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California Court Rules that San Francisco Can't Ban Guns

January 10, 2008  | 

San Francisco's ban on handguns, which has been blocked by a legal challenge since it was approved by voters in 2005, violates state law, according to a California court.

The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco agreed with a 2006 ruling by Superior Court Judge James Warren, who said state laws regulating gun sales, permits, and safety do not allow a city or county to prohibit handgun possession.

San Francisco's handgun ban was challeged by the National Rifle Association. Chris Cox, a lobbyist for the NRA, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Wednesday's ruling was "a big win for the law-abiding citizens and NRA members of San Francisco."

California law allows the city to ask the state Supreme Court to review the case. But odds are that the Court would refuse to hear the case. It refused to review a 1982 ruling by the same appeals court, which struck down an earlier San Francisco handgun ban.

The 2005 measure, Proposition H, would have banned San Francisco residents from owning handguns unless they worked as law enforcement officers or they needed handguns for professional purposes. It also made illegal the manufacture, sale, and distribution of any type of firearms and ammunition in San Francisco.

Proposition H was approved by 58 percent of the voters. It was immediately challenged by the NRA.

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