Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
The Jackson case has virtually gone under the radar, both here, at CalGunsNet and at MDShooters. The reasons for this are few, but varied.
For my part, I can name 2 reasons. 1)The docket at PACER was not properly reporting the filings and 2)RECAP was not properly updating the Internet Archive when the docket did show movement. Hopefully, that has all been resolved, as not only PACER but RECAP are now working (for this case - there remain problems with RECAP on a few other cases).
I'm extremely thankful to Sean Brady (of Michel & Associates, P.C.) in starting this thread.
The City and County of San Francisco have a Safe Storage law, that while somewhat dissimilar to that of D.C. It is the practical effect that this case hinges on.
In the D.C. case, you may recall, handguns were required to be unloaded and locked (with trigger locks or in a safe) or disassembled. The result of that ordinance was that you could not have immediate access to your defensive firearm, should the it arise that you needed it for self defense.
The Supreme Court in Heller reasoned that part of the 2A rights was to have a ready and operable firearm in case of confrontation where one arguably needs it most, at home. This made that particular ordinance unconstitutional on its face under any level of scrutiny used to define enumerated rights.
The difference in the San Francisco laws are that you can have a ready and operable firearm in your home, but only as long as the firearm was in your immediate possession and control. Otherwise, the firearm must be disabled or locked away.
The practical effect is that unless your firearm is strapped to your side, it must be stored in an approved safe manner. It does not matter if there are children, felons, mentally unstable persons, etc. at home or not. How many of you sleep with a gun strapped on? That is the only manner you can keep the firearm wholly operable, at those times.
Even with the above exception (which is only a very minor step away from Heller), the law in San Francisco City and County have the same practical effect as the law in D.C. that was struck down.
In the MJP, the plaintiffs hammer the defendants with the Heller case, time and time again.
Here, because this is a slight step away, the plaintiffs argue that if any scrutiny is needed to resolve the constitutionality of the ordinance, then strict scrutiny applies.
In part IV of the pleading, the plaintiffs advance the corollary theories that the individual not only has the right to purchase a firearm, but the right to purchase effective self defense ammunition. These corollary rights are assumed to exist for the simple reason that without them, the right to self defense with an operable firearm is meaningless.
San Francisco ordinance Section 613.10(g) bans the sell of any ammunition that does not have a sporting purpose.
Again, the plaintiffs go back to Heller and pound the defendants with the clauses pertaining to "common use." As we all know, modern self defense ammo (hollow points, of one form or another) is much more effective at stopping an aggressor than are FMJ. Less chance of completely penetrating to injure what lies beyond the target and less chance of ricochet.
The plaintiffs make the case that the police themselves use this form of ammunition for the very same reasons it is commonly used and preferred by citizens for their own self defense. It can be no defense to say that residents of SF can go elsewhere to buy their ammo (see Ezell).
Nor can it be a defense to state that public safety requires the use of a more dangerous form of ammo, because the city doesn't want injuries to the victims be greater (does beg the question of just who the City considers the victim to be - the aggressor or the one who must defend themselves from the aggressor).
It is not even a defense to claim sporting purposes (even when left undefined, as the City does here), when self defense and militia duty can not be a "sporting purpose" in any sense of the term.
The plaintiffs again argue that the ordinance fails any form or scrutiny, but if one must be used, then strict scrutiny applies as the ordinance reaches to the core of the right.
Of course, if you have bothered to read the response, the City and County deny everything.
The plaintiffs reply is due on June 21st, if I have my dates correct.
Should the district court deny the MJP, it still serves the purpose of paving the way towards a MSJ, in which the facts (as laid out in the MJP) can be expanded upon and more fully briefed.