Nov 16 2013

New San Francisco Ordinance: Give Us Your Mags or Go to Jail


October 29th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted in Ordinance 249-13 – a ban on “large capacity” magazines and saw it approved by the mayor on November 8th. The text of the ordinance itself lists off several statistics and recounts several shootings as to evidence why the ordinance will work. The ordinance devotes an entire section to ticking off events such as the shootings at Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, and Sandy Hook, and notes that “large capacity magazines” contributed to the deadliness of these incidents. According to the ordinance:

(c) Prohibition on Possession of Large Capacity Magazines.
(1) No person. corporation. or other entity in the City may possess a large capacity magazine. whether assembled or disassembled.
(2) Any person who, prior to the effective date of this chapter, was legally in possession of a large capacity magazine shall have 90 days from such effective date to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution:
(A) Remove the large capacity magazine from the City;
(B) Surrender the large capacity magazine to the Police Department for destruction, or
(C) Sell or transfer the large capacity magazine lawfully in accordance with Penal Code ยง 12020.

The ordinance defines “large capacity” as 10 rounds and over. There is no clause, like in previous assault weapons and magazine bans, that grandfathers in mags made before a certain date. In fact, the ordinance specifically lists that as a loophole in the 1994 federal ban. Instead, any and all 10+ round mags must be turned in by February 6, 2014. After that date, anyone seen with a banned magazine will be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor punishable with jail time. Even if a resident is found with only parts of a banned magazine, they will face the same charges.

The ordinance notes “police safety” as the main goal and police are exempt from the ban.

Also included in the legislation is a requirement that every firearm sale be accompanied by a notice provided by the Chief of Police outlining all federal, state, and city firearms laws. Another section states that, if a resident’s gun is stolen and not reported within 48 hours of the theft, the law presumes that that resident still owns the firearm and is held accountable of any crimes committed with it. A section on ammunition requires firearms dealers to report to the police any sales of ammunition that involves 500 rounds or more. Dealers who are found in noncompliance with this rule will be fined $50-$100 for the first offense and charged with a misdemeanor, $300-$400 in fines, and six months of jail time for subsequent offenses. Section 1040 of the law also bans minors from shooting anything but .22 caliber firearms and only with parental supervision.

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