California is a prime battleground for the Second Amendment. The state continues to be the most reluctant to allow its citizens to exercise their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear firearms, often to its own detriment in recent legal battles. Now it looks like Los Angeles is voluntarily backing down and repealing one of those restrictive laws because they know it’s a battle they can no longer win.

Back in 2001 Los Angeles passed a law banning the sale of “ultra concealable” handguns. The theory was that it would reduce gang violence, since concealable handguns are the typical weapon of choice for committing crimes. “It’s another step in the fight for gun control in our gun-crazed society” said Councilwoman Rita Walters at the time. There’s just one minor problem: stopping the sale of firearms in one specific city doesn’t stop them from existing. And as an addendum, criminals don’t care about laws so passing one more doesn’t impact them.

What the law did do was successfully make it much harder for law abiding citizens to purchase concealable handguns for concealed carry roles, something that would have provided some protection against criminals. In short, the law was nothing more than a “feel good” knee-jerk reaction that made it harder for good people to defend themselves and did nothing to actually reduce crime.

The impact of the law can be seen years later. Or, rather, the lack of impact. Murders in the city have fallen in recent years, but that rate is in keeping with the overall declining crime rate in the United States. It had nothing to do with the specific gun laws in California. Even in this overall peaceful time crime is once again on the rise in Los Angeles despite the existence of these gun control laws. So, at best, the laws had no impact and at worst they turned citizens into victims.

There’s good news, though, as LA is about to repeal this law and allow “ultra concealable” guns to be sold within city limits once more.

Now the city is poised to eliminate that rule in the face of legal warnings from the National Rifle Assn. and the California Rifle & Pistol Assn., which say that the city restrictions have been preempted by state law.

L.A.’s longstanding ban prohibits firearm dealers in the city from selling smaller guns that measure up to 6.75 inches in length and 4.5 inches in height, as well as holsters to carry them.

It also requires dealers to keep records of any sales of ultracompact guns to police officers and other kinds of buyers who are not covered by the ban.

“We asked them to repeal this because it’s preempted by state law that says specifically which handguns gun dealers can and cannot sell in the state of California,” said Chuck Michel, attorney for the California Rifle & Pistol Assn. “This local ordinance conflicts with the state law, which allows a few of these handguns to be sold.”

The Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to vote on repealing the ban Tuesday.

There’s much more work to be done in California to repeal the gun control laws that keep honest citizens from being able to defend themselves from criminals, but this is a good indication of what we can expect in the future. California has seen a slew of failures in the court system when it comes to defending their unconstitutional laws, and now it seems that they would rather capitulate than to see millions more taxpayer dollars (which they don’t have) go to waste defending that failed policy.

33 Responses to Los Angeles to Repeal Ban on Concealable Handguns

  1. IN RESPONSE TO NRA/CRPA DEMANDS, LOS ANGELES REPEALS
    ORDINANCES PROHIBITING SALE OF “ULTRACOMPACT” FIREARMS
    AND POSSESSION OF STANDARD CAPACITY MAGAZINES

    In response to pre-litigation demands from the NRA and CRPA, the Los Angeles City Council has voted to repeal a city ordinance prohibiting the sale or transfer of “ultracompact firearms” in Los Angeles. The city ordinance defined “ultracompact firearms” as handguns with “an overall length of six and three quarter inches (6.75”) or less or an overall height of four and one half inches (4.5”) or less, as measured with the magazine detached.”

    The repeal of the ordinance was a direct result of NRA and CRPA attorneys threatening legal action against the City.

    Gun owners in California are already subject to the strictest gun-control laws in the country, including a state-wide restriction on the sale of handguns that are not listed on DOJ’s “Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale.” By banning the sale of certain handguns labeled “ultracompact” under the ordinance, the City prohibited the sale or transfer of certain handguns that are listed on DOJ’s roster—handguns that have been tested and are specifically approved for sale in California. Because the ordinance conflicted with state law in this respect, the ordinance was it was “preempted” by the state law and invalid.

    On September 20, 2016, NRA and CRPA attorneys submitted a pre-litigation demand letter to the City, pointing out that the ordinance was preempted because it conflicted with the state law regulating what handguns can be sold, and was therefore invalid. The City stalled the repeal, but NRA and CRPA attorneys submitted repeated public record requests, and relentlessly pushed the City attorney’s office until the City finally repealed the ordinance.

