Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

California Appeals Court Strikes Down San Francisco Handgun Ban

Friday, January 11, 2008

On January 9, the California Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court ruling that struck down San Francisco's handgun ban as a violation of California's state preemption law.  The ruling was in response to an NRA-led challenge to the ban.   

The city law, passed as Proposition H on the 2005 ballot, prohibited handgun possession, as well as firearms and ammunition manufacturing or sales.  For law-abiding residents, the law was even more severe than the handgun bans in Washington, D.C. or Chicago.  Unlike those cities, San Francisco had no "grandfather clause," so San Francisco residents would have had to dispose of handguns within 90 days. 

The case underscores the importance of NRA-backed state preemption laws.  Forty-three states have preemption statutes.  California's version prohibits local governments from banning handgun possession, and from establishing their own licensing and registration systems. In its decision, the court noted that California already has nearly 100 pages of state gun laws, and that "the state and local acts are irreconcilable, clearly repugnant, and so inconsistent that the two cannot have concurrent operation." 

San Francisco's last try at banning handguns, led by then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein, also ran afoul of the state's preemption law according to the Court of Appeals in 1982.  In the current case, the appeals court noted that there was "no subsequent case which has overruled, disapproved of, or even sought to limit or clarify [the 1982] decision." 

San Francisco claimed that the gun ban was necessary as an anti-crime measure.  The court rejected that idea, noting, "[T]he City's arguments fail to acknowledge that the ordinance will affect more than just criminals. It will also affect every City resident who has not, through some demonstration of personal disability or irresponsibility, lost his or her right to possess a handgun." 

The idea that there is a right to possess a handgun at all would be news to San Francisco's district attorney, Kamala Harris.  Sworn in for a second term the same day the Court of Appeals decision was announced, Harris announced that her office would join other cities to file a "friend of the court" brief defending the District of Columbia handgun and self-defense ban. 

Coming just as Supreme Court briefs are being filed in the Washington, D.C. case, the San Francisco decision is an important reminder that the Second Amendment isn't the only basis for challenging even the most extreme anti-gun laws.  While it's unknown at press time whether the city will appeal to the California Supreme Court, NRA's legal team will continue the practical approach that has brought victory, so far, for the long-suffering gun owners of San Francisco.

TRENDING NOW
First, Carry No Gun: Police Chief Gets Inhospitable Reception at Texas Medical Clinic

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

First, Carry No Gun: Police Chief Gets Inhospitable Reception at Texas Medical Clinic

We recently reported on claims that “gun safety advocates” in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have given a U.S. Marine Corps. veteran an untenable choice: custody of his grandson or his constitutional ...

Elizabeth Warren Urges Democrats to Champion Gun Control, Shut Down Debate

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Elizabeth Warren Urges Democrats to Champion Gun Control, Shut Down Debate

Just as many in the Democratic Party are seeking to moderate their message in order to once again compete as a national political party, some high-profile Democrats are urging the party to lurch further left ...

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Oregon: Governor Signs Anti-Gun Bill into Law

Yesterday, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 719A.  Based on a California law enacted in 2014, SB 719A will create a so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) that could be obtained by a law enforcement ...

California: Ruling in NRA/CRPA Lawsuit Reigns in DOJ’s Misuse of DROS Fees

Friday, August 18, 2017

California: Ruling in NRA/CRPA Lawsuit Reigns in DOJ’s Misuse of DROS Fees

A California state court issued an important ruling in the NRA and CRPA supported case of Gentry v. Becerra, holding DOJ accountable for its historical mismanagement and misuse of DROS (dealer record of sale) account funds.

American Bar Association Continues to Attack Gun Owners, Due Process

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, August 18, 2017

American Bar Association Continues to Attack Gun Owners, Due Process

The 2016 compilation of legislative policies of the ABA includes a raft of gun control proposals. In it, the ABA advocates for outmoded gun control measures, such as limits on the sale and possession of ...

Arizona Supreme Court Rebuffs Tucson’s Illegal Destruction of Firearms

News  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Arizona Supreme Court Rebuffs Tucson’s Illegal Destruction of Firearms

On Thursday, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously held that the state was within its authority to prohibit cities and counties from routinely destroying firearms obtained through forfeiture or as unclaimed property. State law holds that ...

Washington: Department of Labor & Industries Targeting Shooting Ranges

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Washington: Department of Labor & Industries Targeting Shooting Ranges

At the request of Public Health, Seattle & King County, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries has released a “first draft” of a new statewide regulatory scheme targeting lead and lead exposure in the workplace. ...

Trump Administration Ends Another Obama-era Anti-Gun Policy

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Trump Administration Ends Another Obama-era Anti-Gun Policy

Justice Department to End ‘Operation Choke Point’

Justice Department Terminates and Repudiates Operation Choke Point

News  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Justice Department Terminates and Repudiates Operation Choke Point

Current Justice Department leadership and Boyd should be commended for their forceful statement on this matter. This unequivocal repudiation of Operation Choke Point should make a return to such political persecution unpalatable for all but ...

Stossel Report Reinforces Urgent Need for Congressional Action

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

News  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Stossel Report Reinforces Urgent Need for Congressional Action

Award-winning journalist John Stossel published a report this week that provides a timely reminder that – nearly a decade after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller – law abiding gun ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.