Confiscation in San Francisco: Surrender gun mags over 10-rounds or go to jail

GunMag_ThompsonSAN FRANCISCO, CA — The clock is ticking for citizens to surrender their lawfully purchased and owned gun magazines.  By February, thousands of Bay-area gun owners are scheduled to be deemed criminals if they do not turn in their property to the police.

On October 29th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Ordinance 249-13, which imposes a confiscatory ban on firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammo.   Mayor Ed Lee signed the ordinance on November 8th.  Residents have 90 days from the passage of the ordinance to comply.  That means that by February 6th, 2014, it will be an arrestable offense to possess such items in San Francisco.  Misdemeanor charges will be handed out to anyone caught exercising this right.

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) Anyperson who. prior to the effective date ofthis chapter. was legally in possession of a large capacity magazine shall have 90 days from such effective date to do any oft he 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 § 12020.

The draconian ordinance rips apart the concept of property ownership.  Residents are being threatened to hand over their property to the police — without compensation — or face violent consequences.  A person can’t very well claim to own something if the government can vote to seize it on a whim.  Is this not the definition of robbery?

Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear.

The ordinance is devastating to the Bill of Rights.  A citizen can’t very well “keep and bear” arms when “keeping” their property becomes a criminal offense.  This confiscation is just the latest in a long train of abuses on gun owners, particularly in California, where the state has full-time gun seizure agents tasked with surprise visits to the homes of “prohibited persons” to confiscate their firearms without due process.

This ban will affect a large percentage of gun owners.  Despite what gun control zealots would have you believe, these are very much standard-capacity magazines being targeted.  Both rifle and pistol mags commonly come in capacities greater than 10 rounds.  Most modern full-sized semi-automatic pistols come with standard-equipped magazines greater than 10 rounds.   For many firearms, the manufacturer does not even make a compatible magazine that holds less than 10 rounds.   Those gun owners are being asked to forfeit their magazines and then have no means of operating their firearm.

Besides being legalized plunder, and a mass-violation of the rights of millions of residents, the ordinance will be ineffective.  To discover the failures of government prohibition, one only needs to turn to the War on Drugs.  No matter how onerous the laws become, dedicated people will always find a way to obtain the items they desire on the black market, or in this case, by simply driving somewhere else to obtain them legally.   With a little skill and determination, an entire firearm can easily be manufactured in someone’s garage, as people in the Philippines  have demonstrated.  Clearly, dedicated criminals will obtain or manufacture the items that they desire, despite this feckless ordinance.  The confiscation only harms citizens who try to maintain a good legal standing, not the actual criminals.

Like every good police state, the elite ruling class are exempt from the laws they impose on the citizens.  Police officers, among a few other privileged classes of people, are excluded from the oppressive ban.  They are allowed the benefit of modern weaponry to defend the government’s interests, while unprivileged second-class citizens are left with inferior options to defend the lives of their loved ones.  Per the ordinance:

(d) Exceptions. Subsection (c) shall not apply to the (allowing:
(1) Any government officer, agent. or employee. member o(the armed forces of the United States. or peace officer. to the extent that such person is otherwise authorized to possess a large capacity magazine in connection with his or her official duties.

“While not a panacea, this legislation provides law enforcement with more tools to continue to address gun violence and also continues to strengthen our city’s strong stance on gun regulation,” said Malia Cohen, member of the Board of Supervisors and sponsor of the ordinance.  She added that she hopes it serves as a model for neighboring cities.

It is clear that a paper document guaranteeing certain inalienable rights is not going to hinder the police state from trouncing citizens’ rights.  Only an organized, extremely vocal opposition will create the pressure needed to resist and repeal these draconian gun control measures.


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