    Significantly, this isn’t the only recent NRA/CRPA victory in Los Angeles worth celebrating. In 2015, the City adopted an ordinance prohibiting the possession of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. NRA and CRPA filed a lawsuit challenging the restriction. That lawsuit, titled Bosenko v. City of Los Angeles, included 30 duly elected California Sheriffs, two law enforcement organizations, CRPA, and a number of individual gun owners as plaintiffs.
    The following year, both Proposition 63 and Senate Bill 1446 were enacted, making it a violation of state law to possess these standard capacity magazines. As a result, the City’s ordinance was duplicative of and preempted by the state laws. So in exchange for dismissal of the Bosenko lawsuit the City agreed to amend their ordinance to include a “sunset” provision so the ordinance would expire and be invalid and unenforceable after July 1, 2017, the date which the new state law were set to take effect. The city ordinance has now expired.

    Both Proposition 63 and Senate Bill 1446, however, suffered a major defeat in federal court after District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez issues a preliminary injunction in the NRA and CRPA supported case of Duncan v. Becerra. That injunction prohibits California from enforcing the state law banning the possession of standard capacity magazines that can hold over 10 rounds. Now that the state law has been enjoined, and because the Los Angeles ordinance is no longer in effect as of July 1, there is no law prohibiting the possession of standard capacity magazines in the City of Los Angeles.

    This is welcome news for many California gun owners, including those who do not reside in Los Angeles. Thousands of law-abiding gun owners routinely travel through city limits to reach popular ranges such as the Angeles Shooting Range and other destinations that require traveling through city limits with firearms and the magazines that would have been prohibited.

    LOCAL ORDINANCE PROJECT

    NRA and CRPA’s efforts in opposition local restrictions such as this are made possible by the Local Ordinance Project (“LOP”), a joint-effort to actively monitor local government proposals that threaten the right to keep and bear arms. NRA/CRPA LOP has been in place for over 20 years. LOP’s coalition partners include local gun rights organizations, individual activists, businesses, local government officials, and law enforcement professionals.
    NRA/CRPA LOP efforts typically include the preparation of policy and legal opposition letters, pre-litigation demand letters, coordination of grassroots activists, public information campaigns, and appearances at city council or board of supervisor meetings. In many instances, these efforts have convinced local governments to vote down proposals or pull them from consideration. LOP also serves as the foundation for NRA and CRPA litigation efforts against local jurisdictions that enact anti-gun legislation.

    You can support LOP and our other pro-Second Amendment efforts in California by donating to the California Rifle & Pistol Association Foundation (“CRPAF”). CRPAF is a 501(c)(3), so contributions are tax-deductible. Or donate to the NRA Legal Action Project. All donations will be spent to specifically benefit California gun owners.
    CRPA GRASSROOTS OUTREACH

    Our Second Amendment is constantly under attack, and the fight to protect our rights in Los Angeles is far from over. CRPA Grassroots needs your help to defend the Second Amendment in California. Advance the cause, be part of the movement, and help take our state back. For more information, email contact@crpa.org

    • Not sure how your permits work but my gun shoots whether I have a permit or not.

      Personally I’m glad I live in America and can get a permit printed next day, but if I lived in the USSC I think would prefer carry an extremely compact handgun, permit or not. I figure criminal aren’t expecting me to be armed so the surprise of a gun would render its use unnecessary

      • I suspect that it is very likely that trying to dissuade an attack by just showing a gun is dangerous and iffy proposition. It is hard for me to imagine likely circumstance where I would expose my gun to an attacker and not fire. That is just my inexperienced opinion, of course.

        • The overwhelming majority of defensive gun uses end with no shots fired. I don’t personally know anyone else who has fired a weapon to protect themselves stateside, though most folks I’m close to have drawn or otherwise displayed a weapon. I’ve fired a weapon in anger, but against a mountain lion, not a human.

        • I am aware of that notion. I am not sure that is or is not a useful one in determining the wisdom of drawing but not firing. It may be that either a fairly large number people draw with little provocation or that a lot of people are lying to the data collector – “Yeah, I drew on a huge guy in a not six months ago….” Or it could be both factors. I note that in the ASP videos victims most often don’t have the time to draw their gun and then evaluate it’s deterrent effect before the attacker is or would have been on them. I just doubt that assailants often give there victims enough notice of their intentions. I realize the I may well be wrong.

