The State Supreme Court got this one right, and neatly sidestepped any discussion of the 2nd Amendment in doing so:
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The state Supreme Court dealt a final blow Wednesday to San Francisco’s voter-approved ban on handguns, rejecting the city’s appeal of a lower-court ruling that sharply limited the ability of localities to regulate firearms.
The court’s unanimous order was a victory for the National Rifle Association, which sued on behalf of gun owners, advocates and dealers a day after the measure passed with 58 percent of the vote in November 2005. The initiative has never taken effect.
The ordinance, Proposition H, would have forbidden San Francisco residents to possess handguns, exempting only law enforcement officers and others who needed guns for professional purposes. It would have also prohibited the manufacture, sale or distribution of any type of firearms or ammunition in San Francisco.
Lower courts ruled that the measure interfered with a statewide system of gun regulation, which bars certain types of weapons and allows others. The rulings did not address the scope of the constitutional right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, the focus of a pending U.S. Supreme Court case involving a handgun ban in Washington, D.C.
The city’s lawyers said the use of guns in San Francisco homicides is rising, accounting for 61 percent of all killings in 2001 and 83 percent in 2005, and is particularly high in poor and minority neighborhoods. Gun violence costs San Francisco at least $31.2 million a year for hospital care, police and fire response and jail expenses, the city said.
But the courts said the ordinance was beyond the powers of local government.
Upholding a judge’s June 2006 ruling, the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said state law left room for some municipal gun control – such as bans on the sale or possession of firearms on public fairgrounds – but “when it comes to regulating firearms, local governments are well advised to tread lightly.”
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