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Name: People v. Zondorak
Case #: D062900
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/21/2013

California’s ban on AK series rifles does not violate Second Amendment. Zondorak was convicted of violating California’s Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA) for possessing an AK series rifle in violation of former Penal Code section 12280, subdivision (b). On appeal, he argued that section 12280 is unconstitutional as an infringement on his rights under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. He contended that under District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) 554 U.S. 570, California is precluded from banning possession of an AK series semi-automatic rifle by a private citizen in his home. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The right to bear arms is not unlimited, and does not extend to any type of weapon. The Second Amendment confers the right to possess weapons typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes such as hunting or self-defense. Section 12280’s ban on the possession of an AK series semi-automatic rifle does offend the Second Amendment because such rifles are dangerous and unusual. Weapons do not gain Second Amendment protections merely because they are possessed in a home for self-defense. The court also rejected Zondorak’s argument that the ban was impermissible because he needs to have semi-automatic weapons to defend himself against others who have lawfully or unlawfully acquired these types of weapons. The Second Amendment does not protect classes of weapons merely because they may “level[] the playing field.”