City of Morgan Hill Defeats NRA Challenge, Secures Victory for Local Gun Safety Law
SAN FRANCISCO, August 5, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel, as co-counsel with Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, successfully defended the City of Morgan Hill in a lawsuit challenging its local ordinance requiring the reporting of lost or stolen firearms brought by NRA’s California state affiliate, the California Rifle & Pistol Association.
The NRA sought to invalidate Morgan Hill’s Municipal Code 9.04.030, which addresses a gun owner’s responsibility to report lost or stolen firearms and requires reporting within 48 hours, because it is stronger than state law. On August 3, the Santa Clara County Superior Court granted Morgan Hill’s motion for summary judgement rejecting the NRA’s legal theory that Morgan Hill’s theft-reporting ordinance was preempted by state law. The court found that while Morgan Hill’s gun-theft-reporting ordinance is stronger than state law, it does not conflict with it. California does not have a state law broadly restricting local gun safety laws, cities are free to pass their own firearm laws, including laws that bolster state standards and meet community needs.
Read the superior court ruling, here.
Farella lawyers Rod Thompson and James Allison and paralegal Fernando Esponda represented Morgan Hill on a pro bono basis.
In another case referred to Farella by Giffords Law Center, Thompson, together with Tony Schoenberg, represented the City of Sunnyvale in its successful opposition to an attack by the NRA challenging the city’s gun safety ordinance Measure C banning large capacity firearm magazines.
Farella Braun + Martel is a leading Northern California law firm representing corporate and private clients in sophisticated business transactions and complex commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Clients seek our imaginative legal solutions and the dynamism and intellectual creativity of our lawyers. We are headquartered in San Francisco and maintain offices in the Napa Valley that are focused on the wine industry. www.fbm.com
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