Thursday, January 10, 2008

SAF, NRA, & others win lawsuit against San Francisco & its Gun Ban

Good news: San Francisco gun ban struck down for violating California State Law. Below is the SAF Press Release:

Second Amendment Foundation
12500 NE Tenth Place • Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 454-7012 • FAX (425) 451-3959 •
For Immediate Release: 1/9/2008

In a unanimous decision today, the California Court of Appeals ruled that the City of San Francisco’s handgun ban is illegal under state law, upholding a lawsuit filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and several other groups.

“This is a great day for gun owners and civil rights in California,” said SAF Founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “This is the second time we successfully fought a gun ban in San Francisco, and what this demonstrates is that the city’s leadership is as horribly out of touch with the law as it seems to be out of touch with reality.”

SAF was joined in the lawsuit by the National Rifle Association, Law Enforcement Alliance of America, California Association of Firearms Retailers and several private citizens.

In its ruling, the court held that Proposition H, approved by voters in November 2005, is invalid as preempted by state law. Gottlieb said this was essentially the same case that SAF battled on its own 23 years ago when the city, under then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein, adopted a gun ban.

“We urged the city well in advance to drop Proposition H from the 2005 ballot, and warned them that if they pushed the measure and it passed, we would meet them in court,” Gottlieb recalled. “We kept our word, along with our colleagues at the NRA, LEAA and our friends in the CAFR.

“This has been a horrible waste of the court’s time, the city’s legal resources and the taxpayers’ money,” he added. “The only reason this case went forward after the ban was struck down by the trial court is that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors wanted to mandate their extremist anti-gun rights philosophy as public law.

“Every judge in every court that this and the earlier case went before has sided with us,” Gottlieb stated. “This is a battle that had to be fought, and this is a ruling that we expected from Day One of our lawsuit. This wasn’t just a fight over gun rights. It was really about defeating social prejudice against gun owners; a type of bigotry made even more insidious by the fact that it was fostered and defended by a city administration whose attitude toward gun owners is anathema to American values.”

The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nations oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and an amicus brief and fund for the Emerson case holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.
Below is the NRA Press Release:
San Francisco Gun Ban Ruled Null and Void

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

NRA Wins Big in California State Court of Appeals

Fairfax, VA – The California State Court of Appeals announced today their decision to overturn one of the most restrictive gun bans in the country, following a legal battle by attorneys for the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a previous court order against the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

“Today’s decision by the California State Court of Appeals is a big win for the law-abiding citizens and NRA Members of San Francisco,” declared Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist.

In 2005, NRA sought an injunction against the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to prevent them from enacting one of the nation’s most restrictive gun bans. NRA won the injunction, but the City’s mayor and Board of Supervisors ignored the court order and approved a set of penalties, including a $1,000 fine and a jail term of between 90 days and six months, for city residents who own firearms for lawful purposes in their own homes.

“We promised our California NRA members in 2005 that we would fight any gun ban instituted by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and we haven’t given up that fight,” continued Cox. “Today we see our second win for the Second Amendment against the San Francisco gun ban. We beat them once in court and the City’s attorney appealed based on his personal disagreement with the court’s first decision to overturn the ban. Now we’ve beaten them again. The California State Court of Appeals has upheld the state preemption law.”

Today’s decision came in the form of a 3-0 opinion in favor of the lower court ruling overturning the gun ban.

“This decision is a thoughtful and well-reasoned legal opinion,” concluded Cox. “I'd like to thank our approximately 4 million members, including the hundreds of thousands of members in California, for their continued commitment to protecting our cherished freedoms.”


Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

Copyright 2008, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.
This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
You can also read the court order.


Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting how the SAF gives credit to the NRA for their role but the NRA's release doesn't even mention that there were other groups involved?

Dustin said...

Yes that bugs me too. I've seen the NRA press releases do that in the past as well which is quite baffling to me. It doesn't seem like a very good way to make friends with the other groups that you want to have continue working with you in the future.

That is why I listed the SAF press release first & the NRA press release second. The SAF gave credit where credit was due. My hat goes off to the SAF which is one of my favorite gun rights groups.

Dustin said...

Update - I used the "contact us" form on the website. to ask the following query. I'll post another comment with the response once I receive it:

Why do the NRA-ILA press releases often fail to give credit to other organizations that assisted in a given success? Case in point is press release from yesterday about the victory against San Francisco. The NRA press release failed to give credit to the SAF & the other groups who were assisting with the lawsuit. Case in point is the NRA-ILA press release below:

Compare that to the SAF press release that gives credit to NRA & the other groups:

Can you please make more efforts to give credit where credit is due in the future? It makes the NRA look dishonest & might alienate the other groups that we want to work with in the future. Thanks.

Dustin said...

This is the response I received from the NRA-ILA Public Affairs:

NRA recognizes that defending the Second Amendment is a group effort. The omission was unintentional. We do thank you for letting us know how you feel about the matter and we appreciate the opportunity to clear up any confusion with our members.

Many thanks,
NRA-ILA Public Affairs