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San Francisco Pays NRA $380,000 for Successful Proposition H Lawsuits Total Tab to City for Unsuccessful Defense of Illegal Gun Ban Approaches $800,000

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fairfax, Va. – The City of San Francisco has paid $380,000 to the National Rifle Association (NRA) as reimbursement for legal fees incurred while striking down Proposition H, passed by San Francisco voters in November 2005.

“Freedom and common sense prevailed in San Francisco. Proposition H was a foolish scheme by anti-gun politicians to disarm only the law-abiding in San Francisco,” said NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox. “NRA promised we would do everything we could to overturn this ill-conceived gun ban, and I am pleased to say that we have delivered on that promise. We will now put these funds back into use to advance self-defense civil rights in legislatures and courts.”

Combined with more than $200,000 in fees paid to City lawyers defending the ordinance and an equal value of lawyers time donated to the City for the unsuccessful defense of this case, the total costs to City taxpayers in defending against Proposition H, a civilian disarmament attempt, approaches $800,000.

Proposition H would have banned civilian handgun possession by city residents and banned the sale, transfer or distribution of any firearm or ammunition within the city. In addition, all San Francisco residents would have been jailed for a minimum of 90 days and up to six months if caught in possession of a handgun. All gun and ammunition sales and transfers would have been prohibited, and the one gun store and two antique firearm auction houses in San Francisco would have been forced out of business. Additionally, since action films involved the transfer of real prop firearms, no such films could have been made in the city.

"This is a tremendous victory, and we are thankful for the efforts of Chuck Michel and his legal team,” continued Cox. “Regrettably, San Francisco taxpayers have to bear the considerable financial burden caused by city officials’ selfish efforts to play politics with the self defense rights of law-abiding people.”

The lawsuits that struck down Proposition H were funded primarily by NRA and were supported by an NRA-led coalition of like-minded self-defense civil rights groups including the Second Amendment Foundation, California Association of Firearm Retailers, Law Enforcement Alliance of America, and San Francisco Veterans Police Officers Association. Amicus brief efforts were led by the California Rifle & Pistol Association and joined by Gun Owners of California, The Madison Society, American Entertainment Armorers Association, San Francisco Police Officers Association, Pink Pistols, and California Sportsman’s Lobby.


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 military.

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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.