"Reasonable and Narrowly Tailored" Gun Control:

The S.F. Chronicle reports on the judge's decision striking down the San Francisco law that (1) banned possession of handguns by residents (with a few narrow exceptions, such as for police officers and security guards), and (2) banned the sale or transfer of all guns or ammunition. Here's one item from the story:

"We're disappointed that the court has denied the right of voters to enact a reasonable, narrowly tailored restriction on the possession of handguns," [Matt] Dorsey[, spokesman for the City Attorney's office,] said.

I'm not sure that "narrowly tailored" means that much here (except in the rather trivial sense that the law is narrowly tailored to its goal of completing banning San Francisco residents from possessing handguns in the city, and making long guns harder go get). But in any event it's something to remember when people say they're just supporting "reasonable" gun controls.

And here's the reaction of one of the backers of the law:

Supervisor Chris Daly, a chief sponsor of Prop. H, urged Herrera to appeal and criticized [Judge] Warren. The judge "sided with the powerful gun lobby against the safety of San Franciscans" after showing "disregard for the voters of San Francisco" by taking nearly three months to rule, Daly said.

What exactly is the relevance of the power of the "gun lobby"? I had thought that judges were obligated to "side" with whatever side has the stronger legal argument, even if, God forbid, they're the "gun lobby" or the "civil rights lobby" or the "pro-choice lobby" (funny how somehow we only hear the first term and not the other two).

Also, is it really that bad for a judge who's writing a 30-page opinion, and presumably handling other litigation at the same time -- I don't believe that in the California court system challenges to ballot measures are fast-tracked, but I could be wrong -- to take three months to rule on a matter? Perhaps I'm too influenced by how slowly our legal system normally moves, but three months just doesn't seem like that much of a delay.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. "Reasonable and Narrowly Tailored" Gun Control:
  2. San Francisco Gun Ban Struck Down by Trial Court: