifle is constitutional. The appeals court’s opinion explained that the Supreme Court’s important Second Amendment opinion in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller asserted that a citizens right to bear arms is “‘not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose,’ but is instead the right to possess and carry weapons typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes such as hunting or self-defense,” and that ownership of “[d]angerous and unusual weapons” is not protected by the Constitution.
In a previous decision also made by the Supreme Court, it was concluded that “short-barreled shotguns” can be banned. The California appeals court determined that assault rifles “are at least as dangerous and unusual as the short-barreled shotgun,” which makes the state law to ban them constitutional.