OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Veteran District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, who is wrapping up her 37-year career as a prosecutor, lashed out Monday at a federal judge’s decision to strike down California’s ban on assault weapons.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled late Friday that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court.READ MORE: UPDATE: Many in East Bay Still Without Power
A copy of the decision can be read online.
“Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive,” Benitez said. He issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of the law but stayed it for 30 days to give state Attorney General Rob Bonta time to appeal.
O’Malley, who has announced she would not be seeking reelection after being Alameda County’s District Attorney for 12 years and a member of the department for 27 years prior, has seen the havoc assault weapons can take and took to social media Monday to voice her objections to the judge’s ruling.
“I am so dismayed that a federal judge would overturn California’s ban on assault weapon,” she posted. “No one needs an assault weapon for personal safety and assault weapons are mostly used to commit crimes. With the incidents of mass shootings, we must protect our citizens from others who use assault weapons to inflict massive harm.”
Over the weekend, Bay Area residents commented on the judge’s decision.READ MORE: Menlo Park Man Stabbed at Party
A group of gun control advocates rallied in Foster City Saturday evening, saying California needs more gun laws, not less.
At the rally, the names of the victims of the San Jose VTA mass shooting were read aloud. Those attending bowed their heads in remembrance.
“I’m angry, I’m angry that people are being killed by senseless gun violence,” said Alexis Lewis, with the NAACP of San Mateo County.
Nancy Yarbrough joined Brady United of San Mateo County to end gun violence after someone shot her cousin. She believed the ban on assault weapons like AR-15 has saved countless lives.
“It’s not a hunting item. It’s not for self-protection. It’s to kill other human beings,” said Yarbrough.
But others like Taylor Svehlak, director of public affairs of Firearms Policy Coalition Firearms Policy Coalition, heralded the judge’s decision.MORE NEWS: One Dead, Three Wounded In Early Sunday Morning Shooting In Oakland's Uptown Neighborhood
“We are absolutely thrilled with the opinion. We think that this is a monumental occurrence for, not just Second Amendment rights, but for civil rights overall,” Svehlak said. “This ruling could very well signal a massive momentum shift on, not just on assault weapon bans, but I mean an absolute multitude of other topics in the Second Amendment world.”