A federal appeals court upheld two contentious San Francisco gun laws on Tuesday, ruling that the city’s regulations do not violate the Second Amendment. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city requires gun owners to keep firearms stored in a locked container or safe, or inoperable with a trigger lock, when in a home. The city also forbids the sale of hollow-point ammunition. In 2009, gun owner Espanola Jackson sued the city with the support of the National Rifle Association and San Francisco Veteran Police Officer’s Association.

The three-judge panel of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that neither law proved to be a significant burden on the Second Amendment or prevented residents from possessing and using firearms for self-protection. Judge Sandra S. Ikuta addressed both of the city’s regulations in a 35-page opinion, saying that modern gun safes provide speedy access and serve a public interest by reducing the number of gun-related injuries and deaths. Ikuta also added that “the Second Amendment protects ‘arms,’ weapons,’ and ‘firearms’; it does not explicitly protect ammunition.”

Ikuta continued by reasoning that because ammunition is needed to operate a firearm, the right to purchase ammunition is also protected. However, she disagreed that the ban of a certain type of ammo, such as hollow-point bullets, is a violation of the Second Amendment.

“Jackson contends that hollow-point bullets are far better for self-defense than fully jacketed ammunition because they have greater stopping power and are less likely to over penetrate or ricochet,” Ikuta wrote. “Barring their sale, she argues, therefore imposes a substantial burden on the right of self-defense. We disagree. There is no evidence in the record indicating that ordinary bullets are ineffective for self-defense.”

Hollow-point ammunition is popular among gun owners for self-defense because of its pitted shape, which causes the bullet to expand when hitting a target. It is generally thought to have a higher chance of causing immediate tissue damage than fully jacketed ammunition.

Chuck Michel, West Coast Counsel for the NRA, said that the plaintiffs would seek an immediate review of the ruling.

“In the San Francisco case the government is saying, ‘well we can say that you can’t have self-defense ammo because you can still shoot the bad guy with ammo that’s not designed for self-defense,’” Michel told guns.com.

Ikuta added in her opinion that only the sale of hollow-point ammunition is illegal in San Francisco; it is still legal to use and possess the ammunition within city limits.

Image from Jpogi on the Wikimedia Commons

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16 thoughts on “Court Upholds San Francisco’s Hollow-point Ban, Gun Storage Requirement

  1. There is no evidence?! What about the thousands of data points pulled from actual shootings for the book “Stopping Power”? Even the mythical 45acp people are always raving about was substantially less effective when comparing FMJ to HP’s. Either the judges are idiots, the attny was an idiot for not entering evidence into record, or both.

  2. Someone is kicking in your door. You run to the gun safe. Quickly run the combination and open the door. Take the gun lock off your pistol. Unlock the ammunition box.
    Sorry, you were shot and killed six minutes ago.

    1. exactly correct. I think the court’s ruling is a set up for people to sue homeowners for not having every firearm in the safe and for imposing nuisance but costly criminal prosecutions on homeowners.

  3. What a bunch of numbskulls. They would rather you use a more dangerous type of ammunition than a safer style. And excuse me, but having to keep the gun locked up is an infringement. I am sure this ruling will be revisited.

    1. they are not numbskulls. They know exactly what they are doing. They are valuing the abstract public safety higher than the value of the lives of homeowners. They are totalitarian and contemptuous of free spirited individuals. Again, they know what they are doing. But the legislators are the purely evil folks.

      1. Knowing what they are doing and doing what they are for their own specific reason(s) are two different things in my opinion. I understand what you are saying, but they don’t know what they are doing. As I mentioned, Hollow points are safer to be used, they say they are not. When addressed by the judge, it was only stated that there is no evidence that FMJ (regular bullets) are ineffective for self defense. Anyway, no point in debating your thoughts as we are on the same side of the dispute.

  4. And, of course, when you injure or kill an innocent person because the FMJ round you just shot the bad guy with went clean through, it will still be your fault, even if shooting the bad guy in the first place was completely justified. Why must such idiots be in charge?

    1. Because the people voted them in office because they were democrats or Republicans not because they were the best for the american people.If the american public don’t wake up and stop voting this way we are never going to dig our way out of the mess we are up to our ass in already.

  5. This is another example that the law is not really about justice and doing what is right. I believe that the current driving wheel is politics and walking in lock-step with Obama. People, please vote this November and choose the best candidate you can. How you vote may influence what our nation will become.

    1. What our nation has become is a result of more than just the past two elections of President; it goes much farther and deeper than that.

      1. Certainly it includes more than just Obama, however, it is up to us to try and correct the situation. It never ceases to amaze me how often some people attempt to protect Obama by casting the blame on Bush and other previous presidents. The attack on the Twin Towers was before Obama and the terrorist war really started then, but Obama is attacking many of the Americans behind the banner that Bush made against terrorism. Where I live, I can hardly find anyone who supports the current administration and from what I see in the national news, the majority of those interviewed agree that Obama has done a poor job, even with his baby the Affordable Health Care debacle. Who are you going to blame for this poorly written piece of trash, Guttenberg, because he invented the printing press? I suppose if you fish you blame the worm for a fish being caught. Then look at California to the work of art that was just arrested for multiple felonies.
        One other thing, how can the US control spending with Michelle and the kids vacationing in China (with no press invited-I wonder why) and the President spending so much time in Saudi Arabia. It will be interesting to find out just how much these trips cost the taxpayer, and to what end?

      2. Last count on two vacationswas over $20,000,000.00 of our money, if it was thier money I doubt if the trips would have been so extravagant.

  6. Perhaps the SFPD should only issue FMJ ammunition to their officers and require ONLY FMJ be used. That will go over well with the rank and file. What is good for the goose (citizens) is also good for the gander (the government). While we are at it how about mandating that any armed law enforcement agency operating within the city limits of SF only carry and use FMJ. That means you, FBI, Secret Service, Homeland Security, et al. Suck it!

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