In a victory for gun owners, the City of South San Francisco withdrew its consideration for a package of ammunition restrictions on Wednesday night that was aimed at registering all ammunition sales and banning the sale of hollow-point ammunition. The Council’s decision came after a long week of hefty opposition from the NRA and California gun owners. Earlier this week, the NRA sent a call to action apprising members that the City had already conceded that the ordinance could not be used to ban hollow-point ammunition, and urged them to continue to contact city officials to voice their opposition to these proposals. The many gun rights activists who showed up to speak against this ordinance and those who submitted opposition letters and e-mails deserve special thanks for their efforts.
This proposal was pushed by the Mayor of San Francisco, which has a long history of considering ill-conceived gun bans and is working with Mayor Bloomberg to push his anti-gun agenda in neighboring communities.
The NRA is already litigating a challenge to San Francisco’s ban on hollow-point ammunition, with oral arguments set to be heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sometime this summer. As soon as this measure was introduced in South San Francisco, NRA attorneys at Michel and Associates immediately began working behind the scenes with the City’s attorneys to inform them of this case and the constitutional problems with the proposal. The City was also informed of the NRA’s legal victory overturning statewide ammunition registration restrictions in 2011. These communications and the opposition letter, along with other letters submitted to the City prior to the talks, prompted to the City to reverse course and declare that the ordinance could not be used to ban hollow-point ammunition.
The City Attorney was asked to formally withdraw the full ordinance pending final resolution of these cases, and on Wednesday night, he did just that. “Realistically,” he said, “with the status of the litigation in San Francisco, it could easily be a couple of years before the cases are all resolved through the appellate courts involving the San Francisco challenge. San Francisco has challenges with an ordinance very similar to this.” The Council got the message. As one councilmember noted, “there are considerable legal issues associated with this, and there are actions pending in San Francisco right now, which has adopted a similar ordinance…. so it is our recommendation is that you continue it off calendar tonight and not take any action on it.” One Council member expressly acknowledged the reality that the ordinance was little more than window dressing, and another recommended permanently rejecting the proposal from future consideration. The Council meeting can be viewed here, and comments from the City attorney and the Council can be viewed at the 13:25 and 11:24 minute marks.
City officials in South San Francisco should be commended for taking an honest look at these proposals. When presented with the facts, they realized that these proposals were merely a feel good measure that would not make residents safer, but would jeopardize the ability of their residents to adequately defend themselves and restrict local businesses.
This is a win for gun owners in the Bay area, but the fight is still on. The NRA will continue to work publicly and behind the scenes to prevent these proposals from spreading to other cities.
Gun owners must continue to do their part by calling and writing their representatives in opposition to local and state legislation. Stay tuned to www.NRAILA.org for the latest alerts and up to date information on local and state proposals requiring your assistance. Keep the pressure on and continue to STAND and FIGHT with the NRA.
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