Sunday, May 5, 2013

Los Angeles Considering An Unwise Magazine Ordinance

As reported in the Los Angeles Daily News, the Los Angeles city counsel is considering an ordinance that would authorize police officers to confiscate firearm magazines of greater than 10 round capacity.

Magazines greater than 10 round capacity are illegal to transfer, import, manufacture, and sell in California, but they are not illegal to possess if they were acquired before the effective date of the law.

Note that one cannot move into the state with larger than 10 round magazines, as that would be "importing".

California gun laws are, at this point in time, already pretty comprehensive, lacking only firearms purchase permits and firearms possession permits that some states require. But the "gun-grabbers" must be seen to be "doing something" about "gun violence", so they are considering a magazine confiscation law.

This idea has at least two problems. First, it would be an unconstitutional taking of property without either due process or compensation.  Second, it would be a violation of the California firearms preemption law, which precludes local laws more strict than state laws.  The preemption law has been used several times in the past to challenge local ordinances, especially in San Francisco. 

If adopted, this law is CERTAIN to wind up in court, and it would probably be overturned. But this incident does underline the threat of AB 180, a bill that would provide an exception to the state preemption law to the city of Oakland, California.  If that bill is granted, would Los Angeles be far behind in demanding a similar exception? And if granted, who can doubt that Los Angeles will go forward with a magazine confiscation ordinance, or even licensing and registration frameworks as intrusive as those found in Chicago and Washington, D.C.?  

I have no doubt that they would at least try, and California could be come the Illinois of the West Coast.

No comments: