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Court Upholds Sunnyvale Gun Limits, Similar to S.F.’s

Posted on the 19 March 2015 by Mikeb302000

SF Gate
Sunnyvale can ban possession of gun magazines that carry more than 10 cartridges, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday, rejecting gun advocates’ claims that enforcement of the measure violates the constitutional right of self-defense.
The ban was approved by nearly two-thirds of the South Bay community’s voters in November 2013, as part of Measure C, and took effect in March 2014. A month later, San Francisco began enforcing a similar ordinance passed by its Board of Supervisors. Gun owners also challenged that ordinance in federal court but dropped their case after a federal judge let the measure take effect.
California law prohibits the manufacture and sale of high-capacity gun magazines but does not forbid the possession of weapons legally purchased elsewhere, leaving that issue up to cities and counties. A federal ban on possessing high-capacity guns expired in 1994, and Congress has not renewed it.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that individuals have a right, under the Second Amendment, to possess handguns in their home for self-defense. Opponents of the Sunnyvale ordinance cited the high court’s statement that the Second Amendment covers weapons “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” and noted that millions of Americans own guns with large-capacity magazines.
But the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, upholding a federal judge’s ruling that allowed the ordinance to take effect, said there was little evidence that the weapons were typically used or needed for self-defense.
City officials presented evidence that “large-capacity magazines are disproportionately used in mass shootings as well as crimes against law enforcement,” Judge Michael Hawkins said in the 3-0 ruling. He said the evidence also indicated that the use of those weapons “results in more gunshots fired, results in more gunshot wounds per victim, and increases the lethality of gunshot injuries.”

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