Owners turned in assault weapons in response to a 2015 gun buyback offer. Photo credit: Chris Stone

Three San Diego residents filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging California’s assault-weapons ban.

The plaintiffs allege that the state violated its residents’ Second Amendment rights based on a misguided definition of assault weapons.

Attorneys filed the suit on behalf of James Miller, Patrick Russ and Ryan Peterson, as well as the San Diego County Gun Owners Political Action Committee.

According to the suit, the types of firearms banned by the state are protected under the Constitution.

The suit calls California’s use of the term assault weapons, “a politically-concocted pejorative term.”

The term, according to the suit, suggests “that there is an inherently unlawful or illegitimate basis for owning otherwise common firearms protected by the Second Amendment.”

The state based its characterization of such weapons on faulty rationales, such as the rifle’s ammunition capacity, the plaintiffs argue.

“We look forward to proving that the state’s statutes, policies, and practices at issue in this case are both unconstitutional and irrational,” attorney George M. Lee said.

The lawsuit references U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez‘s recent ruling against California’s ban on high-capacity magazines. Benitez later stayed his own order.

“This is a straightforward case to protect our clients’ constitutional rights and property,” attorney John Dillon said. “The state of California’s ban on these firearms will fail constitutional scrutiny for the same reasons that its ban on firearm magazines did.”

Dillon represents the plaintiffs in another suit filed in San Diego federal court last month.

Matthew Jones, Thomas Furrh and several firearm-advocacy organizations allege that the state’s ban on firearm purchases for people between the ages of 18 and 21 represents age discrimination.

– City News Service

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