The National Shooting Sports Foundation, US Firearms Company LLC, and Eric Fisher filed a lawsuit Monday in Santa Clara County (California) Superior Court seeking to enjoin the enforcement of a new gun ordinance. The ordinance requires sellers of ammunition to keep logs of purchasers, bans magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, and requires the reporting of a firearms theft to the police within 48 hours. The ordinance was passed in a special city election with great support from Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors.
The lawsuit contends that the ordinance violates both state and Federal laws as well as being preempted by California state law dealing with firearms. The plaintiffs are seeking a temporary restraining order, a preliminary and permanent injunction, and a writ of mandate prohibiting its implementation as well as requiring notice to the police that the law is invalid.
The NSSF’s release on the lawsuit is below:
NEWTOWN, Conn. — the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, has filed a lawsuit against the City of Sunnyvale, Calif. and the Sunnyvale City Council to prevent an ordinance passed in November from being enforced that is detrimental to responsible and law-abiding firearms retailers doing business within city limits.
In the complaint, NSSF and U.S. Firearms Company LLC, a local retailer, are challenging portions of the city’s newly enacted gun-control ordinance that violates and is preempted by state and federal law and that imposes an onerous regulatory burden on firearms retailers including requirements that they keep ammunition sales logs and personal information on their customers and that expands and duplicates an existing reporting requirement for lost or stolen guns.
“Retailers in Sunnyvale must be federally licensed and already comply with a myriad of state and federal laws in operating their businesses. These businesses should be entitled to operate under the same rules, not a patchwork of different and conflicting local laws across California,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “It is unjust to ask retailers within the Sunnyvale city limits to collect sensitive personal information from customers who easily can drive a few miles to a store in another city where such information is not required. Surely, no demonstrable public safety benefit is achieved and only law-abiding businesses are penalized.”
The lawsuit seeks to enjoin enforcement of the Sunnyvale ordinance.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that the NRA will be filing a similar lawsuit in Federal district court.
The NRA had threatened to sue even before Measure C was approved, and the group’s West Coast counsel, Chuck Michel, intends to file that federal lawsuit Monday, a spokesman for Michel said Tuesday. Michel last month filed an NRA-supported suit against San Francisco over a similar ban on high capacity magazines.
But Sunnyvale taxpayers won’t foot the bill because of the offer of (San Francisco law firm) Farella Braun + Martel to defend the city against the gun-related lawsuits for free.
Farella Braun + Martel has 137 attorneys and is headquartered in San Francisco with a satellite office in Napa Valley. The Legal Center to Prevent Gun Violence (sic), formerly the Legal Center Against Violence, gave them their “Outstanding Pro Bono Contribution” award in 2009 and 2010.