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San Jose City Council Consider Anti Gun Ordinance

September 20, 2016

In the coming weeks, the San Jose City Council is expected to consider an anti-gun ordinance that would: (1) require all firearms to be stored in a locked-container or disabled with a trigger lock; (2) require gun owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm within 48 hours; and, (3) require ammunition vendors to keep records of ammunition sales data in the form of an electronic log.

Even with California Governor Jerry Brown signing several new anti-gun bills into law this year, and a pending California ballot initiative that will cripple the rights of law-abiding gun owners, anti-gun forces will not rest until the Second Amendment is nothing more than a hollow guarantee in California. As we have seen recently in Palm Springs, these proposals are nothing more than that which was rejected at the state level due to their serious constitutional concerns, questions of enforceability, and general detrimental effect on public safety. What’s more, they only serve to create an environment in which gun owners cannot cooperate with police without risking prosecution, resulting in the exact opposite their intended effect.

For instance, requiring the locked-storage of all firearms fails to consider the particular needs and circumstances of law-abiding individuals who are unable to quickly access their firearms for the purpose of immediate self-defense. And the enforceability of this requirement is severely limited by the Fourth Amendment right from unwarranted searches and seizures. Police are prohibited from inspecting a house or a vehicle unless and until there is probable cause that a violation has occurred. Without any probable cause that would permit the police to search, the proposed locked-storage mandates cannot legally be enforced.

The mandatory loss/theft reporting requirement is likewise difficult, if not impossible, to enforce due to the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination. As Chuck Michel, legal counsel for both the NRA and CRPA, discussed in his editorial regarding the problems posed by a similar mandatory reporting law being considered in Palm Springs, if enacted, these proposals only result in non-cooperation between law enforcement and law-abiding citizens due to their potential civil and criminal penalties, which force gun owners to invoke their rights and refuse to speak to police. For these and similar reasons, every similar proposed piece of state legislation has been vetoed by both Governor Jerry Brown and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Clearly, such proposals only threaten the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens and force them to know and be ready to exercise their Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights when interacting with law enforcement. To better assist law-abiding gun owners who reside in or travel through jurisdictions with similar restrictions, the NRA and CRPA has published a Know Your Rights Guide to provide the knowledge necessary to avoid prosecution under feel-good laws like the one San Jose intends to consider.

It is unclear exactly when the San Jose City Council will take up the proposal for discussion, so stay tuned. In the meantime, we encourage all of our members to contact the City directly to express your opposition. You can contact the City Council by mail at:

San Jose City Council
200 E. Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113

You can also directly contact the two City Councilmembers who have sought to introduce the ordinance to respectfully ask them to reconsider their position. They can be reached by email and phone at:

Ash Kalra, District 2
District2@sanjoseca.gov
Phone: (408) 535-4902

Raul Peralez, District 3
District3@sanjoseca.gov
Phone: (408) 535-4903

For a summary of some of the many actions the NRA and CRPA has taken on behalf of California gun owners, including the Peruta case, click here.

In the coming weeks, the San Jose City Council is expected to consider an anti-gun ordinance that would: (1) require all firearms to be stored in a locked-container or disabled with a trigger lock; (2) require gun owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm within 48 hours; and, (3) require ammunition vendors to keep records of ammunition sales data in the form of an electronic log.

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