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SnakebyteXX
12-17-2004, 06:21 AM
Bid for handgun ban faces hurdles
S.F. measure's legal, practical obstacles

Suzanne Herel, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, December 17, 2004

San Francisco supervisors want to make the city the second in the nation to ban the ownership of handguns, but whether such a law would prove to be more than symbolic remains to be seen.

First, legal challenges are being readied by those who see the proposed law -- set to go to voters next fall -- as bucking state law, which says law-abiding citizens do not need permits or licenses to keep handguns in their homes.

Then there are practical hurdles: How do you enforce a ban in the absence of a public registry of gun owners in California? And of what value is such a measure for police, who already have the authority to take guns from criminal suspects?

Supporters of a ban say it would curb gun violence in the city by reducing the number of weapons available. Bill Barnes, spokesman for the campaign, said many guns used in crimes were purchased legally -- and later stolen.

According to a report by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, 213 people were victims of 176 incidents of handgun violence in 1999, the last year for which the data are available. Of all firearms used to cause injury or death that year, 67 percent were handguns.

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, one of five supervisors who signed off on placing the proposed law on the next ballot, said it was concern about guns' falling into the wrong hands that motivated her.

"You have to keep guns away from kids," said Alioto-Pier, the mother of young children. "We're not taking away people's constitutional rights. This is about ensuring the safety of people who live here."

But gun-owner-rights groups say that such a law would invite crime, not prevent it, by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves and would not take guns out of the hands of criminals.

"Guns are being made the scapegoat for policy failures of the city," said Chuck Michel, spokesman for the California Rifle and Pistol Association. Michel, an attorney, represents that group and the National Rifle Association. The proposed law, he said, "is based on the myth that if you disarm civilians, the bad guys won't have guns either. I think that's a bunch of baloney."

He added: "We're already in the process of putting together the petition for an injunction to try to keep it off the ballot."

The measure would ban handguns in San Francisco -- except for police officers, security guards, military personnel and others who require them for their job. Only 10 people in the city have permits to carry a concealed weapon, Barnes said.

By allowing some people to have handguns and not others, opponents say, the law would create a new class of people. And any requirement of permission to own handguns amounts to a license -- which, according to state law, cities are not permitted to require.

It was just this issue that torpedoed the last effort by San Francisco officials to ban handguns, in 1982, Barnes said. The drive was led by Dianne Feinstein, who became mayor after Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were shot to death in City Hall. This time around, Barnes said, the law was written to avoid any city participation in licensing or registration of guns, and he doesn't consider it to be creating a new class of people, as foes of the measure claim.

The ordinance, which would go into effect Jan. 1, 2006, if passed by a simple majority of voters, also would prohibit the sale, manufacture and distribution of all firearms in the city.

That portion of the law has less effect on San Francisco, which is home to one gun shop, High Bridge Arms, whose online phone listing carries a slogan: "Stop crime before it starts." A store employee would not comment on the ordinance, and the owner did not respond to a request for an interview.

Two other dealers have permits to sell guns in the city.

The only other major city to have enacted a handgun ban is Washington, D. C., which did so in 1976. However, Congress has the right to supercede local laws in the District of Columbia, and in September the House of Representatives repealed most of the city's gun-control laws by passing the D. C. Personal Protection Act. The measure now is before the Senate.

The homicide rate in Washington, D.C., in 2002 was 9.4 incidents per 100, 000 people. In San Francisco that year, the rate was 5.2.

Supervisor-elect Ross Mirkarimi, who himself owns two handguns because of his job as an investigator in the district attorney's office, said he supported the ordinance.

"How many more Michael Moore films does it take to tell us that the Second Amendment is absolutely archaic, and other nations do it better than we do?" said Mirkarimi, who plans to donate or sell his own guns. "We should absolutely go forward with it despite the constitutional challenges."

However, he said, the legislation largely would be symbolic without enforcement.

Although gun sales in California must be recorded, residents are not required to have a permit for handguns kept in a private home or business, so it's unclear how many San Francisco residents would be affected by the law.

The initiative was filed with the Department of Elections this week by five supervisors representing a spread of ideology on the board -- Chris Daly, Matt Gonzalez, Tom Ammiano, Bevan Dufty and Alioto-Pier.

Alioto-Pier and Dufty often side with Mayor Gavin Newsom on issues. Newsom has not taken a position yet on the ballot measure, said spokesman Peter Ragone, though he has talked much in this past year about getting guns off the street.

Eric Gorovitz, West Coast director of the Alliance for Justice, who has spent a decade working for gun control policy statewide and nationally, said he thought the San Francisco measure was written in a way that would withstand legal challenge.

