City anticipates legal fight about gun laws

Mayor Gavin Newsom said he will fight for more gun-control efforts in The City despite a landmark, pro-gun U.S. Supreme Court ruling and an expected legal battle with the National Rifle Association.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 32-year-old handgun ban in Washington, D.C., on Thursday in granting an individual’s right to bear arms under the Second Amendment for the first time in American history.

The federal court’s ruling, however, does not specifically reverse current San Francisco laws. City leaders, though, said they expected a looming legal battle with the powerful gun-rights organization.

“My response to rulings like this is not just to take the hit and have the assault come from the NRA and roll over — it’s to give them a little bit more to be concerned about,” Newsom said, noting he would make an announcement today. “So we’re working on more legislation to give them more to be concerned about.”

In 2005, city voters approved Proposition H, a ban on handgun sales and possession in The City. But earlier this year, after the California Court of Appeal ruled against the ban, the California Supreme Court rejected a review of the decision requested by The City.

After Thursday’s ruling, city leaders said they expect the NRA to come after ordinances already in place that ban guns on city land such as public housing, parks and schools as well as requirements that handguns stored in homes be kept in locked containers or disabled by a lock.

Any potential lawsuit would come at a time when The City is mired in a violent year of homicides, many of which have been committed with guns. A man was shot dead near Holly Park early Thursday morning, and three men — a father and his two sons — were killed in a car earlier this week after a traffic incident. The last incident brought The City’s homicide total to 52 for the year. Last year there were 98.

City Attorney’s Office spokesman Matt Dorsey said the ruling does not necessarily threaten the validity of gun laws in The City but left observers pessimistic about the future of gun control.

“There’s not much in this ruling that gives us cause for optimism,” Dorseysaid.

dsmith@sfexaminer.com

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