HANDGUN BAN WOULD DISARM
OFF-DUTY POLICE, SAY OPPONENTS
Proposition H said without penalties drafted
Former San Francisco Police Chief, Tony Ribera
fogcityjournal.com photos by Stephen
October 28, 2005
By Pat Murphy
Opponents of a handgun ban measure appearing on the city November
ballot yesterday derided the proposal as disarming off-duty police
officers without disarming criminals
So poorly written, they alleged, it provides no penalty and invites
litigation sapping city revenues otherwise available for crime
prevention and social services.
"This proposition is so badly written that it will disarm
your active peace officers, as well as your retired peace officers,
who reside in San Francisco," said Larry Besetti, a retired
San Francisco police lieutenant.
"When the ground does shake
we will have virtually
no one who will be able to help you except the handful of officers
who are on duty," he added.
A member of the San Francisco Green Party Central County Council
scored the measure for lack of defined penalties.
"One of our key values is non-violence. A lot of people
in our party want to support this," stated Salomon.
"Upon looking at this deeper, we realize there are a lot
of fatal flaws in this legislation.
"It sounds good, but once you look at it it's not going
to work," Salomon continued noting he spoke as an individual,
not for the Green Party. His party has taken no position on Proposition
H, he reported.
"Our concerns were there are no penalties involved. There
are no criminal or civil penalties - I guess that's left up to
the Board of Supervisors. The voters vote on something and we
don't know what we're getting."
Former San Francisco Police Chief Tony Ribera recalled a city
handgun buy-back effort.
"Marc's right on target. This legislation has litigation
written all over it. It's going to be tied up in the courts for
years at great cost to the city," began Ribera.
"But more importantly, back in the early 90s Supervisor
Willie Kennedy got legislation through where we would buy guns
"I was the captain at the time in the police department
in charge of supervising that law.
"What we saw was a bunch of law-abiding citizens coming
in and selling their guns. There were no gangsters coming in.
There was no criminal element.
"And you know what, the law now says that a felon cannot
be in possession of a gun. These are the people who are committing
the crimes in San Francisco, so there is already a law impacting
them," Ribera noted.
The coalition opposing the measure also included Calvin Gibson,
past president of the LGBT Pride Parade; Paula Fiscal, spokeswoman
for the Mexican American Political Association; former Supervisor
Carole Ruth Silver; and a representative of the Pink Pistols.
'We Won't Give Up Our Guns' chant, from left,
former Supervisor Carole Ruth Silver; Espanola Jackson,
a District 10 senior activist; and Paul Fiscal,
spokeswoman for the Mexican American Political Association.
No on Proposition H, Elections
Department Proposition H Digest.