U.S. Court OKs San Fran Hollow-Point Ban, Gun Lock-Up Law

photo from outdoorhub.com

Many gun owners and gun-rights advocates are criticizing a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to uphold a San Francisco ordinance that requires handgun owners to lock their guns in their homes and another banning hollow-point ammunition, which was reported here in Controversial Times and elsewhere.

One judge claimed there are important details that make this "a modest burden" on Second Amendment rights, rather than an infringement. According to a story posted by the Wall Street Journal, the ordinance, known as section 4512, says a gun must be locked in a safe or a trigger lock must be on it, or it must be carried on an individual's person while at home, which is clearly aimed at securing firearms away from children and those who shouldn't have access to them.

The NRA and the San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association challenged the ordinances as violations of the Second Amendment, arguing the ordinance impedes the ability to defend against intruders. They also argued that, though the ordinance allows a person to keep a gun on them while at home, it does not allow them ready access to one while bathing or sleeping.

Judge Sandra S. Ikuta wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel, saying this in response:

"The record indicates that a modern gun safe may be opened quickly. Thus, even when a handgun is secured, it may be readily accessed in case of an emergency. Further, section 4512 leaves open alternative channels for self-defense in the home, because San Franciscans are not required to secure their handguns while carrying them on their person. Provided San Franciscans comply with the storage requirements, they are free to use handguns to defend their home while carrying them on their person."

The other ordinance in question, section 613.10(g) bars the sale of hollow-point ammunition within city limits. San Francisco residents can still obtain them outside the city limits and bring them back with them. City officials say its purpose is to reduce the lethality of ammunition used in the city, accord to WSJ.

On this, Judge Ikuta wrote:

"Because section 613.10(g) affects only the sale of hollow-point ammunition, San Franciscans are free to use and possess hollow-point bullets within city limits….Given the availability of alternative means for procuring hollow-point ammunition, section 613.10(g) imposes only modest burdens on the Second Amendment right."

Chuck Michel, the lawyer for the challengers, said he'll take the case to the full Ninth Circuit for review or ask the Supreme Court to take the case. Read more here.