San Francisco Backing Down on Proposed Carry Ban?

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AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

It’s been just over a month since San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani introduced a proposed ordinance that would make concealed carry a crime throughout large swathes of the city, including parks, houses of worship, movie theaters, grocery stores, and restaurants.

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Now, however, the Second Amendment Foundation says that Stefani’s proposal is dead in the water after SAF and the California Rifle & Pistol Association threatened to sue if supervisors moved forward and adopted the ordinance.

The proposal was championed by Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who essentially tabled the motion indefinitely, after bemoaning the 2023 Supreme Court Bruen decision, which is giving gun control proponents fits, while jarring the San Francisco Police Department to start issuing carry permits. She referenced, perhaps as a face-saving maneuver, proposed state legislation that may be adopted later this summer by lawmakers in Sacramento, as a reason to stand down on the proposed ordinance.

“This happened after CRPA and SAF sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors explaining why the planned ordinance would be unconstitutional,” said CRPA President Chuck Michel, a longtime practicing attorney and gun rights authority in California. “It is truly unfortunate that San Francisco politicians refuse to respect the Second Amendment and can’t accept the new legal reality that people have a Second Amendment right to carry a firearm in public.”

“As soon as we were advised of this proposal,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “we took action. This is not the first time we’ve had to stop extremist gun control in San Francisco. We successfully sued the city twice over attempted handgun bans, and won both times. We’re prepared to do it again, but our letter to the Board of Supervisors evidently has made that unnecessary.”

“Our warning to the Board of Supervisors was direct and left little room for doubt about our intentions,” noted SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut. “The letter clearly explained why the proposal was bad policy, and would result in another SAF-CRPA victory. We also reminded the Board it should wait to see whether the state legislation is adopted and how it fares under litigation. That appears to have had the desired impact.”

This is great news, even if Stefani and her cohorts are tabling the motion because they expect the state to impose similar infringements on legal gun owners, not because they suddenly realized the ordinance would violate fundamental civil rights. If nothing else, this is one less lawsuit that groups like SAF and CRPA have to fund, which is hugely important these days. We have a finite amount of pro-2A attorneys out there, and unlike anti-gun groups like Giffords and Everytown most Second Amendment organizations don’t have their own in-house law firms at their beck and call. If we don’t have to sue San Francisco, that frees up funds and legal minds to pursue other litigation that can put our right to keep and bear arms on firmer footing.

I’ll be talking with Chuck Michel on Monday’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, and this will be one of many cases that will be a topic of conversation. We’ll also be discussing several other California laws that are the subject of active litigation, the latest on Illinois’ ban on “large capacity” magazines and so-called assault weapons, Delaware’s latest gun ban, and more. There’s more than enough work for Second Amendment lawyers like Michel these days, and I’m glad to see the warning letter sent by SAF and CRPA has put an end (for now, anyway) to Stefani’s “carry killer” ordinance.

 

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