Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Political Report: NRA-ILA Wins Court Victories On Two Coasts

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Supreme Court has handed down its landmark decision in the Heller case, but we must also remember that legal skirmishes over our Second Amendment rights are not limited to the Supreme Court. Before and after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Heller, other cases were playing out across the country, with huge implications for the rights of citizens in those jurisdictions. When the situation demands, NRA-ILA goes beyond legislative and political advocacy to defend the Second Amendment in court.

One case began back in 2005, when voters in San Francisco passed Proposition H, a local ordinance prohibiting virtually all city residents from possessing handguns. The ordinance also prohibited all city residents, without exception, from selling, distributing, transferring and manufacturing all firearms and ammunition. The city mayor promoted the ordinance mainly as a political statement. He even acknowledged the likelihood that the handgun ban would not withstand legal scrutiny, but insisted on spending taxpayer funds on his political theatrics.

Once passed, the ordinance could not be allowed to stand. NRA-ILA assembled a strike team of lawyers, local gun owners and other affected groups (from the San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association, to the Pink Pistols), and filed for a "writ of mandate" to challenge the ordinance the day after it passed. Among many arguments, one stood out as the single most critical--that the ordinance violated the state's preemption statute.

Preemption statutes have long been a legislative priority for NRA-ILA. They prohibit cities, counties and other localities from establishing their own restrictions on firearms ownership, use and possession. Preemption statutes prevent having a patchwork of assorted restrictions varying from one township line to the next, which in turn prevents lawful firearm owners from accidentally becoming criminals by violating obscure local gun laws.

Forty-three states have preemption statutes, and California is one of them. But California's law is not as clear as some others. That's why activist anti-gun groups have been pushing for local gun restrictions in California--and that's why this case was so important.

The trial court agreed with us, and found that Proposition h was, in fact, preempted by state law. City politicians were not content with only wasting a little time and money, so they appealed the decision, claiming the handgun ban was necessary as a crime-fighting measure. The state Court of Appeal not only affirmed the trial court decision, but noted that "[T]he City's arguments fail to acknowledge 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."

Apparently bent on further exhausting taxpayers' money and patience, the city asked the California Supreme Court to review the case. On April 9, the Supreme Court declined the request. It also refused the city's request to cut the anti-gun movement's losses by taking the Court of Appeal decision off the books. So now the decision is final, and it stands as binding precedent against future efforts to pass local bans and restrictions on firearm possession
in California.

Across the country in Philadelphia, a different political battle played out more recently. Here, city politicians had been pushing the state legislature to pass a series of onerous restrictions on firearm owners. The vast majority of state legislators declined the invitation, and the restrictions were voted down. Unwilling to accept defeat, city politicians decided to make a symbolic political statement by passing their
own set of gun bans and restrictions, Sound familiar?

Pennsylvania also has a preemption statute, one that is clear and already tested in the courts. In fact, the city's district attorney advised the city council and mayor that their restrictions were clearly unlawful. But that's where the story takes a twist. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey--formerly the chief of police in Washington, D.C., and a vocal defender of the D.C.. gun ban--planned on enforcing them anyway. He was quoted as saying, "As far as I am concerned, the laws are valid, and we will act as if this whole conversation with the D.A. just didn';t take place."

So once again NRA-ILA assembled a team of lawyers, local groups and affected individuals, and sued the city in court. And we immediately succeeded in gaining a restraining order against enforcement of the ordinances. Now, Commissioner Ramsey will have to occupy himself looking for real criminals to arrest.

But the legal work of your NRA-ILA will not be finished with these cases, nor with whatever verdict the Supreme Court may render in District of Columbia v. Heller. Our rights will continue to be tested by headline-hungry politicians, and any time the Second Amendment is on trial, NRA-ILA will be there in its defense.

TRENDING NOW
Guns and Taxes

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Guns and Taxes

David Hogg wants a federal tax on firearms and ammunition. He has repeatedly broached the idea, including multiple times on Twitter, and only sometimes suggests a use for the tax revenue. Hogg’s tweets on a ...

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

Friday, December 7, 2018

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

On December 5th, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a group backed by out-of-state elites, announced it will pursue its most extreme anti-gun legislative agenda to date during the upcoming 2019 Washington Legislative Session.

More Proof That Being a “Celebrity” Does Not Make You Smart

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

More Proof That Being a “Celebrity” Does Not Make You Smart

In a November 30 tweet, Tom Arnold, famous for being married to Roseanne Barr and making a few really bad movies, has proven that he knows nothing about guns, gun owners or firearm misuse.

Checks and Balances? Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Checks and Balances? Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses

The U.S.’s republican form of governance is predicated on co-equal branches of government that check and balance each other in order to preserve individual liberty. The system does not work when one branch simply ignores ...

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

As we’ve noted recently, much research purporting to demonstrate connections between access to guns or right-to-carry laws and increases in crime is seriously flawed.  Often it's an attempt to curtail or eliminate Americans’ rights under the Second ...

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Warning to New Mexico Gun Owners: Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Warning to New Mexico Gun Owners: Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session

While the New Mexico Legislature will not convene for its 60-day Regular Session until January 15, lawmakers can start prefiling bills on December 17. 

Ohio: Self-Defense Legislation Passes Senate Immediately Heads to House for Concurrence

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Ohio: Self-Defense Legislation Passes Senate Immediately Heads to House for Concurrence

Today, the Ohio State Senate passed Substitute House Bill 228 by a vote of 19 - 10.   While the legislation was amended, Sub. HB 228 still contains important protections for the Second Amendment and ...

California: Firearm Excise Tax Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

California: Firearm Excise Tax Legislation Introduced

This week, the California Legislature convened for an organizational session and swearing in ceremonies for legislators. During their short stint in Sacramento several new anti-gun proposals were introduced, including Assembly Bill 18, sponsored by Assembly ...

Engineering Professor Shares Thoughts on Constitutional Law, Calls for Handgun Ban

News  

Friday, November 30, 2018

Engineering Professor Shares Thoughts on Constitutional Law, Calls for Handgun Ban

In a recent piece for the Bangor Daily News ironically titled, “Why banning handguns makes sense,” Associate University of Maine Electrical Engineering Professor George Elliott struggled to argue why the tools of self-defense have no ...

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.