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More gun control legal battles likely as state officials appeal overturning of assault weapons ban

"The changed composition of the Supreme Court is certainly something that is prompting more and more challenges to gun laws," McGeorge Law Professor Leslie Jacobs.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Thursday the state has submitted an appeal to a federal judge's decision to overturn a 32-year-old assault weapons ban, signaling more gun control battles to come, legal experts say. 

"So this one district court judge’s ruling is an outlier ruling and it’s not surprising that California would want to defend the policy that its voters enacted," said McGeorge Law Professor Leslie Jacobs. 

The attorney general will also ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to stay the district court's ruling, which would extend the current 30-day stay of the decision and leave the current laws in effect throughout the appeal process. 

Jacobs said it's likely that the court is likely to do so, meaning the assault weapons ban could remain in place for several months. 

In a statement, the Firearms Policy Coalition in Sacramento said it would "oppose any and all requests to stay enforcement of the final judgment," and "aggressively litigate this case on appeal and will take every action to defend the Court’s legally and historically correct decision up to and at the U.S. Supreme Court."

"The changed composition of the Supreme Court is certainly something that is prompting more and more challenges to gun laws and prompting likely district court and perhaps court of appeals rulings that are striking down gun laws," Jacobs said. 

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