In a unanimous decision today, the California Court of Appeals ruled that the City of San Francisco’s handgun ban is illegal under state law, upholding a lawsuit filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and several other groups.

“This is a great day for gun owners and civil rights in California,” said SAF Founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “This is the second time we successfully fought a gun ban in San Francisco, and what this demonstrates is that the city’s leadership is as horribly out of touch with the law as it seems to be out of touch with reality.”

SAF was joined in the lawsuit by the National Rifle Association, Law Enforcement Alliance of America, California Association of Firearms Retailers and several private citizens.

In its ruling, the court held that Proposition H, approved by voters in November 2005, is invalid as preempted by state law. Gottlieb said this was essentially the same case that SAF battled on its own 23 years ago when the city, under then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein, adopted a gun ban.

“We urged the city well in advance to drop Proposition H from the 2005 ballot, and warned them that if they pushed the measure and it passed, we would meet them in court,” Gottlieb recalled. “We kept our word, along with our colleagues at the NRA, LEAA and our friends in the CAFR.

“This has been a horrible waste of the court’s time, the city’s legal resources and the taxpayers’ money,” he added. “The only reason this case went forward after the ban was struck down by the trial court is that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors wanted to mandate their extremist anti-gun rights philosophy as public law.

“Every judge in every court that this and the earlier case went before has sided with us,” Gottlieb stated. “This is a battle that had to be fought, and this is a ruling that we expected from Day One of our lawsuit. This wasn’t just a fight over gun rights. It was really about defeating social prejudice against gun owners; a type of bigotry made even more insidious by the fact that it was fostered and defended by a city administration whose attitude toward gun owners is anathema to American values.”