Berkeley Doesn’t Stand Up to the Man Very Well

I just couldn’t help but chuckle and picture hippies declaring how they’ll fight “the man” on this one. Except, that’s not at all what happened.

In response to a pre-litigation demand letter sent by lawyers for the NRA and CRPA Foundation, on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to repeal that city’s ban on the possession of certain semiautomatic rifles, which had remained “on the books” as Municipal Code Section 13.47 despite being obviously preempted by state law.

The repeal is the culmination of discussions between attorneys for the NRA and CRPA and the Berkeley City Attorney’s office. The City of Berkeley initially resisted all requests by the NRA and CRPA to repeal this ordinance. But the City Attorney’s report to the City Council makes clear that the motivation to finally repeal the ordinance was the threat of litigation from NRA/CRPA.

One person objected to the repealing of the ordinance during public comment, but the City Attorney quickly corrected him that, as explained by the NRA/CRPA letter, this is a settled legal matter for which the City of Berkeley has no recourse.

It’s a good thing in the end. It saves precious litigation money that can be used to fight more meaningful fights. I just find it very funny to see how quickly those radicals in Berkeley back down.