Calguns Foundation Demands San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey Follow Laws, Constitution Himself
San Carlos, CA (June 2, 2011) - As part of its ongoing Carry License Compliance and Sunshine Initiative, The Calguns Foundation sent San Francisco County Sheriff Michael Hennessey a letter demanding that he immediately bring his firearm carry license application acceptance, processing, and evaluation policies into compliance with the law.
In the letter sent Tuesday, Calguns notes that the Sheriff has failed to comply with state law for nearly thirteen years, even after being notified of the deficiency on a number of prior occasions. Calguns also claims that the policies of the Sheriff in issuing licenses to some, including one of his employees, while refusing to accept all applications from “regular” San Francisco residents violates applicants’ constitutional rights of self-defense and equal protection under the law.
“While the Sheriff may have grown accustomed to following only those laws he chooses, we intend to hold the County’s highest law enforcement officer to the same laws he took an oath to uphold,” notes Gene Hoffman, Chairman of The Calguns Foundation. “The rights of San Francisco residents are no less valuable than those of his employees and friends.”
In 1998, then-Assemblymember Rod Wright authored a bill to make firearm carry permit applications consistent across the state due to tremendous variations in local practices by licensing authorities. That bill, AB 2022, established a mandate that all licensing authorities create and publish a written policy on carry license applications by April 1, 1999. It also instituted a specific process that licensing authorities - county sheriffs and city chiefs of police - must use in receiving and processing applications.
“We’ve spent thousands of hours requesting and reviewing the policies and practices of hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the state. Sheriff Hennessey’s, obviously, stood out – it simply didn’t exist,” said Brandon Combs, member of the Board of Directors of Calguns Foundation. “It’s exceedingly frustrating to see the Sheriff turning away so many qualified San Francisco residents who are complying with the law.”
In an effort to avoid litigation, Calguns provided Sheriff Hennessey with a comprehensive model carry license policy. “We would strongly prefer that the Sheriff simply choose to use our model policy, much as San Francisco has done with LCAV policies in the past,” Brandon Combs said. “However, should he choose to go another direction, we’re prepared to litigate as necessary to bring his policies and practices in line with the law.”
A downloadable copy of the model policy is available at this link. CGF's letter to Sheriff Hennessey is located here.
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.