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Judge cans San Fran Gun Ban

Posted by Richard on June 13, 2006

Last November, San Francisco voters approved Proposition H, a draconian gun-ban measure. The Second Amendment Foundation, NRA, LEAA, Pink Pistols, and local residents filed a lawsuit the next day. Today, a California Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs:

Proposition H, which won a 58 percent majority, would have outlawed possession of handguns by all city residents except law enforcement officers and others who needed the guns for professional purposes. It also would have forbidden the manufacture, sale and distribution of all guns and ammunition in San Francisco.

The National Rifle Association sued on behalf of gun owners, advocates and dealers the day after the measure passed. The NRA argued that Prop. H overstepped local government authority and intruded into an area regulated by the state. The city agreed to delay enforcement of the measure while the suit was pending.

In today’s ruling, Judge James Warren said California law, which authorizes police agencies to issue handgun permits, implicitly prohibits a city or county from banning handgun possession by law-abiding adults.

Not exactly a ringing defense of individual liberty, but it’ll have to do for now. Of Arms and the Law posted an email from 2nd Amendment attorney Don Kates announcing the outcome:

Last November San Francisco enacted what was billed as a handgun ban — it banned and confiscated all handguns in the city and severely restricted even police access to handguns — but also included a ban on sale of all long guns,

… Today the SF Superior Court threw out the entire Ordinance. Kudos are due to a host of lawyers who filed amicus briefs including one for the Pink Pistols a group championing the right of gays to possess arms for self-defense.

The case is not over for the City will doubtless appeal.

Kates mentioned restricting police access — that bit of overreaching stirred up the law enforcement community nationally, and I suspect LEAA’s membership increased significantly. Apparently, police would have been permitted to carry a weapon only while on duty.

SAF hailed the ruling as a victory for gun owners’ rights:

“The right of citizens to be safe in their homes and communities can never be subject to a popular vote,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “This ruling shows that the politicians who pushed this gun ban were wrong.

“It is astonishing that in a city where the leaders preach how open they are to diversity, they encouraged voters to blindly march to the polls last November to practice a blatant, egregious and despicable form of social bigotry against their neighbors and fellow citizens,” Gottlieb observed. “Working to deprive others of their property and their right to self-defense just because you don’t like firearms is morally repugnant, and with today’s ruling, the people who pushed Proposition H last fall should feel ashamed of themselves.

San Francisco is the second city to get slapped down by civil gun rights advocates. Earlier this year, New Orleans was forced to return confiscated guns and accept a settlement with the SAF over its forcible disarming of Hurricane Katrina victims. Just a week ago, SAF slapped down the New Orleans Police Superintendent for threatening future gun confiscations despite a new state law expressly prohibiting them:

Within two hours of an announcement that the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) was calling for a Justice Department investigation of New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley’s plan to confiscate guns again if a major storm hits the city this year, SAF learned that Riley has backed off.

“Somehow,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “I don’t believe this is a coincidence. Earlier this year, as our attorneys were about to enter a motion for contempt against Riley and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin in federal court, the city finally admitted that it did have hundreds of seized firearms in its possession. That came after months of denial the city had taken guns from anybody.

“Now, days after Riley told a New Orleans radio station that he was planning another gun grab,” Gottlieb continued, “we have him suddenly back pedaling almost immediately after we announce our complaint to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Here’s hoping we score the trifecta, and notch another victory when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the District of Columbia handgun ban!

UPDATE: Check out the comments on this topic at It’s just farkin’ awesome — they must be at least 20-1 pro-gun, with some great humor, and some really nice gun pr0n to boot! The few dissenters are defensive and half-hearted. Some of the comments will take your hoplophilic breath away:

Gay homo liberal left-wing Mary sissy here:


I own several weapons. I loves me guns. I hunted every fall with my dad as a kid. I ate those tasty animals, too. It’s the only honest and guilt-free way to eat meat. If you don’t have the guts to shoot, slit the throat, and dress the animal in the field, you have no right to eat meat. No, really.

That being said…

When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, do you really want the only people in this country with weapons to be from the South? Wise-up!

And then there are the typical Fark comments, such as:

What about the law requiring all gun range targets in SF to feature the image of Andrew Dice Clay? Oh wait, that law actually makes sense.

Some guy posted the entire Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, right below another guy’s terrific picture of some of the guns in his collection.

This is Fark, man!

You know, I think there’s hope for this country.

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