CGF Sues Los Angeles Sheriff
San Carlos, CA (March 9, 2012) – Continuing its Carry License Sunshine and Compliance Initiative, The Calguns Foundation (CGF) has filed a lawsuit today in Los Angeles Superior Court against Los Angeles Sheriff Leroy “Lee” Baca, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and Los Angeles County. The case, entitled Jennifer Lu, et al. v. County of Los Angeles, et al., challenges the Sheriff’s ban on accepting and processing applications for carry licenses submitted by city residents.
The Calguns Foundation is joined in the lawsuit, by three individual plaintiffs.
“Sheriff Baca made the unfortunate decision to repeat historical failure,” noted CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman. “Apparently, the Sheriff and County do not feel bound to follow the precedent they set when the California Court of Appeals ruled against them in 1976. We look forward to refreshing their memory.”
In the case of Salute v. Pitchess, the Court held that “[i]t is the duty of the sheriff to make . . . an investigation and determination, on an individual basis, on every application” for a handgun carry license. Then-Los Angeles Sheriff Peter Pitchess had “a fixed policy of not granting applications . . . … except in a limited number of cases.”
California requires that people who desire to carry a handgun for self defense be licensed by the sheriff of the county in which they reside, or, at the applicants’ option, they can apply to their city’s chief of police. However, sheriffs cannot require applicants to first apply to and be denied by a city’s chief of police as a prerequisite to application.
“The State of California very intentionally established a standardized carry license framework: if you’re a sheriff, you have a duty to administer the carry license program for all residents of your county,” clarified Brandon Combs, an officer of CGF and director of the Carry License Initiative. “Sheriff Baca’s intent in enforcing these unlawful regulations is quite clear: make it as difficult as possible for law-abiding residents of Los Angeles County to defend their lives and those of their families. Not only does he treat some deserving applicants differently than others, he uses the rejections by cities’ chiefs of police – that his policy requires – as evidence against the applicants when they apply to him.”
“Jennifer Lu and the other plaintiffs have every reason to desire a handgun carry license, not the least of which is that it is their fundamental right under the Constitution as Federal courts in both West Virginia and Maryland ruled earlier this week,” said Jason Davis, attorney for the plaintiffs. “Sheriff Baca is circumventing state and constitutional law, and we’re confident that this case will bear that out.”
A copy of the complaint and case filings can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/lu_v_baca
The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which serves its members by providing Second Amendment-related education, strategic litigation and the defense of innocent California gun owners from improper or malicious prosecution. The Calguns Foundation seeks to inform government and protect the rights of individuals to acquire, own, and lawfully use firearms in California.