|In Response To NRA/CRPA Demands, Los Angeles Repeals Ordinances Prohibiting Sale of “Ultracompact” Firearms and Possession of Standard Capacity Magazines
In response to pre-litigation demands from the NRA and CRPA, the Los Angeles City Council has voted to repeal a city ordinance prohibiting the sale or transfer of “ultracompact firearms” in Los Angeles. The city ordinance defined “ultracompact firearms” as handguns with “an overall length of six and three quarter inches (6.75”) or less or an overall height of four and one half inches (4.5”) or less, as measured with the magazine detached.”
The repeal of the ordinance was a direct result of NRA and CRPA attorneys threatening legal action against the City.
Gun owners in California are already subject to the strictest gun-control laws in the country, including a state-wide restriction on the sale of handguns that are not listed on DOJ’s “Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale.” By banning the sale of certain handguns labeled “ultracompact” under the ordinance, the City prohibited the sale or transfer of certain handguns that are listed on DOJ’s roster—handguns that have been tested and are specifically approved for sale in California. Because the ordinance conflicted with state law in this respect, the ordinance was it was “preempted” by the state law and invalid.
On September 20, 2016, NRA and CRPA attorneys submitted a pre-litigation demand letter to the City, pointing out that the ordinance was preempted because it conflicted with the state law regulating what handguns can be sold, and was therefore invalid. The City stalled the repeal, but NRA and CRPA attorneys submitted repeated public record requests, and relentlessly pushed the City attorney’s office until the City finally repealed the ordinance.
Significantly, this isn’t the only recent NRA/CRPA victory in Los Angeles worth celebrating. In 2015, the City adopted an ordinance prohibiting the possession of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. NRA and CRPA filed a lawsuit challenging the restriction. That lawsuit, titled Bosenko v. City of Los Angeles, included 30 duly elected California Sheriffs, two law enforcement organizations, CRPA, and a number of individual gun owners as plaintiffs.
The following year, both Proposition 63 and Senate Bill 1446 were enacted, making it a violation of state law to possess these standard capacity magazines. As a result, the City’s ordinance was duplicative of and preempted by the state laws. So in exchange for dismissal of the Bosenko lawsuit the City agreed to amend their ordinance to include a “sunset” provision so the ordinance would expire and be invalid and unenforceable after July 1, 2017, the date which the new state law were set to take effect. The city ordinance has now expired.
Both Proposition 63 and Senate Bill 1446, however, suffered a major defeat in federal court after District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez issues a preliminary injunction in the NRA and CRPA supported case of Duncan v. Becerra. That injunction prohibits California from enforcing the state law banning the possession of standard capacity magazines that can hold over 10 rounds. Now that the state law has been enjoined, and because the Los Angeles ordinance is no longer in effect as of July 1, there is no law prohibiting the possession of standard capacity magazines in the City of Los Angeles.
This is welcome news for many California gun owners, including those who do not reside in Los Angeles. Thousands of law-abiding gun owners routinely travel through city limits to reach popular ranges such as the Angeles Shooting Range and other destinations that require traveling through city limits with firearms and the magazines that would have been prohibited.
Local Ordinance Project
NRA and CRPA’s efforts in opposition local restrictions such as this are made possible by the Local Ordinance Project (“LOP”), a joint-effort to actively monitor local government proposals that threaten the right to keep and bear arms. NRA/CRPA LOP has been in place for over 20 years. LOP’s coalition partners include local gun rights organizations, individual activists, businesses, local government officials, and law enforcement professionals.
NRA/CRPA LOP efforts typically include the preparation of policy and legal opposition letters, pre-litigation demand letters, coordination of grassroots activists, public information campaigns, and appearances at city council or board of supervisor meetings. In many instances, these efforts have convinced local governments to vote down proposals or pull them from consideration. LOP also serves as the foundation for NRA and CRPA litigation efforts against local jurisdictions that enact anti-gun legislation.
You can support LOP and our other pro-Second Amendment efforts in California by donating to the California Rifle & Pistol Association Foundation (“CRPAF”). CRPAF is a 501(c)(3), so contributions are tax-deductible. Or donate to the NRA Legal Action Project. All donations will be spent to specifically benefit California gun owners.
CRPA Grassroots Outreach
Our Second Amendment is constantly under attack, and the fight to protect our rights in Los Angeles is far from over. CRPA Grassroots needs your help to defend the Second Amendment in California. Advance the cause, be part of the movement, and help take our state back. For more information, email [email protected]