I think two of the biggest reasons the SPCA has had success lobbying to get reptiles banned in municipalities are:
1) ignorance and fear of the animals in question.
2) no shelters available to take them in.
I don't like the idea of the city council telling me I can't have my pets, (and I'm just going to ignore them of course) but I understand that without a shelter that can handle them it's an effective death sentence for any exotic that is found to be improperly cared for.
Any time someone is found with reptiles in poor condition it's another strike against us