In a decision released today that forces the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to begin accepting and processing handgun carry license applications, Judge Deirdre Hill said that LASD must “consider the applications of all persons seeking a CCW permit in the first instance without requiring any applicant to first seek a CCW permit with his/her local police chief or city.”
The case, titled Lu v. Baca, was filed in 2012 by California-based gun rights organization The Calguns Foundation and a number of individual plaintiffs seeking to overturn an unlawful LASD policy that functioned as a de facto ban on handgun carry licenses for Los Angeles County residents.
“This decision means that all Californians need not jump through more hoops than those required under state law in order to apply for a handgun carry license and exercise their Second Amendment rights,” explained Gene Hoffman, the group’s Chairman.
According to the Foundation’s executive director, Brandon Combs, the victory represents an affirmation of its legal strategy and presents new opportunities to advance gun rights in the Golden State.
“It’s long past time for sheriffs and police chiefs to adhere to the same laws they swore an oath to enforce, starting with the Constitution,” said Combs. “Hopefully they’re getting the message that our fundamental rights are not open to debate. We’ll keep filing lawsuits if that’s what it takes to restore Second Amendment freedoms in California.”
“I’m very pleased by the outcome,” said Charles Hokanson, the plaintiffs’ Long Beach-based attorney. “It is always positive to see the rights of law-abiding people vindicated as they were today in this decision.”
Earlier this month, CGF published two comprehensive reports on handgun carry licenses in the state, which can be viewed or downloaded for free at www.calgunsfoundation.org/carry.
Based on data from the California Department of Justice and other government sources, the Foundation’s reports show an increase of nearly 30,000 handgun carry licensees since it began efforts to make California “shall-issue” in May of 2009, when it and the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation filed the first “right to carry” lawsuit in the nation since the United States Supreme Court’s historic D.C. v. Heller decision in 2008. CGF noted that it is currently awaiting a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in its federal Second Amendment carry lawsuit Richards v. Prieto, the filings for which can be found on CGF’s online Wiki at www.bit.ly/richards-v-prieto.
As reported on the Foundation’s website, CGF’s Carry License Sunshine and Compliance Initiative uses grassroots-funded research, publications, and litigation to:
- Acquire and publish objective carry license statistics for evaluation and public scrutiny
- Audit and publish the policies and practices of California’s licensing authorities
- Acquire and publish carry license application records and other public documents that are or indicate the actual practices of California’s licensing authorities
- Help carry license applicants through the maze of state laws and local rules
- Force California’s licensing authorities to comply with state laws, legal precedent, and the United States Constitution
The Lu v. Baca decision can be viewed or downloaded at http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/?p=1828.
Those wishing to help make California “shall-issue” and support carry license reform can make a tax-deductible donation to The Calguns Foundation at www.calgunsfoundation.org/donate.
Logo courtesy The Calguns Foundation