A gun store owner and a national gun industry trade group have sued to block enforcement of parts of Sunnyvale’s new gun control ordinance, claiming that it clashes with state and federal laws and tramples on constitutional rights.
The National Rifle Association plans to file its own lawsuit early next week. But Sunnyvale announced Tuesday that the San Francisco law firm of Farella Braun + Martel will offer its services for free to defend the ordinance against all challenges.
“Our community spoke loud and clear that we want to do what we can to prevent gun violence,” said Mayor Tony Spitaleri. “The threats of lawsuits and defense costs didn’t stop them from doing what they felt was right, and now we have one of the best law firms in the country prepared to defend us.”
Sunnyvale’s Measure C, approved by 67 percent of voters last month, requires gun owners to notify police within 48 hours of the loss or theft of a firearm, as well as to keep firearms locked up when not in the owner’s immediate possession. It also requires ammunition sellers to log and keep buyers’ names for two years and prohibits possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
A Santa Clara County Superior Court lawsuit filed Monday by U.S. Firearms; its owner, Eric Fisher; and the National Shooting Sports Foundation claims the ammo sales provision is pre-empted by state law and illegally shares customers’ data with police — and that the loss or theft reporting provision conflicts with state and federal laws.
There is something deeply wrong with people—and in this case, an entire community—that assumes law-abiding citizens are intent on criminal behavior merely for exercising their constitutional rights.
“Measure C” will not affect criminals in any way, while imposing a greater regulator burden on stores that sell ammunition, making it harder for citizens to have guns at the ready for self defense, and imposing what appears to be a rather blatant infringement on standard capacity magazines “in common use” as the Supreme Court so succinctly put it in Heller. It is also rather clearly an ex post facto ordinance banning the possession of items (magazines of more than 10 rounds) after the fact. And of course, there is the matter of preemption.
Even the ultra-progressive Ninth Circuit is going to have to have to toss out at least parts of this ordinance, if not all of it. Farella Braun + Martel must figure that fighting what is almost certain to be a losing battle is a good public relations move.