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A salesperson holds a high-capacity magazine for an AR-15 rifle at a store in Orem, Utah. Photo: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld California's ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines in a case that could reach the Supreme Court.

Why it matters: Gun rights groups have pushed to get firearms cases before the nation's high court, where conservative justices now hold a 6-3 majority, and will now ask the Supreme Court to take up the case, according to AP.

Details: The law bars magazines that hold more than 10 or more bullets. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) backed the ballot initiative when he was still lieutenant governor.

  • A three-judge 9th Circuit panel last year agreed with a lower court judge that the ban violates the Second Amendment, but the appeals court reversed the ruling on Tuesday in a 7-4 en banc decision.

What they're saying: "The statute outlaws no weapon, but only limits the size of the magazine that may be used with firearms," the majority said in an opinion by Judge Susan P. Graber.

  • "[T]he record demonstrates (a) that the limitation interferes only minimally with the core right of self-defense, as there is no evidence that anyone ever has been unable to defend his or her home and family due to the lack of a large-capacity magazine; and (b) that the limitation saves lives."
  • "Accordingly, the ban on legal possession of large-capacity magazines reasonably supported California’s effort to reduce the devastating damage wrought by mass shootings," Graber added.

The other side: "Large-capacity magazines are bearable arms that are commonly owned for lawful purposes, and not subject to longstanding regulatory measures," three judges wrote in the dissent. "This is not a close question."

What to watch: The plaintiffs are planning to appeal the ruling, attorney C.D. Michel told Politico.

Go deeper

What's next for Ohio House, Senate redistricting

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Wednesday's Ohio Supreme Court redistricting ruling — invalidating the state legislative maps and ordering leaders to draw new ones — set off shockwaves in Buckeye State political circles.

Updated 5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker