YUBA CITY, CA - Gursant Singh Khalsa, a follower of the Sikh faith for 35 years, filed a federal lawsuit against the State of California.
The suit claims the state is stopping him from fully practicing his religion by not allowing him to own and use of assault rifles and high capacity magazines.
"Decrees from the Tenth Sikh Guru state in the most vigorous and clear words that, 'a Sikh's conception of God is the sword of God is the sword of dharma,'" Khalsa said.
He said some practicing Sikhs already carry what he calls "the sword of dharma" for protection. Khalsa said if assault weapons were legalized in the state, the loss of life in mass shootings, like the one in Wisconsin, could be minimized.
"I am just going by what the Sikh religion and what Sikhs are mandated to do," Khalsa said. "We have an obligation to defend those who can't defend themselves."
But not all Sikhs believe in what Khalsa is aiming to do.
Yuba City Sikh Temple director Tejinder Dosanjah said he believes everyone, regardless of religion, has a right to protect themselves, but said to interpret religious scriptures for personal benefit is not right.
"He should not involve the Sikh faith directly or indirectly into this lawsuit," Dosanjah said.