Court Strikes Down Prop Hs Ban on Handgun
Possession, Firearms Distribution in City Limits
City Attorney Evaluating Whether to Appeal 30-Page
Ruling by Judge Warren, Which Held 'Proposition H is Adjudged
Invalid as Preempted by State Law'
From the Office of City Attorney
June 12, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Superior Court Judge James
Warren today granted a writ of mandate invalidating both substantive
sections of the voter-approved Proposition H, which sought to
restrict handgun possession among San Francisco residents within
City limits to police and certain security professionals, and
to ban the manufacture, distribution, sale and transfer of firearms
and ammunition within San Francisco. According to the 30-page
ruling issued late this afternoon, "Proposition H is adjudged
invalid as preempted by state law."
"We're disappointed that the court has denied the right
of voters to enact a reasonable, narrowly tailored restriction
on the possession of handguns," said City Attorney Spokesman
Matt Dorsey. "San Francisco voters spoke loud and clear on
the issue of gun violence, which has taken a devastating toll
on this City. City Attorney Dennis Herrera is right now evaluating
Judge Warren's ruling, and I expect him to make a decision about
whether to appeal todays ruling in the next day or two."
Passed by nearly 58 percent of voters in the Nov. 5, 2005 election,
Proposition H was almost immediately challenged by the National
Rifle Association and several other plaintiffs in the California
Court of Appeal, which declined to hear the challenge until a
trial court had ruled. The NRAs subsequent challenge in
San Francisco Superior Court led the City to voluntarily stay
enforcement of the measure while the case was under submission.
The two substantive provisions of the measure are Section 2,
which bans the sale, manufacture, transfer and distribution of
firearms and ammunition within City limits; and Section 3, which
restricts handgun possession among San Francisco residents to
peace officers and those requiring them for professional purposes.
The measure was placed on the ballot with supporting signatures
from Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, Bevan Dufty and Matt
Gonzalez, while the latter was still on the board. San Franciscos
Elections Code allows four or more Supervisors to place proposed
ordinances before voters directly.