Yesterday, San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren struck down the San Francisco handgun ban, asserting that under California law local officials do not have the authority to ban firearms from law-abiding citizens. The National Rifle Association (NRA) opposed the ban from its inception.
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre stated, “This ruling is a major victory for freedom and for the National Rifle Association. Proposition H was an ill-conceived gun ban scheme that would have violated the rights of only the law-abiding in San Francisco. We fought this outrageous attack on the constitutional rights of the good guys and we prevailed. We are determined not to see this gross injustice happen again and will fight any effort by politicians to resurrect this faulty proposal.”
The San Francisco gun ban would have prohibited law-abiding city residents from purchasing firearms - rifles, shotguns and handguns - for any lawful reason, whether for self-defense, hunting or recreational shooting. In addition, current law-abiding gun owners would have to surrender their registered handguns to the police.
Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist, stated, “We are pleased with the decision of Judge James Warren of the California Superior Court. In today's ruling, Judge Warren ruled California law prohibits a city or county from banning handgun possession by law-abiding adults. This ruling supports the premise of NRA's argument. The NRA filed its lawsuit soon after Proposition H passed arguing that the proposition was in violation of California preemption laws that say firearm laws are regulated by the state.”
The San Francisco Police Officers Association also opposed the ban, stating that the new law nullified "the personal choice of city residents to lawfully possess a handgun for self-defense purposes."
Cox continued, “It seems evident that the authors of this measure either intentionally misled voters during the election or authored this proposed measure with gross disregard of California law. Regrettably, the biggest losers were the voters in this municipality who had to bear the considerable financial burden to satisfy the careless political whim of their elected officials.”
NRA and its Civil Rights Defense Fund presently support more than 60 cases involving the constitutional rights of gun owners. NRA filed a lawsuit challenging gun confiscations in the wake of Katrina (NRA v. New Orleans) and to clarify California’s so-called "assault weapon" law (Hunt v. Lockyer). It successfully challenged the San Francisco gun ban (NRA v. San Francisco), and it is challenging seizures of firearms at New York and New Jersey airports contrary to federal safe passage law (John Torraco and William Winstanley in New York and Gregg Revell in New Jersey). Successes include striking down unconstitutional laws in Wisconsin (State v. Hamdan), New Mexico (Baca v. New Mexico Department of Public Safety), Oregon (State v. Dalgado), and West Virginia (State ex rel. City of Princeton v. Buckner). NRA also supported cases involving successful self-defense, for example, Jeffrey Kinder, Sr., and Jeffrey Kinder III (Arizona) and Tracey Roberts (Iowa).
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services.