A "failed experiment..." that's how a U.S. federal judge described California's three-decade long ban on assault weapons, as he overturned it on Friday, calling the ban unconstitutional.
In his court order, Judge Roger Benitez wrote "Government is not free to impose its own new policy choices on American citizens where Constitutional rights are concerned... It is declared that these statutes unconstitutionally infringe the Second Amendment rights of California citizens."
He also likened the AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife, describing both as a "perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment."
California Governor Gavin Newsom was outraged at that comparison and the legal decision overall. He called the ruling a "disgusting slap" in the face to those who have lost loved ones to gun violence.
The court decision is subject to a 30-day stay, during which California’s attorney general, who called Friday's ruling "fundamentally flawed," can file an appeal.
California's ban on the sale of assault weapons dates back to 1989.
Gun control is a hot-button issue in the U.S. where gun enthusiasts see gun ownership as a constitutional right, while gun control advocates want to see fewer guns after decades of deadly mass shootings in public spaces, including schools.