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California: NRA and CRPA Oppose Oakley’s Ordinance Over-Regulating Firearms Vendors

Friday, June 17, 2011

On June 14, 2011, the City Council for the City of Oakley with little notice passed an “urgency ordinance” that will drastically expand its regulation of firearms vendors in the City.  See ordinance documents here. Being an “urgency ordinance,” it became law as soon as the mayor signed it on June 16th.

The ordinance appears to have been proposed because the City Council realized that its current laws do not regulate home-based firearm vendors. But rather than just prohibit home-based firearm vendors, or adopt a reasonable zoning and/or licensing scheme covering them, the City adopted an oppressive set of regulations, including a 15-day wait period for firearm transactions (as opposed to a 10-day wait period as state law requires), and a requirement that all firearm vendors be located certain distances from places like schools and adult entertainment establishments. In reality, the zoning restrictions leave few if any places where a gun store could open. And it strands the City’s only gun store in its present location, while subjecting it to other unlawful, business-unfriendly provisions of the ordinance.

Attorneys for NRA and CRPA, through their joint Local Ordinance Project (“LOP”) have submitted a letter explaining the legal shortcomings of the ordinance. (See the letter here). The letter explains how Oakley’s new ordinance is not only preempted by state law, but also raises Second Amendment issues that will need to be litigated. Since the Second Amendment is a newly court-recognized right, the contours of the Second Amendment’s protections are still being litigated in courtrooms across the country. The letter amicably explains the current legal landscape regarding firearm regulation, and suggests Oakley should avoid entering the litigation fray on these issues by repealing, or at least amending, the ordinance.

Seventeen years ago the NRA and CRPA joined forces to fight local gun bans being written and pushed in California by the gun ban lobby. Their coordinated efforts became the NRA/CRPA “Local Ordinance Project” (LOP) - a statewide campaign to fight ill conceived local efforts at gun control and educate politicians about available programs that are effective in reducing accidents and violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. The NRA/CRPA LOP has had tremendous success in beating back most of these anti-self-defense proposals.

In addition to fighting local gun bans, for decades the NRA has been litigating dozens of cases in California courts to promote the right to self-defense and the Second Amendment. In the post-Heller and McDonald legal environment, NRA and CRPA Foundation have formed the NRA/CRPA Foundation “Legal Action Project” (LAP), a joint venture to pro-actively strike down ill-conceived gun control laws and ordinances and advance the rights of firearms owners, specifically in California. Sometimes, success is more likely when LAP’s litigation efforts are kept low profile, so the details of every lawsuit are not always released. To see a partial list of the LAP’s recent accomplishments, or to contribute to the NRA or to the NRA / CRPAF LAP and support this and similar Second Amendment cases, visit www.nraila.com and www.crpafoundation.org.  

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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.