California: Cities Backpedal on Over-Reaching & Preempted Local Anti-Gun Ordinances


California: Cities Backpedal on Over-Reaching & Preempted Local Anti-Gun Ordinances

Fairfax, VA – -( Several years ago the City of Palm Springs passed an ordinance that required any person in the city who lost or had a firearm stolen from them to report the loss to police within 48 hours.  Current California state laws impose the same reporting requirement, except that state law provides a person 120 hours (5 days) to report a firearm lost or stolen once a person knows or should have known that it is missing. (Cal. Penal Code § 25250).

Under the legal doctrine of preemption, a local regulation will be struck down if it duplicates state law, conflicts with state law, or enters a field wholly occupied by state law (O’Connell v. City of Stockton (2007) 41 Cal.4th 1061, 1067; Fiscal v. City and County of San Francisco (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 895, 903-04.) “The consequences of preemption of a local measure is that the measure is unenforceable against anyone.” (City and County of San Francisco v. Regents of University of Cal. (2017) 11 Cal.App5th 1107, 1118).)

With the above laws being stated, the City of Palm Springs’ local ordinance duplicated in part and conflicted in part with state law.  It imposes a harsher punishment than the state law does and penalizes conduct that would otherwise be allowed under state law because the ordinance shortens the time available to victims of gun theft to report the loss.

The NRA and CRPA sent several letters to the City explaining the legal problems with the ordinance and demanding its repeal.  Earlier this week, the City of Palm Springs decided to repeal the reporting ordinance to avoid litigation.

The City of Saratoga also withdrew an ordinance that would have imposed the same type of reporting limitation on victims of firearm theft. The NRA and CRPA notified Saratoga City Council of the illegality of the ordinance under the preemption doctrine, and the City chose to eliminate that portion of the ordinance in response.

Continue to check your inbox and the California Stand and Fight web page for updates on issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage in California.

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

  • 10 thoughts on “California: Cities Backpedal on Over-Reaching & Preempted Local Anti-Gun Ordinances

    1. Why do you even bother to report anything that happens in California or the coast of Oregon and Washington? I personally couldn’t care less how much more the liberals in those places continue to screw up where they reside. I understand that it makes for interesting so-called news, but it falls under the category of “somewhere where I would never live or visit” and therefor has no interest for me. Those people have allowed their residences to be screwed up and have done nothing about it and continue to accept their fate and live there. The worse thing about it is that some of the residents will leave and move to other states and bring their so-called values with them. The good folks have already left or will move and accept the values of their new location and assimilate, not try to re-create the left coast.

    2. A number of years ago when I was working as an insurance agent, a detective with the local police dept. came into my office and presented me with a pistol. I asked him why he was giving this to me. He informed me it was used in an armed robbery in Chicago and the serial # traced it back to a robbery that had happened to one of my clients a couple of years prior and he turned in an insurance claim for the stolen objects. I called the claims office and told them I had it and the claims adjuster picked it up the next time he was in the area, I have no idea what happened to it from there. One example of how it actually does work sometimes.

        1. @ Wild Bill I have no regrets, if I would have kept it there was not enough value there to worry about losing my license over. It was a wheel gun and a Saturday night special, at that. If the adjuster kept it, oh well.

      1. It informs the gummit that you HAD the firearm in the first place, in casae they did not already know.
        Most folks would report the theft to police to get a copy of the police report so they (former owner who had it stolen) can file an insurance claim. So such laws are redundant and tyrannical anyway.

        I can see a minor government interest in having a stolen gun reported to authorities.. if the gun is later found on some “contact” and the number run, it will turn up as stolen, and the “contact” could in theory be charged with possession of stolen property/firearm. Or, alternately, should the “contact” be in possession of a stolen gun the owner missing it would be on record, and so the coppers COULD, if they felt generous that day. seek to return it to its rightful owner. But to make NOT reporting a stolen weapon a crime is just one more infringement, isn’t it?

    3. Some sort of push back will be required for all laws such as this. Complacency will cost us our rights. Join or donate to whichever or all gun rights organizations.

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