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WHICH LAWS AFFECT YOUR TOWN

Local

Currently, thirty-nine states have laws on the books, known as preemption laws, which prohibit local governments from passing laws limiting or restrict the sale or use firearms.

These states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota,Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

California: Although California has a preemption law on its books, this law only bans cities and counties from imposing certain registration or licensing restrictions on firearms.

West Hollywood was the first California city to pass an ordinance banning Saturday Night Specials. That ordinance passed in April, 1996, and was quickly challenged in a lawsuit brought by the National Rifle Association (NRA). In November, 1996, the court ruled that California's preemption law only prohibits cities and counties from imposing certain registration or licensing restrictions on firearms and does not prevent local governments from regulating local dealers or from prohibiting the sale of certain classes of firearms, such as Saturday Night Specials.

The NRA has appealed the ruling to a higher court and vows to fight it. In response to expected continuing challenges of these local regulations by the NRA, California state assemblyman Jack Scott introduced a bill (AB247) expressly authorizing any city or county to enact an ordinance to prohibit the sale or otherwise regulate the sale of firearms. According to Assemblyman Scott, this bill is declaratory of existing law - it would not change it.

Since the passage of the West Hollywood ordinance in April, 1996, 31 other local governments have passed legislation explicitly banning Saturday Night Specials. These are Alameda (city of), Alameda County, Albany, Belmont, Berkeley, Compton, Contra Costa County, Daly City, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Huntington Park, Inglewood, Los Angeles, Monterey Park,Oakland, Pinole, Pomona, Richmond, San Carlos, San Jose, San Leandro, SanMateo (city), San Mateo County, San Francisco, San Pablo, Santa Cruz County, Santa Monica, Union City, and West Covina. Also, the following localities are considering ordinances to ban the sale of Saturday Night Specials:

  • San Diego County: Approved a resolution to draft ordinance 1st reading will probably be scheduled for late June.
  • Los Angeles County: Resolution drafted--expected to come to a vote in late June.
  • San Diego City: Ordinance reconsidered by public safety committee--will probably come to vote in mid-July.
  • Livermore: Vote scheduled for June 3rd. Only locality to date holding a public vote on issue.


    Jurisdictions which have already adopted "junk gun" laws:
  • Alameda (city of): Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted August, 1996.
  • Alameda County: Passed a resolution on May 13, 1997 to "pursue sensible firearms ordinances in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County and declared the Alameda County Board of Supervisors support of similar efforts in other Bay Area counties and cities."
  • Albany: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 10/16/96.
  • Belmont: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 10/13/96.
  • Berkeley: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 8/22/96.
  • Compton: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 1/23/96.
  • Contra Costa County: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 11/19/96.
  • Daly City: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 11/12/96.
  • El Cerrito: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 8/5/96.
  • Emeryville: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 9/17/96.
  • Fremont: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 10/22/96.
  • Hayward: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 7/23/96.
  • Huntington Park: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 11/4/96.
  • Inglewood: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 11/19/96.
  • Los Angeles: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 10/6/96.
  • Monterey Park: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 12/11/96.
  • Oakland: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 7/16/96.
  • Pomona: Essentially the same W.Hollywood. May 13, 1997.
  • Pinole: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 9/17/96.
  • Richmond: In 1995, one quarter of the handguns seized by police in the city of Richmond were Saturday Night Specials. Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 8/27/96.
  • San Carlos: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 9/9/96.
  • San Francisco: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 6/17/96. Also makes it illegal to possess a handgun having a barrel of 12 inches or less.
  • San Jose: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 9/17/96.
  • San Leandro: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 9/96.
  • San Mateo (city): Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 1/97.
  • San Mateo County: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 9/24/96.
  • San Pablo: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 8/5/96.
  • Santa Cruz: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 11/12/96.
  • Santa Monica: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 1/97.
  • Union City: Essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 10/8/96.
  • West Covina: Unlike other California cities with Saturday Night Special ordinances, West Covina does not maintain a roster of guns banned; instead the ordinance as adopted December 3, 1996 lists the specific makes and models of guns banned by the city. Except for this, essentially the same as W. Hollywood. Adopted 12/3/96.

In Colorado, the city of Denver has made it unlawful to sell, rent, exchange or deliver any handgun (except an antique firearm) with basic structural components made of: any material having a melting point 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit or less, any material having an ultimate tensile strength of less than 55,000 pounds per square inch,; or any powdered metal having a density of less than 7.5 grams per cubic centimeter. This ordinance was effective as of September, 1986.

In Ohio, the city of Akron passed a law on April 15, 1975 making it illegal to possess, sell, transfer, give, deliver or furnish a handgun having a retail value of $50.00 or less and having a barrel, slide, frame or receiver which has a die casting of zinc alloy or any other nonhomogeneous metal which will melt or deform at temperature 800 degrees Fahrenheit or less, either assembled or disassembled.

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