SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco voters this week passed what could become the nation's strictest gun ban when they outlawed not only the sale of guns in the city, but required almost everyone who is not a cop, security guard or member of the military to surrender their handguns to police by April 1.
Supporters of Proposition H say that with 76-gun related homicides this year and 90 last year, taking away people's firearms will help fight crime.
"It's a measure that's popular in San Francisco, it's now the will of the voters, and unfortunately, the NRA is trying to thwart the will of the voters," said San Francisco County Supervisor Chris Daley. "The ban on handguns, of course, excludes law enforcement, etc…, but it applies to all San Francisco residents evenly, and we think given that, it can withstand challenges in court."
Click in the video box to the right for a complete report by FOX News' Claudia Cowan.
The National Rifle Association is going to sue to nullify the ban.
"We are disappointed, but this fight is just beginning," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in a statement. "Lawful residents of San Francisco are being stripped of their freedom because of an illegal measure that defies common sense. We will fight this outrageous assault on the rights of law-abiding San Franciscans and I believe that we will prevail."
Former San Francisco police officer Larry Barsetti — a plaintiff in the NRA's lawsuit — and most legal analysts say the measure won't stand up in court because gun regulation usually falls under state, not local, jurisdiction. Barsetti says the gun-control lobby probably knows the ban won't survive but pushed it anyway on the liberal turf of San Francisco.
"I don't see why we have to jeopardize ourselves, our own personal safety, the safety of our wives and children to make a point, because that's all this is, it's trying to make a point but at the cost of possibly my life," Barsetti argued. "I'm outraged at that and don't think it should be done."
In 1982, the courts struck down a similar gun ban on the grounds it conflicted with state law and opponents to the ban are hoping for a similar result this time around. If a reversal doesn't happen, some gun owners say they'll either have to store their weapons somewhere else, or accept that they'll be criminals.