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View Full Version : Does state law still trump city law?


WeThePeople
08-23-2007, 12:11 PM
Does CA state law still prevent cities from passing gun laws that are more restrictive than state laws? Just a few years ago, some CA cities were sued because they restricted 50BMGs and CA state law did not. I remember the law suits winning just in time for the CA 50BMG ban signed by AS (feel free to add another consonant at the end).

In theory, all these cities that continue to pass restrictive laws are violating CA state law and should be sued. However, in all of the threads highlighting new city laws, no one seems to point this out.

When a city contemplates a new law, we should tell the city that they are about to do something illegal and expensive. The Brady Bunch won't care if a city gets sued, but the city council and citizens should care.

dfletcher
08-23-2007, 1:03 PM
Does CA state law still prevent cities from passing gun laws that are more restrictive than state laws? Just a few years ago, some CA cities were sued because they restricted 50BMGs and CA state law did not. I remember the law suits winning just in time for the CA 50BMG ban signed by AS (feel free to add another consonant at the end).

In theory, all these cities that continue to pass restrictive laws are violating CA state law and should be sued. However, in all of the threads highlighting new city laws, no one seems to point this out.

When a city contemplates a new law, we should tell the city that they are about to do something illegal and expensive. The Brady Bunch won't care if a city gets sued, but the city council and citizens should care.

I'm sure they know, they don't care. Look at SF Prop H from last year. The Mayor and everyone knew the law would be struck down - they didn't care. In fact, rather than SF City Council simply passing an ordinance, they put it on a referendum to shield themselves from a "you wasted $$$" assertion. "The will of the people" sort of approach. The bottom line is they wasted taxpayer money to make a political statement.

Unlike NRA or other pro-gun organizations who must fight them, it costs them no money and no political capitol to do this sort of thing. So they'll just keep on doing it in the hope that sooner or later some or all of it sticks.

Don't look for any of it to end soon in fact, with the majority of the country being pro-gun I'd expect the anti-gun organizations to focus even more on CA so they can post theit little victories.

Travis
08-23-2007, 3:35 PM
The most restrictive of all laws "trumps" the others.

Federal, state, and city laws must all be followed. There is no legal basis that prohibits states from making more restrictive laws than the federal government or cities making more restrictive laws than state governments.

As some examples, New York city has more restrictive firearms laws than New York state (City prohibits handguns). California has more restrictive laws than the federal goverment.

If you don't agree with a proposed law, contact the elected representative foryour area. Tell them you don't agree. Just don't bank on an arguement that the state is less restrictive. In the end, you must follow all the laws ;)

CSDGuy
08-23-2007, 3:44 PM
State law can trump city/county law if the state has made it clear that the state intends to wholly occupy that field. Prop H in SF (IIRC) was struck down precisely on that point. This is probably why we're now seeing a huge attempt to regulate ammo sales. If you can't regulate gun sales...

hoffmang
08-23-2007, 3:51 PM
From the Government Code:


53071. It is the intention of the Legislature to occupy the whole
field of regulation of the registration or licensing of commercially
manufactured firearms as encompassed by the provisions of the Penal
Code, and such provisions shall be exclusive of all local
regulations, relating to registration or licensing of commercially
manufactured firearms, by any political subdivision as defined in
Section 1721 of the Labor Code.



53071.5. By the enforcement of this section, the Legislature
occupies the whole field of regulation of the manufacture, sale, or
possession of imitation firearms, as defined in Section 12550 of the
Penal Code, and that section shall preempt and be exclusive of all
regulations relating to the manufacture, sale, or possession of
imitation firearms, including regulations governing the manufacture,
sale, or possession of BB devices and air rifles described in
subdivision (g) of Section 12001 of the Penal Code.


-Gene

CSDGuy
08-23-2007, 3:53 PM
Gene: That's precisely the CGC that I was thinking of... Thanks!

WeThePeople
08-23-2007, 5:01 PM
Thanks, Gene.

The 2nd section forbids local restrictions on pellet guns, even though some cities banned them. Even worse, if you get convicted of a pellet gun offense, it counts as a firearm conviction.

New law, old law...win or lose, the only winners are the lawyers.