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View Full Version : SF Muni Code Article 9, Section 613 (mail order ammunition prohibited?)


marshaul
05-18-2009, 12:20 PM
SEC. 613. REGULATING SALE OF FIREARMS.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or dealer engaging in the business of selling, leasing or otherwise transferring any firearm, firearms ammunition, or firearms ammunition component to sell, lease or otherwise transfer any firearm, firearms ammunition or firearms ammunition component without first having obtained a license from the San Francisco Police Department. The Department shall make available application forms requiring applicants to provide the information set forth in Section 613.2, and shall collect a nonrefundable application fee from each applicant.

The Chief of Police shall recommend to the Board of Supervisors, on or before April 1, 1994, a fee which shall be sufficient to recover all costs associated with regulating the sale of firearms under this Article, including but not limited to, processing applications, monitoring licensees, and enforcing the provisions of this Article. The fee shall be set by the Board of Supervisors.

I imagine this has been discussed before, but a search was fruitless.

It appears to me that this code only regulates, by definition, businesses operating within SF city and county. It furthermore says nothing about mail order.

So, by my reading, it should be perfectly legal for a business operating outside SF city and county to mail order to residents here.

Is there anything substantial that contradicts this?

The reason I ask is, with ammo so scarce, it would be nice to be able to order from the few shops that still have some. In this case, Midway has ammo I would buy but they will not ship to me.

It seems quite unreasonable that I should be defenseless simply because of irrelevant laws promulgated by the ATF outside any useful context.

Perhaps the CGF could direct some small measure of its clout towards informing some of the big ammo distributors exactly how the law applies to them.

marshaul
05-18-2009, 6:57 PM
I guess I'm going to give myself a "bump" at least this time...

domokun
05-18-2009, 7:07 PM
That is the case with SF. The only way is to obtain a shipping address outside of SF and have the ammo shipped there for pickup at your leisure.

RRangel
05-18-2009, 7:09 PM
I imagine this has been discussed before, but a search was fruitless.

It appears to me that this code only regulates, by definition, businesses operating within SF city and county. It furthermore says nothing about mail order.

So, by my reading, it should be perfectly legal for a business operating outside SF city and county to mail order to residents here.

Is there anything substantial that contradicts this?

The reason I ask is, with ammo so scarce, it would be nice to be able to order from the few shops that still have some. In this case, Midway has ammo I would buy but they will not ship to me.

It seems quite unreasonable that I should be defenseless simply because of irrelevant laws promulgated by the ATF outside any useful context.

Perhaps the CGF could direct some small measure of its clout towards informing some of the big ammo distributors exactly how the law applies to them.

You are correct. Nothing about mail order in there, however, I'm betting Midwayusa will not ship to San Francisco, just as they will not ship to Los Angeles zip codes.

bluthandwerk
05-18-2009, 11:12 PM
I have been interpreting the law the same way you are, but others don't agree with us. So far about half the online ammunition sellers I've looked at over the past few months won't ship here. There are plenty who will, though (Cabela's, Wideners, Graf, Ammo to Go, Outdoor Marksman, etc.)

This law was designed to force gun and ammunition sellers out of the city, and it's done a very good job of that. Midway and others choose to interpret it differently. I do still buy stuff from Midway when I can't find it anyplace else, but I do avoid buying from them whenever I can, solely due to this policy.

gcvt
05-18-2009, 11:27 PM
No doubt about it - it's complete BS. The lone remaining gun store (http://www.highbridgearms.com/english.htm) in the city marks up their ammo by 60+ percent too. I've purchased from Cabelas before with no problems. UPS guy gave me a weird look...I just smiled :)

With all the recent rulings in our favor, and public opinion apparently swinging our way lately, things will change but the change will come very slowly. Until then, I'll continue to support stores who are willing to ship here even if their prices are slightly higher than those of the people who don't understand the law. Of course, the reloading press sees more and more use as this ridiculousness continues.

