As we reported in a related article in the January 16 edition of the Grassroots Alert, an NRA-led coalition of self-defense civil rights groups--including the Second Amendment Foundation and the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA)--has prevailed in a Second Amendment lawsuit challenging a ban on firearm possession in San Francisco public housing residences.
"This success is further vindication of the U.S. Supreme Court's Heller ruling upholding the Second Amendment as protecting a fundamental, individual civil right for all law-abiding Americans," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.
The San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) and the property management company that oversees San Francisco's public housing projects have agreed to completely remove a lease provision banning guns in the residences.
The City of San Francisco itself legally stipulated that its ordinance banning gun possession on county owned or controlled property cannot be applied to the public housing properties, even though Mayor Gavin Newsom announced at a May 2007 press conference that the new city ordinance would ban gun possession there. By excluding the application of the ordinance and removing the lease provision, the right of public housing residents to choose to own a gun to defend themselves or their families has been restored.
The settlements bring a successful conclusion to the lawsuit, filed June 2008. The decision to repeal SFHA's lease provisions banning firearms came despite initial claims by Mayor Newsom that the lawsuit would be "absolutely defended," and comes after initial claims by the San Francisco City Attorney that the lawsuit was "frivolous," and that the City would seek sanctions. No sanctions were sought, nor could they have been.
The San Francisco concessions follow similar gun ban repeals by several Illinois towns that also faced NRA lawsuits filed immediately after the Supreme Court confirmed in late June that the Second Amendment protects an individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms, in striking down Washington D.C.'s gun ban.
NRA-ILA and CRPA will continue to pursue other cases to resolve the incorporation issue. In fact, a California case challenging a gun show ban ordinance that has been partially funded by the NRA for years (Nordyke v. Alameda County) was recently argued before the ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and a decision is forthcoming.
NRA is preparing additional legal challenges in San Francisco and Los Angeles regarding gun control ordinances that were not challenged in the current lawsuit. In fact, NRA's lawyers have already placed San Francisco and Los Angeles on notice of pending litigation concerning several other gun banning ordinances. The NRA-led coalition will likely also pursue civil rights actions against California itself as well as several other municipalities to challenge ill-conceived and unconstitutional state and local gun bans in the near future.
To view the stipulations and other related documents, please visit www.calgunlaws.com.