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San Diego Ordinance to Shut down Public Shooting on BLM Lands

January 3, 2019

DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR (DOI) SCOLDS SAN DIEGO SUPERVISORS FOR BANNING SHOOTING ON FEDERAL LAND

On November 13, 2018, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob pushed a proposal to permanently ban recreational shooting on land around Donohoe Mountain and Pink Gate. The land is owned by the federal government and managed by the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM). While pushing the ban on shooting on the land, Supervisor Jacob’s staff report stated that the areas known as Donohoe Flats and Pink Gate needed to be permanently closed due to a high risk of wildfire from recreational shooters in the area and because of safety concerns reported by neighboring residents. Further, in response to concerns raised by Supervisors Gaspar, Horn and Cox, and opponents of the ordinance, Supervisor Jacob assured everyone that BLM approved and supported the proposed recreational shooting ban on public BLM lands. While there were several Board meetings on the issue, no BLM representatives attended any of the meetings or submitted any written position on the proposed ordinance.

NRA and CRPA attorneys notified the San Diego Board of Supervisors in several letters and in public testimony that the actions being proposed by the Board were unconstitutional, that they have no authority to change the federal purpose on federal lands, and that this ordinance would be overturned. The attorneys submitted case law precedent to the Board supporting the overruling of actions where local jurisdictions attempted to exert their will over the federal government. Despite NRA and CRPA efforts, without BLM approval and support, and relying on poor legal advice from county counsel, the Board proceeded to approve the ordinance.

NRA and CRPA attorneys contacted people at the BLM and the DOI, where NRA has long-standing good relationships working on behalf of hunters and shooters on federal lands across the country. BLM was provided with the legal authority under the “Supremacy Clause” affirming that the proposed actions were unconstitutional and that the federal government needed to act to protect its sovereignty over federal lands. BLM agreed that the actions taken by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors was unlawful and pre-empted by federal law.

Now, due to the efforts of NRA and CRPA and several local groups like NRA Members Councils, South Bay Rod and Gun Club, San Diego Gun Owners, The San Diego Wildlife Federation, and Veto GunMageddon, BLM has told the County that the ordinance is in fact preempted and unenforceable and that a letter stating as much will be coming from DOI. The Sheriff also received an email from Special Agent in Charge for Region 1, U.S. DOI, BLM Office of Law Enforcement and Security advising that “BLM is in the process of drafting a letter…further explaining its position on the ordinance.” So why did Supervisor Jacob say BLM had approved of her proposal and why would the Board move to approve something so clearly outside of their authority?

Additionally, several neighboring property owners complained that they were in danger from stray bullets impacting their homes from target shooters on the federal lands. One person even claimed that he had to “hunker down” in his home for fear of bullets whizzing by. But when NRA / CRPA lawyers sought the police reports on these incidents, the County found none. Could NIMBYs in the area be looking for excuses to ban target shooting because they do not approve of the activity for political or noise reasons? The fact that the County could produce no incident reports regarding any stray bullets endangering neighboring property speaks volumes.

The combined efforts of NRA, CRPA, local concerned groups, individuals, and gun clubs made this happen. Gun owners throughout San Diego attended meetings and let officials know that this action is not lawful. NRA and CRPA thank all those activists for their efforts.

Just to insure that the unlawful ordinance is rescinded, CRPA attorneys sent a pre-litigation letter to the San Diego Board of Supervisors insisting that the ordinance banning shooting on these lands be repealed immediately.

This is a big win in California and hopefully one that will make other even more anti-gun jurisdictions stop to think before considering laws against gun owners and recreational shooters.

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DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR (DOI) SCOLDS SAN DIEGO SUPERVISORS FOR BANNING SHOOTING ON FEDERAL LAND

On November 13, 2018, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob pushed a proposal to permanently ban recreational shooting on land around Donohoe Mountain and Pink Gate. The land is owned by the federal government and managed by the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM). While pushing the ban on shooting on the land, Supervisor Jacob’s staff report stated that the areas known as Donohoe Flats and Pink Gate needed to be permanently closed due to a high risk of wildfire from recreational shooters in the area and because of safety concerns reported by neighboring residents. Further, in response to concerns raised by Supervisors Gaspar, Horn and Cox, and opponents of the ordinance, Supervisor Jacob assured everyone that BLM approved and supported the proposed recreational shooting ban on public BLM lands. While there were several Board meetings on the issue, no BLM representatives attended any of the meetings or submitted any written position on the proposed ordinance.

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