12/17/2013 08:25 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

NRA Sues Sunnyvale Over Gun-Control Ordinance


The National Rifle Association has sued Sunnyvale, Calif., alleging that a gun-control ordinance passed last month violates citizens’ constitutional rights and weakens their self-defense against criminals.

Filed Monday, the lawsuit backs five Sunnyvale residents and takes aim at a new city ordinance prohibiting the possession of ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The measure also requires firearms at residences be locked up, mandates the the logging and tracking of ammunition sales in the city and requires citizens to report firearm loss or theft within 48 hours.

“The ordinance denies plaintiffs the right to possess and use commonly possessed magazines within the City of Sunnyvale for lawful purposes, including in-home self-defense, without risking criminal prosecution,” the lawsuit states.

The law mainly impacts residents who have long owned magazines holding 10 or more rounds, as state law outlawed the sale of such firearms in 2000.

“So then why shouldn't it be against the law to have them in your possession?" Sunnyvale Mayor Anthony Spitaleri told the San Jose Mercury News, adding that the lawsuit doesn’t worry him.

"Any law that deals with safety or guns, they will oppose, no matter what it is," he said. "The claims they're making, as far as I'm concerned, don't hold any water."

The lawsuit follows one the NRA sponsored on behalf of a group of veteran police officers and citizens in San Francisco last month.

Chuck Michel, the NRA’s West Coast counsel, cited the Sunnyvale lawsuit as an example of the group’s dedication to fighting gun-control laws at every level.

"There's an epic legal battle for the future of the second amendment going on across the nation right now, and Sunnyvale by passing this ordinance jumped right into the middle of the fray," Michel said, calling the case “perfect for Supreme Court review."



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