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Calif. Judge Overturns Firearm
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO -- A California judge on Monday overturned
a voter-approved city law that banned handgun possession and firearm sales,
siding with gun owners who said the city did not have the authority to
prohibit the weapons.
Judge James Warren sided with the National Rifle
Association, which argued that a local government cannot ban weapons
because the California Legislature allows their sale and possession.
The San Francisco County Board of Supervisors placed Measure
H on the ballot amid frustration over the high number of gun-related homicides.
The city recorded at least 94 murders last year, a 10-year high.
The NRA sued in November, a day after 58 percent of voters
approved the law banning gun and ammunition sales and handgun possession.
Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for City Attorney Dennis
Herrera, said the city was considering whether to appeal after the
court "denied the right of voters to enact a reasonable, narrowly
tailored restriction on handgun possession."
NRA attorney Chuck Michel was pleased that the
judge "recognized that law-abiding firearms owners who choose to
own a gun to defend themselves or their families are part of the solution
and not part of the problem."
The ordinance targeted only city residents, meaning nonresidents
in the city or even tourists were not banned from possessing or selling
A federal appeals court is considering a challenge to
a similar handgun ban in the District of Columbia, where attorneys have
argued that the law violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
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