No one has complied with city mandate regulating so-called “high capacity” magazines
March 10, 2014
Despite a new city law in Sunnyvale, Cali., requiring gun owners get rid of their so-called “high capacity” magazines or face fines or arrest, none of the owners of said magazines have turned them in to police.
At midnight on Thursday, Sunnyvale began implementing a new law that requires residents with rifle magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition to dispose of them or else, but the law reportedly failed to produce the intended effect.
“The Oakland Tribune reported Saturday that since Sunnyvale’s ban went into effect midnight Thursday, not one of the now-illegal magazines has been turned in,” the Associated Press reports.
In Sunnyvale, a person caught with a “high capacity” magazine could be subject to a misdemeanor fine of up to $1,000, six months in jail, or both. The city is one of two Californian communities promoting a ban on magazines, the other being San Francisco, whose ban is set to take effect April 7.
While it’s possible gun owners are openly defying the law, as many have done in Connecticut, it is also possible gun owners are holding out to make a profit or break even.
“Owners had the choice of allowing police to destroy the magazines, sell them out of state or to a licensed gun dealer, or move them out of town,” writes Josh Richman for the Oakland Tribune.
One Sunnyvale resident told Richman he had never been in trouble with the law, but that the new ordinance would have turned him into a criminal overnight.
“I’ve lived here in Sunnyvale for more than 40 years and I’ve never had so much as a parking ticket,” Leonard Fyock, a 67-year-old Sunnyvale resident, stated.
Fyock said he was able to get his magazines out of town before the ban took effect, but that he hopes “somewhere down the line this will get overturned.”
Though the law technically criminalizes anyone in possession of the newly-banned magazines, the city is still encouraging people to show up to the police station and hand them over.
“Barring any unusual circumstances, we wouldn’t cite people for voluntarily turning in their large-capacity magazines to public safety even though it is legally possible at this time to cite them,” city spokeswoman Jennifer Garnett said.
Former Sunnyvale Mayor Tony Spitaleri, the prime mover of the law, acknowledged the ban essentially criminalizes law-abiding citizens and that the law is flawed because anybody who wants to could transport a “high-capacity” magazine into city limits. Still, he thinks the city will be better off. “It doesn’t move the needle – yet, but it always starts somewhere,” Spitaleri said.
Though the measure banning magazines passed with a 67 percent vote last year, the lack of residents who have complied speaks volumes, and may highlight the American people’s frustration with unconstitutional mandates.
The NRA is appealing the law with the Supreme Court after California’s 9th Circuit denied their request for an emergency hold on the law.
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