Pleasanton adopts Second Amendment ordinance
PLEASANTON – If the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other federal agency wants to serve a search warrant on a home or business looking for firearms, they shouldn’t expect any cooperation from the Pleasanton Police Department.
The Pleasanton City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 1, unanimously adopted an ordinance, called the “2nd Amendment Preservation Ordinance,” which prohibits city departments from providing material support or resources for the enforcement of federal laws pertaining to firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition.
The city can essentially refuse to cooperate with the federal government if it believes that federal agencies are asking the city to violate the Second Amendment, City Attorney Burton Harding told the council.
The ordinance deems all federal acts, laws and regulations about firearms as a violation of the Second Amendment’s clause concerning “the right of people to keep and bear arms.” It also references the Printz v. United State Supreme Court case which gave cities and other local government the ability to refuse cooperating with federal agencies
Councilman Jake Mattingley said he was the one who asked Harding to review the ordinance for adoption by the city. He said his goal was to protect citizens of the city from warrantless searches.
Harding told the council that the ordinance doesn’t prevent federal agents from coming into the city and performing operations, however, it prevents them from using city employees to assist them.
Harding said that several cities use the ordinance, which is modeled after language developed by a Second Amendment preservation group. The state of Missouri in 2021 passed a similar act that banned local governments and their agencies from enforcing federal gun laws.
While Mattingley said the ordinance upholds the U.S. Constitution, Harding said the ordinance, which isn’t a charter ordinance, doesn’t change rights and it doesn’t keep federal law from being enforced.
In a separate interview, Harding said it could keep Pleasanton Police Chief Tristan Snyder from assisting in a federal operation, even if he thought it would be beneficial. “He would be violating a city ordinance,” Harding said.