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GUY ASHLEY
Contra Costa Times

Reaction was swift Wednesday to far-reaching restrictions on firearms approved by voters in San Francisco, as the National Rifle Association sued to block the measure and supporters of gun control split over the new law's importance to the cause of curbing gun violence.

Mayor Gavin Newsom expressed satisfaction at the overwhelming support voters gave to the measure -- which bans handgun possession and firearms sales in the city -- but even he predicted the measure was unlikely to survive the NRA's court challenge.

"I voted for Proposition H because I am firmly opposed to the proliferation of handguns,'' Newsom said only hours after 58 percent of city voters approved the measure. "Legally, though, Proposition H will most certainly not survive the court challenge on constitutional grounds."

A state appeals court in 1982 nullified a similar gun ban largely on grounds that a city cannot enact an ordinance that conflicts with state law, which allows for the sale and possession of handguns and ammunition.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by the NRA asks the same court, the 1st District Court of Appeal, to nullify the new ordinance, which demands that San Francisco residents surrender their handguns by April.

"Cities do not have the authority under the state law to ban the possession of handguns," said Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president.

Reaction to the measure's passage was felt across the East Bay, as Alameda County Sheriff Charles Plummer said the measure was "absurd'' and would likely undercut more measured, legally defensible gun control efforts.

"This wouldn't survive in a kangaroo court, much less the Supreme Court," said Plummer, who has supported bans on assault weapons and prohibitions on gun shows at public facilities.

But not everyone was seeking distance from the San Francisco measure. Oakland City Councilwoman Nancy Nadel immediately asked the city attorney for an opinion on the San Francisco law to help her gauge the risks of pushing similar regulations in her city.

"I'm not asking that we walk blindly into litigation," Nadel said. "But if our city attorney says we're on firm legal ground, I will ask the council to do something here."

The NRA's legal challenge will also be watched closely in Richmond, where a surge in violence this year sent community leaders looking for new ways to halt a long-standing problem.

"If the strategy in San Francisco can pass legal muster, I believe you will see our community and many others following closely behind," said Andres Soto, a longtime city activist.

Plummer said he fears the San Francisco law "gives the NRA more ammunition to fight their battles and rally their troops" by making the gun-control movement look unreasonable.

"They want to go into everybody's home and take away their guns," he said. "It makes the reasonable people who want reasonable controls on things like assault weapons look ridiculous."

But one East Bay gun control expert said the San Francisco standoff could backfire on the NRA, by placing the spotlight on the organization's long-standing efforts to block local communities from enacting gun laws on their own.

Eric Gorovitz, the West Coast director of the Alliance for Justice, said the San Francisco law is the boldest in a string of challenges dating back to the mid-1990s to the concept of "state pre-emption" of local firearms regulations.

Gorovitz said the naysayers who predicted local bans on "junk guns" and other restrictions would not survive court scrutiny have been proven wrong repeatedly -- and could be proved wrong again.

"One of two things is going to happen," Gorovitz said. "Either the gun lobby is wrong again about pre-emption, as they have been in so many cases, or they prevail this time and present the cities with a very good reason to go back to the state and demand the right to regulate firearms on a local level, because that's where the problem is."
 

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Zombie Hunter
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Obviously, people in San Francisco are lunatics....I guess the virtual ban on private handgun possession in New York City, Washington DC and Chicago has taught them nothing.
 

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San Francisco, Oakland, & Berkeley are all cities of people that have been beamed down from another planet! Why do you think they used S.F. in all the Star Trek Movies when they returned to modern times! It is because they are all from another planet, there is about 10% there that is normal or from home grown from this planet. All the new shows on Television now that deal with Extra Terrestrials all are writers from San Francisco. The Scrips they are writing are fact...AAAAAGH! Soon they will try to take over the world. Why soon they will have a city council meeting and make it so the Military cannot use their Air Space to fly over their City. Oh, Yea they already did that! My bad!
 

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kwflatbed said:
GUY ASHLEY
Contra Costa Times

"I voted for Proposition H because I am firmly opposed to the proliferation of handguns,'' Newsom said only hours after 58 percent of city voters approved the measure. "Legally, though, Proposition H will most certainly not survive the court challenge on constitutional grounds."

Are they sure they're not talking about "Preparation H" because it sounds to me like an A-hole law , by A-holes, to appeal to A-holes
#-o

Plummer said he fears the San Francisco law "gives the NRA more ammunition to fight their battles and rally their troops" by making the gun-control movement look unreasonable.
"They want to go into everybody's home and take away their guns," he said. "It makes the reasonable people who want reasonable controls on things like assault weapons look ridiculous."

Wow! Imagine a Law-enforcement official who thinks this law is "ridiculous"
:thumbup:

"
Thank God this isn't in the 9th Circuit of Appeals!!!
 

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If you own a firearm, you need to join the NRA. Period. If for no other reason than the firearm theft insurance...
 

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People think cops are anti gun, they are anti criminal and most believe in a citizens right to protect themselves. You can't get through to some people that guns don't kill people, people kill people.
 

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Retired Fed, Active Special
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What needs analysis too is the fact that this measure passed by 58% of S.F. voters who bothered to turn out to do so. A close call to begin with, yet I'm sure that if 100% of people voted on this measure, it would have been the other way around.

:-$
 
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