FS00008
05-19-2009, 9:51 AM
Just have it shipped to a friend outside the city.

marshaul
05-22-2009, 2:31 PM
Here is the text of the email I sent in response to a reply by Mr. Potterfield, who cites Article 9 Section 613:

Thanks for the response.

The thing is, as I understand it, the code in question (SF Muni Code Article 9, Section 613) is only applicable to businesses which are actually located inside of San Francisco. According to US Supreme Court precedent, internet sales do not occur *in* either the locality of the customer or the business, they occur *across state lines*. Therefore, by Federal precedent one is not considered to be located in San Francisco merely by selling via mail order to customers residing in San Francisco. Notice Article 9, Section 613 doesn't prohibit mail order explicitly, it prohibits transfer without a license: a license only grantable (by law) to businesses located within the city and county of SF.

Home Rule permits cities in California to require such licenses in their own boundaries, but this doesn't allow them to regulate businesses outside (in this case) the city and county of San Francisco. State law, protected by preemption, allows for mail order ammunition sales.

I understand its a legal issue and I am not an attorney. However, I'm sure you have a few on retainer. Obviously I am of the opinion that this warrants special consideration. SF intended to push gun shops out of the city, and they succeeded. I believe we should not give them a single extra inch, allowing them anti-gun laws which they have not and legally cannot pass.

Members of Calguns.net are in agreement; unfortunately none with legal background have chimed in.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=185384

Just out of curiosity, are you aware of anybody actually being fined for "violation" of the code after shipping ammo via mail order? For what it's worth, Cabela's and the like ship ammo to the city routinely. They just don't have any ammo in stock. :)

KCM222
05-22-2009, 2:46 PM
+1 for you for trying to change their mind. Good luck!

bluthandwerk
05-22-2009, 5:03 PM
Nice letter Marshaul. I'll keep that in mode next time I battle the FUD by people who won't sell me ammo.

marshaul
05-26-2009, 3:03 PM
Here is the response I received from Mr. Potterfield:

MidwayUSA has been fined in the past for selling ammo without the proper license. As well as being fined for sending scope rings to Canada, because they are “Gun Parts”, just to give you an idea how dim a view the liberal courts have of my business and our collective Second Amendment rights. I have fought these legal battles in the past and lost, both in court and out of my wallet. Without a firm ruling to the positive, I am going to stick by policy and not sell since we don’t possess the license. Talk to your attorney about this. If you can find firm legal ground to walk on, I will venture out. As it stands now, I have paid hundreds of thousands in fines and I am not eager to do this again. I would encourage you to work with the NRA to get the law changed. I have a responsibility to the business and the over 400 people I employ in this community to keep the doors open at MidwayUSA. Repeated violations can close those doors, and I cannot let that happen. I hope the members of your forum appreciate my position, and put themselves in my shoes concerning this. I have spent over thirty years of my life building this business. If it were only for the money, I would have sold out years ago. I am still working 6-7 days a week not because I need the paycheck, but because I am passionate for the industry. I can’t do anything to jeopardize the business.



http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2004/midwaysep_04.htm



Aim Straight,



Larry
Sounds like a lawyer's opinion might help to sway him. Too bad I can't afford one. :(

marshaul
05-31-2009, 3:32 PM
So, no lawyers want to take the dare? :)

Sunwolf
05-31-2009, 3:40 PM
I don`t blame Midway,California laws are a minefield.

b.faust
05-31-2009, 3:48 PM
Is this only for business selling?

i.e. Let's say I'm out of state and find myself sitting on a large amount of ammo I'd like to ship back home to my SF address.

I'm simply mailing what I already own back to myself.
Legal?

B.

bigtoe416
05-31-2009, 5:08 PM
Is this only for business selling?

i.e. Let's say I'm out of state and find myself sitting on a large amount of ammo I'd like to ship back home to my SF address.

I'm simply mailing what I already own back to myself.
Legal?

B.

You should be fine unless you happen to be "in the business of selling, leasing or otherwise transferring any firearm, firearms ammunition, or firearms ammunition component."