Thursday, November 10, 2005

SanFran's Prop H faces lawsuit, is unlikely to hold up.

For those unaware, San Francisco voters passed Proposition H, a hugely intrusive violation of the 2nd Amendment rights of the citizens of that city. Simply put, Proposition H declares illegal the private ownership of handguns and ammunition. From SmartVoter:

::::::::Shall the City ban the manufacture, distribution, sale and transfer of firearms and ammunition within San Francisco, and ban City residents from possessing handguns within San Francisco?::::::::

The measure passed by a very significant margin (about 58%) meaning that anyone in San Francisco that owns or possesses a firearm is now required to turn that weapon over to the State. The backers of this law envision a weapon-free utopia on the West Coast allowing their great city the same measure of security and crime rate as that other weapon-free zone, Washington, DC. And we all know from experience just how unlikely someone is to die in that city, now don't we?

The point is, of course, moot. Not because the city lacks the authority to suspend part of the Constitution. That's all very true, mind you, and it's something I'm going to enjoy seeing the DC crowd become painfully aware of. No, the reason this law won't hold up is that it's already been overruled. In 1982 a nearly identical law was overturned on the grounds that a city cannot enact an ordinance that conflicts with state law. The state law allows the possession of firearms by citizens of the state so a city can't overrule that.

The NRA has filed a lawsuit seeking to have the law overturned on exactly those grounds. And they haven't even brought up the Constitutional angle yet. I'll be keeping an eye on this one and I'll pass along what I hear.