Thanks in large part to California’s old “may issue” laws and the rampant hostility towards the Second Amendment in the Bay Area, the number of licensed concealed carry holders in San Francisco is incredibly small. Under the old regime the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office basically refused to issue any permits, and since the Bruen decision was handed down applications have been trickling, not pouring, into the office. The Wall St. Journal reported back in February that fewer than 300 residents had submitted their applications to date, and many of them were experiencing lengthy wait times in processing.
It’s not law-abiding gun owners who are to blame for San Francisco’s violent crime, in other words, but that’s not stopping some supervisors in the city from pointing the finger at concealed carry holders in response to several recent shootings in the city, including one in which nine people were injured last weekend. On Tuesday Supervisor Catherine Stefani and City Attorney David Chiu rolled out a new ordinance that would prevent the handful of people with active permits from lawfully carrying in many publicly accessible places, including virtually all commercial establishments by default.
Flanked by Chiu and several members from gun safety advocacy groups Moms Demand Action and United Playaz, a local violence-reduction group, Stefani took aim at the controversial ruling, calling it a “dangerous step backwards and a gross misinterpretation of the Constitution” by a “rogue” Supreme Court.
“Every day gun violence takes lives, devastates families and destroys communities across our nation,” she said. “I’m tired of thoughts and prayers. I’m tired of the memorials. I’m tired of the inaction by those who are beholden to the gun lobby. The Second Amendment is not a suicide pact.”
Stefani’s ordinance marks another likely clash between advocates for gun safety and Second Amendment activists.
The legislation would make it a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine to carry concealed firearms in so-called “sensitive spaces,” such as city buildings, hospitals, schools, churches, banks, playgrounds and parks, as well as private businesses whose owners bar firearms — dramatically expanding existing bans. Stefani planned to introduce the legislation to the Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting.
If gun control could stop “gun violence” San Francisco would be the safest place in the United States. The city has blocked gun stores from operating inside the city limits, there are no public gun ranges in the city, and it’s smack-dab in the middle of the state with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. Despite that, San Francisco still sees its share of gun-involved crime, including the aforementioned shooting in the Mission District. Police aren’t looking for a concealed carry holder in that case; instead, they’re looking for a convicted felon who has multiple arrests for drugs and weapons and who has been able to largely escape consequences for his previous criminal acts thanks to the soft-on-crime attitudes of state and local lawmakers and prosecutors.
While retailers are closing up shop due to rampant theft and residents are searching for safer pastures outside the city limits in order to escape the progressive dystopia, supervisors like Stefani are now trying to make it impossible for those who remain to defend themselves with a firearm beyond the confines of their home. The inevitable lawsuits to come will almost certainly end up with most of these “gun-free zones” tossed out, but the anti-2A ideology that’s behind their introduction will remain in place, and it’s going to take years of activism and engagement before San Francisco is forced to recognize the fundamental nature of our right to keep and bear arms.