According to Bloomberg, on Monday, June 8, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision upholding San Francisco gun laws. While we do not take a stand on this issue, we recognize that gun violence and unintentional shootings pose a real danger. We believe that it is important to understand the state of the law when it comes to gun rights and regulations.
San Francisco Gun Regulations
According to NPR, the laws at issue in the ruling date back to 1994 and to 2007. In 1994, a San Francisco ordinance banned the sale of hollow-point bullets. Hollow-point bullets are bullets with a hollowed out shape in the tip, often intended to cause the bullet to expand upon impact.
In 2007, San Francisco enacted an ordinance that required residents to either keep handguns in locked storage or use trigger locks when they are not being carried.
In 2012, eight petitioners, including the National Rifle Association, filed a lawsuit asking for an injunction to prevent the 2007 law, which required guns to be stored in locked storage when unused, from being enforced. They argued that gun owners have a right to have immediate access to their guns for the purposes of self-defense. Their argument was based on a 2008 Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Court ruled that the Second Amendment provides gun owners with the right to have a gun available in the home for the purposes of self-defense. In the Heller case, the Court invalidated a Washington D.C. ordinance that required firearms to be kept unloaded and disassembled or trigger locked. San Francisco officials had argued that the Washington, D.C. ordinance included an outright ban on guns, while the San Francisco ordinance allowed loaded handguns to be stored and accessible in a locked box.
In 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of San Francisco and upheld the ordinances.
Supreme Court Ruling and Implications
The petitioners filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was decided on June 8 in Jackson v. City and County of San Francisco. By allowing the 9th Circuit’s ruling to stand, it upholds a decision that views the ordinances as reasonable steps that do not violate citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment. The Court’s ruling may give new information as to the ways in which government officials can implement gun restrictions or legislation.
Gun control is a controversial political issue. Gun violence is a safety issue, and has a major impact on communities and the lives of those involved. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, over the last 5 years, an average of 16,334 people are victims of an unintentional shooting each year. An average of 561 people are killed by unintentional shootings.
If you were injured or have a loved one who was killed in an unintentional shooting, you do not have to navigate the legal system on your own. Contact our attorneys to learn about your options and let us help you get the justice that you deserve.
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Preventing Gun Accidents, Protecting the Victims