S.F. City Attorney applauds Judge Alsup ‘for a wise ruling that powerfully affirms San Francisco’s rationale for enacting our common sense gun safety law’
SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 19, 2014) — A federal judge this afternoon denied a motion backed by the National Rifle Association to preliminarily enjoin San Francisco from enforcing its recently enacted ban on the possession of gun magazines capable of firing more than ten rounds of ammunition. As a result of the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup today, San Francisco’s restriction will take effect as planned on April 7.
In a 12-page ruling issued late this afternoon, Judge Alsup held that the public interest favors immediate enforcement of San Francisco’s gun safety ordinance. In weighing relative harms to parties involved in the litigation — an analysis generally required to adjudicate motions for preliminary relief — Judge Alsup was particularly emphatic that the public safety imperatives of San Francisco’s gun safety policy trump the rights of gun owners to possess massively lethal firearm implements for defensive purposes.
“In assessing the balance of equities, those rare occasions must be weighed against the more frequent and documented occasions when a mass murderer with a gun holding eleven or more rounds empties the magazine and slaughters innocents,” Alsup wrote. “One critical difference is that whereas the civilian defender rarely will exhaust the up-to-ten magazine, the mass murderer has every intention of firing every round possible and will exhaust the largest magazine available to him. On balance, more innocent lives will be saved by limiting the capacity of magazines than by allowing the previous regime of no limitation to continue.” [Emphasis Alsup’s]
City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the following response to Judge Alsup’s ruling:
“I applaud Judge Alsup for a wise ruling that powerfully affirms San Francisco’s rationale for enacting our common sense gun safety law. The U.S. Supreme Court has been very clear that state and local governments are constitutionally entitled to enact reasonable firearms regulations, and that Second Amendment rights aren’t unlimited. Unfortunately, the NRA is pushing a radical litigation strategy that goes far beyond what’s reasonable. I’m grateful to the district court for drawing that distinction in persuasive terms.”
The case is: San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association v. City and County of San Francisco et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Case No. C 13-05351.