City of Berkeley Loses Semi-Auto Gun Ban


May 7, 2010, 03:49 PM
I received the following email today. Good news for us!!


In response to a pre-litigation demand letter sent by lawyers for the NRA and CRPA Foundation, on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to repeal that city's ban on the possession of certain semiautomatic rifles, which had remained “on the books” as Municipal Code Section 13.47 despite being obviously preempted by state law.

The repeal is the culmination of discussions between attorneys for the NRA and CRPA and the Berkeley City Attorney’s office. The City of Berkeley initially resisted all requests by the NRA and CRPA to repeal this ordinance. But the City Attorney’s report to the City Council makes clear that the motivation to finally repeal the ordinance was the threat of litigation from NRA/CRPA.

One person objected to the repealing of the ordinance during public comment, but the City Attorney quickly corrected him that, as explained by the NRA/CRPA letter, this is a settled legal matter for which the City of Berkeley has no recourse. The City Attorney conceded the preemptive effect of the Fiscal v. City and County of San Francisco, 158 Cal.App.4th 895 (2008) case, and that a court would rule in NRA/CRPA’s favor in a lawsuit in this matter.

This is a victory not only for gun owners who live in or pass through the City of Berkeley and who feared prosecution under this ordinance. The repeal confirms that, contrary to the gun ban lobby’s claims, there are limits to what restrictions cities can place on firearms, and that Fiscal has preemptive effect throughout California. The repeal demand letter and staff report can be read at

The repeal efforts were funded by the NRA / CRPAF Legal Action project. To contribute to the NRA / CRPAF Legal Action Project (LAP) and support Second Amendment cases that directly benefit California gun owners, visit LAP is a joint venture between the Nation Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) to advance the rights of firearms owners in California. Through LAP, NRA/CRPA attorneys fight against ill-conceived gun control laws and ordinances, and educate state and local officials about the programs at their disposal that are effective in reducing accidents and violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

C.D. Michel
Senior Counsel

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May 7, 2010, 04:11 PM

May 7, 2010, 05:27 PM
As a California resident as well as a Bay Area resident I am very glad to hear that. Thank you for posting.

May 7, 2010, 06:02 PM
Eh, it's like the Dutch boy and the dike. We ought to just sell California to Mexico- or just give it to them. Sorry to offend any of you decent folks out there, but man I really hate that state- and I was born there!

May 7, 2010, 06:29 PM
The pity is that this should not even be necessary given the State's preemption law. It wouldn't be the first time a local law without teeth remained "on the books". Inane and archaic laws come up from time to time. It's hard to understand their reluctance. I suppose evil guns do that to some........

May 7, 2010, 06:58 PM
Should fire the dumb**** that placed the ban in effect for wasting taxpayers dollars for their attorney fees for an unconstitutional ban (as with any politicians that put such bans in place).

May 7, 2010, 07:31 PM
This and the news from CO, all kinds of good news today.

May 8, 2010, 04:31 PM
:banghead:Wishin--Berzerkley, SF and Lost Angeles need to be regularly reminded that the 2nd amendment exists:banghead::fire:

May 8, 2010, 06:08 PM
It's funny, having lived in SF (the mission district) where there were 8 murders within a block of my house one summer. I was unable to obtain a concealed carry permit, now I live in utah which is about 1000% safer and concealed carry permits can be had in four hours. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

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