      • You are aware, of course, of the old joke about the criminal saying to the defensive gun user, “You’re in more trouble than I am.”
        Even not spending time in jail can get very expensive. Not more expensive than dying, of course, but still…
        And in California, jury nullification is very frowned upon.

    • That is not exactly true !! One of the main reasons why CA is so Anti Gun is because San Francisco or the whole Bay Area is the most liberal part of the country. They also donate more money to liberal causes than even New Yorker’s. The main reason for this is because that area is home to many large tech companies (Apple and Google etc) which are some of the most valuable companies on earth. Unfortunately, with this kind of money you can control government and what it legislates. With that being said there are many parts of the state that do not share the same views.

      At this time is really depends on what county you live in and if the sheriff is willing to issue. It is still not easy to get a permit compared to other states but over the last couple of years we have made progress… By the way I am lucky to live in county that will issue.

      Here is a map to illustrate where you need to live to get one. Notice all the quote liberal areas are in Red and will not issue.

      http://www.friedmanhandguntraining.com/images/CCW_map_large.jpg

      But you are right LA county does not issue it is red 🙁

      • San Francisco passed a concealed weapons ban (superseded by a state ban) long before the transistor was invented, indeed, well before the inventor was even born. LA wasn’t far behind. The Powers That Be were afraid the Hispanics and the Chinese would kill them in their beds, there would be riot and Tong Wars everywhere, and anarchy would reign. And to ice the cake, the laws were enforced in a discriminatory manner, with whites rarely prosecuted but the “aliens” prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Yup, that’s right, California’s gun laws have just as much of a racist history as the gun laws in the south.

        • “San Francisco passed a concealed weapons ban (superseded by a state ban) long before the transistor was invented, indeed, well before the inventor was even born.”

          And, to show the duplicity of Democrats, Dianne Feinstein was mayor then, and was the ceremonial first to turn in her handgun. She was also the one who proposed the ban, which wasn’t just a ban on concealed weapons, but on possessing handguns in general.
          Of course, she was very anti-gun, even back then, and very few seemed to see the hypocrisy of someone being so anti-gun having a handgun to turn in.

    • You can get a permit, just not in LA County. I live in Ventura County and they have been issuing ever since Peruta vs San Diego. In this general area Turner’s had the best sales. But you couldn’t get anything small in the Reseda store. Just drive 20 miles to Pasadena, you can get anything on the roster.

    • As soon as we manage to break upstate New York away from NYC and it’s metropolitan area. Until then, the state will continue to be slowly killed by downstate Democrats and the gun laws won’t get any better.

      • Right! How about Connecticut’s gun and magazine bans… need to oust those with the letter D and some with an R and only vote for those that support the bill of rights…

  2. Doesn’t really mean much. You can’t get a permit. If you choose to carry without a permit, you are going to jail.

    • Depends on who you are and where you are. It is a wobbler (can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony). Up here in the free part of the State, you’d have to pay a fine if you are not a felon/don’t have a criminal record. Hell, the Shriff is Pro-Carry; you might walk (although the city Police are not as friendly).

  3. Didn’t the mayor of SF recently declare they were enacting gun control laws in defiance of state law preemption? Is there a demand letter to SF from NRA/CRPAF? A FOIA request? Law suit?

    • There has to be an ordinance first, pre-litigation demand letter later. You can’t sue merely because the city threatens to enact illegal gun laws.

      • “There has to be an ordinance first, pre-litigation demand letter later. You can’t sue merely because the city threatens to enact illegal gun laws.”

        An injunction cannot be sought to prevent passage of an illegal ordinance?

        • No. there must be a harm; no harm, no foul/no injunction. the possibility that a law may pass does not present a an immediate risk of harm. In legalese, this is called “standing”; without a threat of immediate harm, one has no standing and the case would be dismissed. Basically, the court will simply say, “look these idiots may change their mind; until there is an ordinance, we don’t know what might happen. See ya.”

  4. Does that mean the .22 NAA minis can be sold?

    Or are they still banned since they have a ‘spur’ trigger?

  5. I would not want to be caught carrying in CA. DAs and city attornies will file on anyone that CCs without a license. I would suspect that if found guilty, it may be a suspended sentence, but they would want to take your gun rights.

  6. As others have said, some California counties do issue concealed carry permits
    These permits are valid in the entire state
    So if you have a valid permit, and bring your Bersa Firestorm into L. A., now you are o.k.
    Before, you were a criminal even with a valid permit

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