"I think banning handguns is the central issue for gun violence prevention, and it's been somewhat of a third rail -- people haven't wanted to talk about it," Gorovitz said. "It's a very good strategy for a community that has excessive gun violence."

Sam Paredes, executive director of the political action committee Gun Owners of California, couldn't disagree more.

"We think this is a disastrous idea," he said. "We think that if you disarm people in their own homes, you invite criminals to attack these people. Law abiding citizens are just prey. They walk in fear."



link (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/12/17/MNGARADH4O1.DTL)

Wally_in_Cincy
12-17-2004, 06:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr>

Supporters of a ban say it would curb gun violence in the city by reducing the number of weapons available. <hr /></blockquote>

Yep. Worked like a charm in Washington DC

LOL

eg8r
12-17-2004, 06:54 AM
The supporters are not interested in the truth.

eg8r

SpiderMan
12-17-2004, 11:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr> Supervisor-elect Ross Mirkarimi, who himself owns two handguns because of his job as an investigator in the district attorney's office, said he supported the ordinance.

"How many more Michael Moore films does it take to tell us that the Second Amendment is absolutely archaic, and other nations do it better than we do?" said Mirkarimi, who plans to donate or sell his own guns. "We should absolutely go forward with it despite the constitutional challenges."
<hr /></blockquote>

Wow - a gun-carrying hypocrite who tunes in to Michael Moore for guidance on constitutional law ..... what a clown. But someone like that can hold office in Kalifornia, I suppose.

SpiderMan

Bob_in_Cincy
12-17-2004, 12:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>
Wow - a gun-carrying hypocrite who tunes in to Michael Moore for guidance on constitutional law ..... what a clown. But someone like that can hold office in Kalifornia, I suppose.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

One look at the occupant of the governor's office indicates that very clearly.

Regards,
Bob

Cueless Joey
12-17-2004, 12:45 PM
Why don't we just ban stupid and overpaid politicians instead?
If you ban handguns, what will the criminals do?
SURRENDER their handguns?
Why don't we just ban homosexual sex? I can make a good case more men die from it than bullets. Of course, that wouldn't fly in San Fran.

stickman
12-17-2004, 04:20 PM
I need to renew my NRA membership! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

SecaucusFats
12-17-2004, 04:28 PM
Here is an example of effective gun control /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif:

Grocer, 71, returns fire, kills robber
Cleveland Plain Dealer ^ | 17 December 2004 | Thomas J. Quinn and Angela Chatman

Shooting is second in week on West Side; 2 suspects arrested

A West Side grocer shot and killed a robber who came into his store Thursday night.

It was the second robbery in a West Side store this week that erupted in gunfire. Monday night at Tony's Delicatessen on Scranton Road, a clerk and a customer were killed. Store owners have been on edge since that double killing.

The latest shooting occurred about 7:30 p.m. at George's Market at 10117 Detroit Ave. A man police believe was Jesse Buchanan, 19, of Lakewood, walked in with a gun, demanding money and threatening the five people inside. Nadim Shalamy, 71, of Lakewood, shot the robber in the head. The robber had himself fired at least one shot, witnesses said.

"He shot a shot, and he missed, and my father didn't miss," said Jeff Shalamy. "If my father didn't shoot him, he would've killed all of them."

Police arrested two men they think were outside the store in a getaway car. The names of the two men were not released.

Bridget Halgen, Jeff Shalamy's fiancée, said the robber had been in the store several times before the shooting.

"The guy came into the store seven or eight times," she said. "He kept coming in and leaving. The last time he came in [before the shooting], he bought a 99-cent bottle of malt liquor."

Jenny Napier of Lakewood, who shops at the store, said she was upset that Nadim Shalamy was forced to defend his shop. She said he is known as "Pops" in the neighborhood and often extends credit to shoppers who need it.

The Shalamys have owned the store for 14 years.

"They're good people," she said.

Homicide detectives immediately began investigating. Facts in the shooting will go to prosecutors, who will rule on whether the shooting was justifiable.

Police Lt. Linda Kaspar said that investigators will look closely at whether the two men arrested at George's Market could be among the three suspects still being sought in the two killings at Tony's Deli.

Gunmen killed Tony's clerk Jorge Santiago, 36, and customer Rebecca Cordoves, 21, who was buying formula for her newborn.

Jenny Shalamy said the family has been worried since the shooting on Scranton Road. They kept two guns - a shotgun and a handgun - in the store. She said it seems stores get robbed more in December, around Christmas.

"After what happened on Scranton, [my father] has been concerned," she said. "December is the worst month to have a store."


SF

Wally_in_Cincy
12-18-2004, 07:47 AM
If that were a British store owner he would be in the pokey for many years.