May 7, 2019

On April 15, 2019, CRPA, with support from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, filed a lawsuit challenging the City of Morgan Hill’s recently adopted ordinance requiring victims of gun theft in the city to report the loss or theft of a firearms within 48 hours after the victim knows, or “should have known” of the loss or theft.

The Morgan Hill ordinance conflicts with Penal Code section 25250, a similar state law that allows victims five days to report after a firearm is lost or stolen. Morgan Hill’s ordinance mandates reporting within a shorter time period than state law allows.

The legal preemption doctrine bans local laws that duplicate or conflict with state laws because these confuse the public. In this case, the conflicting requirements place innocent gun owners at risk of criminal prosecution for unwitting and accidental local ordinance violations that do not violate the state law.

In recognition of this preemption issue, Palms Springs recently repealed its local theft reporting ordinance in response to a pre-litigation demand letter from the CRPA.

The lawsuit asks the Court to issue a declaration that the theft reporting portion of the Ordinance is preempted by state law and therefore invalid, and that the theft reporting portion of the Ordinance is stricken from the Morgan Hill Municipal Code.

To stay up-to-date on this case and other important Second Amendment related litigation, be sure to visit the CRPA webpage at www.CRPA.org. And be sure to subscribe to CRPA email alerts to stay informed on the latest developments regarding this case.

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