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National Rifle Association to Challenge Sunnyvale Measure C Provisions in Court as Second Amendment Test Case

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

If passed by voters on November 5, Measure C would do nothing to reduce violent crime or firearm accidents in Sunnyvale.  NRA lawyers see Measure C as an opportunity to clarify that the Second Amendment protects against these types of infringements on the right to keep and bear arms and intend to file lawsuits challenging Measure C in court if it passes.

California civil rights attorney Chuck Michel stated “In the wake of recent Supreme Court decisions confirming that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, we have been looking for opportunities to file strategic litigation to take back to the Supreme Court for further confirmation of the scope of the Second Amendment’s protections.  Sunnyvale’s Measure C presents a great opportunity for us to do that.”

The District of Columbia and the City of Chicago have each spent millions of dollars unsuccessfully defending their unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.  San Francisco has also spent millions fighting against legal challenges to its gun control laws.  For example, San Francisco had to pay over $800,000 when it lost a court challenge to proposition H in 2008.  Several other California cities have also been dragged into court and incurred significant legal expenses.

Sunnyvale taxpayers should consider whether they want to foot the legal bill to push the social agenda of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose gun control advocacy group is behind Measure C, or whether they want to wait until these issues are resolved in court cases involving other cities.

There are good policy reasons to defeat Measure C.  Sunnyvale has one of the lowest gun crime rates in California.  These unconstitutional measures overstep local government authority and have already been rejected by the state as ineffective safety measures.  If passed, Measure C would do the following:

  • Ban possession of ammunition magazines that hold more ten rounds and not allow the grandfathering of currently owned ammunition magazines.  California already bans the sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than ten rounds unless those ammunition magazines were purchased prior to 2000.  State legislation was introduced this year for this requirement and it failed to pass.  The California Sheriffs’ Association is also opposed to this requirement.
  • Require registration of all ammunition purchases including a thumbprint.  State legislation was introduced this year for this requirement and it failed pass.  The Governor also vetoed similar legislation in 2012 and litigation is currently pending on this issue.
  • Require all firearms to be locked-up when not in use.  California already has some of the strictest firearm storage laws in the country.
  • Require the reporting of lost and stolen firearms and would penalize gun owners for failing to report their lost or stolen gun within 48 hours.  This state requirement was vetoed by Governor Brown this year and in 2012.  To view Governor Brown’s 2013 veto letter, please click here.

Measure C is being disguised as a gun safety ordinance to try to make the citizens of Sunnyvale feel safer but nothing in Measure C will reduce California’s and Sunnyvale’s crime rate.  Criminals are not thwarted by gun control laws.  Those intent on misusing firearms and committing violent crimes, obtain firearms through theft or illegal transfers.  Measure C is being promoted by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as part of his social agenda that will only affect and punish law-abiding citizens.

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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.