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California: Sunnyvale Anti-Gun Ordinance Bars Law Enforcement from Possessing Common Magazines: Officers Wanted to Join Litigation

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Voters in Sunnyvale recently passed a gun control package known as Measure C.  This new law includes a provision that bans the possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds.  What many have not realized is that this magazine ban will force active peace officers who live in Sunnyvale to dispose of any magazines over ten rounds in their personal collections (even if their purchase was authorized for off-duty use) or face criminal liability.  And any officers who work in or travel through Sunnyvale (perhaps en route to one of the several ranges in the area) will likewise face criminal liability if they enter Sunnyvale with magazines holding over ten rounds while not on duty.

 

This is because Sunnyvale Municipal Code section 9.44.050(c)(2) only exempts police officers who possess magazines over ten rounds “while acting within the course and scope of his or her duties.”  Sunnyvale officers, like other law-abiding citizens, will have until the first week of March 2014 to turn in their prohibited magazines in one of three ways: surrender them to the police (strangely enough), remove them from Sunnyvale or transfer them to a specially licensed firearm dealer.

 

There may be hope, however.  A lawsuit is currently being prepared against Sunnyvale to prevent this ordinance from taking effect.  San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors also adopted a very similar magazine ban.  And, on November 19, the San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association filed a lawsuit, supported by the National Rifle Association, in federal court challenging it.  A lawsuit against Sunnyvale will be filed soon.

 

If you are a peace officer, or know one, who lives or works in or travels through Sunnyvale with a magazine capable of holding more than ten rounds, and you are interested in learning about the lawsuit and discussing whether you, or an officer you know, would like to participate as a plaintiff, please contact the NRA’s attorneys in California at Michel & Associates, PC. 

 

Whether you are interested in the lawsuit or not, beware that family members of law enforcement officers are also at risk of criminal prosecution.  If an officer leaves the house without locking his or her magazines away, anyone who is present in the home will be in violation of this law.

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