Monday, June 12, 2006

Second Amendment Successfully Resuscitated In San Francisco

A California judge on Monday (June 12th) overturned San Francisco's voter-approved city law that banned handgun possession and firearm sales, siding with gun owners who said the city did not have the authority to prohibit the weapons. Click here for full story from

Synopsis: Back in November 2005, misguided San Francisco voters, frustrated by increasing gun-related homicides within the city, approved Proposition H by a 58%-42% margin. Proposition H outlawed all manufacture, sale, and distribution of guns and ammunition within San Francisco city limits, and handgun ownership by all San Francisco residents except law enforcement officers and others whose professional duties mandated gun posession (although non-residents were exempt). One day after the election, the National Rifle Association (NRA) sued the city. Judge James Warren sided with the National Rifle Association, which argued that a local government cannot ban weapons because the California Legislature allows their sale and possession.

Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for City Attorney Dennis Herrera, said the city was considering an appeal, stating that the court "denied the right of voters to enact a reasonable, narrowly tailored restriction on handgun possession." In contrast, NRA attorney Chuck Michel was pleased that the judge "recognized that law-abiding firearms owners who choose to own a gun to defend themselves or their families are part of the solution and not part of the problem." The NRA is also appealing a similar handgun ban in the District of Columbia.

Analysis: A similar situation developed here in Alaska. When Anchorage's conceal-carry law was found to be more stringent than Alaska state law, the Municipality was required to adjust, under the doctrine of state pre-emption. The principle being established here is that a local law governing a constitutional right cannot be more restrictive than a state law.

The right to bear personal arms should be considered absolute and unconditional for all law-abiding citizens. Even most convicted felons, who are normally stripped of this right, should be allowed to re-apply for the right to bear arms after living crime-free for an extended period. The militia clause in the Second Amendment is designed to be an explanatory clause and NOT a conditional clause. However, this is just one victory. Visit the NRA website to learn about other challenges to the Second Amendment nationwide and the NRA's continued efforts to defend the Second Amendment.

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