On November 19, the San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association (SFVPOA) filed a lawsuit, supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA), in federal court challenging San Francisco’s recent ban on the possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. A lawsuit is currently being prepared against the City of Sunnyvale, which recently adopted a similar magazine ban.
Tens of thousands of law enforcement officers across the country currently possess these common, standard-capacity magazines when they are off duty for self-defense, sport and other lawful purposes. The new magazine confiscation laws will force active police officers in San Francisco and Sunnyvale to surrender their privately-owned magazines – or face criminal liability.
In a recent interview, Larry Barsetti, a plaintiff in the San Francisco lawsuit and a member of the SFVPOA, pointed out that law enforcement officers will be in violation of the ban if they possess any prohibited magazines that were not issued to them for official duties. When asked to comment, the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office confirmed that the ordinance “does not prohibit off duty officers from keeping their duty weapons because those weapons are issued to them in connection with their official duties.”
Police officers who have any magazines over ten rounds in their personal collections, or any magazines they were authorized to purchase for off-duty use, must dispose of those magazines. If they don’t, the officers will become criminals.
The same is true for active law enforcement officials in Sunnyvale. Sunnyvale’s Measure C only exempts police officers who possess magazines over ten rounds “while acting within the course and scope of her or her duties.”
Family members of law enforcement officers are also at risk. If an officer leaves the house without…