Jackson v. City and County of San Francisco was filed back in May of 2009. The suit challenges three San Francisco ordinances on Second Amendment grounds. Yesterday, Judge Richard Seeborg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a ruling on San Francisco’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. He denied their motion and said the case can move forward.
On September 27, 2011, Judge Richard Seeborg of the United States District Court, Northern District of California, issued his long awaited ruling on San Francisco’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. Holding that the plaintiffs had “adequately alleged an intent and desire to engage in conduct that is prohibited by the ordinances but which they contend is constitutionally protected,” the court denied the City’s motion. The case, entirely funded by the NRA and CRPA Foundation, can now move forward toward a determination of its merits. The full text of the court’s Order Denying Motion Dismiss for Lack of Standing can be viewed here at www.calgunlaws.com.
The order was issued in Jackson v. City & County of San Francisco, No. 09-2143 (N.D. Cal.). The Jackson lawsuit, filed on May 15, 2009, challenges three San Francisco ordinances on Second Amendment grounds. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the City’s enactment and enforcement of three city ordinances requiring firearms be disabled by a trigger lock or stored in a locked container, banning the sale of ammunition that “serves no sporting purpose,” and prohibiting firearm discharges with no self-defense exception unduly burdens the right to self-defense. The Jackson case has already been successful in forcing the City to amend its discharge ban, a law that has been in place for some 73 years, to allow for discharges in self-defense, defense of others, and all other circumstances allowed for under state and federal law.
On February 10, 2011, the City responded to Plaintiffs’ Complaint with a motion to dismiss the case based on its claim that the City does not enforce the challenged ordinances. As such, the City argued, Plaintiffs have no legitimate fear of prosecution and otherwise suffer no injury by complying with the law. The technical claim was that Plaintiffs lack “standing” to bring their claims, based on the dearth of prosecutions to date. In short, the City exposed itself as unconcerned that its ordinances in fact coerce law-abiding citizens to surrender their constitutional right to self-defense.
Plaintiffs responded on March 23, 2011, arguing the City’s motion should be denied. Plaintiffs regarded as unpersuasive the City’s claims that its ordinances are not and have not been enforced and that Plaintiffs suffer no injury by obeying these laws. Ultimately, Plaintiffs asked the court to recognize the very real harm they each suffer by complying with the unconstitutional laws.
The court’s ruling did just that. Plaintiffs laud the decision, upholding reason over rhetoric and recognizing the “immediacy and concreteness of the injury [Plaintiffs] have alleged” and the unreasonableness of requiring a self-defense emergency, or a criminal prosecution, to arise before judicial review of these laws is available. The ruling paves the way for future Second Amendment litigants in the Ninth Circuit.