Calling it an “ill-considered return visit of anti-gun bigotry,” the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today blasted plans to put a handgun ban on the November 2005 ballot in San Francisco, California, reminding proponents of the measure that such a ban was declared illegal when first tried in 1982.

“This issue was decided by the California courts more than 22 years ago, and the gun ban extremists lost,” recalled SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “Why some city supervisors want to waste the time, and money, of voters to revisit an issue that was unanimously trounced by the State Court of Appeals makes no sense. Even if the ban were to pass, it will not hold up in court.”

In late June 1982, then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein pushed through a handgun ban in San Francisco that lasted only three months before it was overturned by the California State Court of Appeals. Twenty days after the ban was enacted, SAF took Feinstein and the city to court, ultimately beating the ban on Oct. 30 of that year. The city appealed that decision to the California Supreme Court, which allowed the Appeals Court ruling to stand in January 1983.

SAF is already in contact with the San Francisco Chapter of the Pink Pistols, a gay gun rights group, which opposes the ban.

Tom Boyer, spokesman for the San Francisco Pink Pistols said, “It grieves me that our board of supervisors would sacrifice the basic human right of self defense, depriving those who are the least physically able to defend themselves, for political gain.”

“It is incredible,” Gottlieb added, “that in a city where the government has supposedly taken a lead in defending individual rights and freedoms, it is still considered acceptable to practice social bigotry, so long as gun owners are the victims. This may come as a shock to the moral inquisitors in San Francisco, but gun owners have civil rights, too, just like any other social group. Those civil rights are not up for grabs at the whims of the Board of Supervisors, or even the popular vote. We fought this battle once, and we’re not afraid to fight it again.”

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