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
NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

News  

Friday, April 9, 2021

NRA Opposes David Chipman for ATF Director

During a press conference on Thursday, President Biden announced that he would once again be targeting law-abiding gun owners by ordering ATF to develop two new restrictive regulations. Aiming to accessorize the Department of Justice’s ...

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

At Biden's recent Rose Garden ceremony, where he announced his latest assault on the Second Amendment, he lied a number of times, and garbled the name of the federal agency tasked with enforcing federal gun ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday, April 15, 2021

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy held a press conference to unveil yet another gun control package in the Garden State.  

A Radical Idea: It’s Not the Gun, it’s the Criminal

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

A Radical Idea: It’s Not the Gun, it’s the Criminal

Rahm Emanuel, recently the mayor of Chicago and who has previously served as a member of the Clinton Administration and as President Obama’s White House chief of staff, proposed a few curious gun control ideas ...

Texas: Urge Your Lawmakers to Pass Permitless Carry this Session

Monday, April 12, 2021

Texas: Urge Your Lawmakers to Pass Permitless Carry this Session

House Bill 1911, by Rep. James White (R-Woodville), and House Bill 1927, by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), NRA-backed permitless carry proposals that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a state-issued License To Carry (LTC), have been reported ...

Texas House Approves NRA-Backed Permitless Carry Bill

Friday, April 16, 2021

Texas House Approves NRA-Backed Permitless Carry Bill

Early Thursday evening, on a 84-56 vote, the Texas House gave initial approval to House Bill 1927, by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), an NRA-backed permitless carry proposal that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun without a state-issued License To ...

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry

Friday, April 9, 2021

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry

Yesterday, the House voted to pass House Bill 3096 on third reading. It has been sent to the Senate for further consideration.

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

News  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

There is a central hypocrisy at the heart of the gun control effort.

Hawaii: Anti-Gun Bills Go to Governor

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Hawaii: Anti-Gun Bills Go to Governor

Earlier this week, the Senate voted to pass House bill 1366 and House Bill 31. The bills will now be transmitted to Governor David Ige for his consideration.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.