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The Calguns Foundation Publishes 2012-2013 California Handgun Carry License Reports

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Calguns Foundation Publishes 2012-2013 California Handgun Carry License Reports

Reports show significant increases in the number of California handgun licensees since it began carry license reform efforts, Sunshine and Compliance Initiative
ROSEVILLE, CA -- As part of its ongoing Carry License Sunshine and Compliance Initiative, California-based gun rights group The Calguns Foundation (CGF) has published two new 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” Second Amendment lawsuit in the nation since the Supreme Court’s historic D.C. v. Heller decision in 2008.
Then-Sheriff for Sacramento County, John McGinness, settled the lawsuit by changing his policy to accept the Second Amendment right to armed self-defense as “good cause” for the issuance of licenses to applicants without a criminal history. However, that lawsuit continued against Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto and is currently pending decision at the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Case filings for Richards v. Prieto can be found on CGF’s online Wiki at www.bit.ly/richards-v-prieto.

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“Californians are watching the news and hearing about thousands of criminals being released from prison early, robberies, assaults, and all sorts of other horrors,” explained Brandon Combs, CGF’s Executive Director. “It makes total sense that they’ve responded by acquiring handgun carry licenses so they can defend themselves and their loved ones when they’re away from home.”
The number of Sacramento County residents with a carry license, for example, has grown from 269 in 2010 to 3,764 in 2013, the DOJ’s records show. That reported increase, some 1300% in just 3 years, doesn’t account for a significant number of pending applications, those on Sacramento’s months-long waiting list, or those who can’t get on the waiting list.
“We’re encouraged with the improvement our reports show, but the total number of California licensees is still far too low,” said Combs. “Unconstitutional policies are still preventing tens of millions of law-abiding Californians from exercising their fundamental Constitutional rights. We’re going to fix that, whatever it takes.”
The Calguns Foundation’s many carry license reform victories include forcing San Francisco County’s former sheriff Michael Hennessey to institute a way for residents to apply for a handgun carry license after exposing that his lawyer was the only person licensed in the county, Ventura County’s near-total adoption of CGF’s Model Handgun License Policy, and a settlement with Merced County stipulating changes to its policies to bring them in line with state law.
The Calguns Foundation also has pending lawsuits relating to handgun carry licenses, colloquially known as “CCW” permits, against Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca and Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith.
“We are in the process of evaluating the carry license policies of all 58 California sheriffs, as well as some police chiefs,” noted Combs. “Based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s a safe bet that we will be filing more lawsuits in 2014.”
“All we ask for is that these law enforcement officers respect civil rights and follow California law. It’s not unreasonable for the public to expect at least that much of its employees.”
As reported on the Foundation’s website, CGF’s Carry License Sunshine and Compliance Initiative uses grassroots-funded research, publication, 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; and

  • Force California’s licensing authorities to comply with state laws, legal precedent, and the United States Constitution.

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.
The Calguns Foundation (CGF) (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves its members, supporters, and the public through educational, cultural, and judicial efforts to defend and advance Second Amendment and related civil rights. Supporters may visit www.calgunsfoundation.org/donate to join or donate to CGF.

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Make a tax-deductible donation to CGF today and help fund gun rights efforts like this one!


CGF Sues Attorney General Kamala Harris, DOJ Firearms Chief Stephen Lindley in New Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Over Gun Delays

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Calguns Foundation Sues California Attorney General Kamala Harris and
DOJ Firearms Bureau Chief Stephen Lindley Over Federal Civil Rights Violations


SAN CARLOS, CA – The Calguns Foundation filed a new federal civil rights lawsuit this morning on behalf of three California residents, naming Attorney General Kamala Harris and DOJ Bureau of Firearms Chief Stephen Lindley as defendants. The case challenges the California Department of Justice's practice of denying individuals' fundamental rights protected under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
The Department, through defendants Harris and Lindley, have been and continue to enforce a policy of forbidding many gun purchasers from taking possession of their lawfully-obtained firearms through what are commonly referred to as "DROS delays", sometimes for over a year or indefinitely.
One plaintiff in the case, Darren Owen of Taft, California, has been denied his firearm for over 18 months.
“It's the government's responsibility to timely prove that someone has already been adjudicated and their Constitutional right to purchase and possess guns taken away through due process," explained Gene Hoffman, the Foundation's Chairman. “It’s not the individual’s job to prove that they have fundamental rights."
“By shifting the burden to the individual, the DOJ is blatantly violating the Constitution and thumbing its nose at the U.S. Supreme Court's D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago decisions."
Victor Otten, an attorney for the plaintiffs, agrees. “Our clients are not prohibited from owning guns under state and federal law,” noted Otten. “The bottom line is that if the DOJ cannot determine that someone is ineligible to possess firearms in a timely manner with all of the databases and law enforcement resources it has at its disposal, then they have no choice but to allow our clients and other similarly-situated gun owners to take possession of their firearms."
Under current California law, the DOJ must permit a firearm purchaser to receive their firearm at the end of the 10-day DROS background check period unless it determines that the purchaser is not eligible to possess or purchase firearms. Earlier this year, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D - San Francisco) amended his bill AB 500 to allow the Department of Justice to deny the release of firearms for up to 30 days. AB 500 is presently awaiting California Governor Jerry Brown's action.
"We've received hundreds of reports like those at issue in this case and it's a virtual certainty that there are thousands of others like the individual plaintiffs out there," said the Foundation's Executive Director, Brandon Combs. “The DOJ’s policy is nothing short of outrageous.”
Continued Combs, "It’s time for the DOJ to respect the Second Amendment. If the Attorney General and her staff refuse to do it voluntarily, we will not hesitate to force it in the courts. In filing this case, we seek to ensure that the Constitutionally-enshrined fundamental rights of Californians to buy and possess firearms are respected no matter how far Ms. Harris or Assemblymember Ammiano might wish the DOJ's powers extended."
The new federal lawsuit is entitled Darrin Owen, et. al. vs. Kamala Harris, et. al. and may be viewed or downloaded at http://ia601002.us.archive.org/8/items/gov.uscourts.caed.259271/gov.uscourts.caed.259271.docket.html.
The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves its members, supporters, and the public through educational, cultural, and judicial efforts to defend and advance Second Amendment and related civil rights. Supporters may visit http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/donate to join or donate to CGF.
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COMPLAINT:

[gview file="http://ia601002.us.archive.org/8/items/gov.uscourts.caed.259271/gov.uscourts.caed.259271.1.0.pdf"]


Cities of San Francisco, Oakland Settle CGF Federal Lawsuit on Return of Firearms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 6, 2013

Cities of San Francisco, Oakland Settle CGF Federal Lawsuit on Return of Firearms


SAN CARLOS, CA – The Calguns Foundation announced today that it has reached a settlement with the City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Police Department in its case Churchill v. Harris, a federal lawsuit arising from law enforcement firearm return policies. The Foundation previously reached a negotiated settlement with the City of Oakland, which was also named in the suit. The controversy arose after the California Department of Justice changed the language it uses in its Law Enforcement Gun Release letters that are required when gun owners seek the return of their firearms after a law enforcement seizure.
The lawsuit had named Attorney General Kamala Harris as a defendant, who was dismissed from the case on 11th Amendment immunity grounds. “During the hearing where the Attorney General was dismissed,” noted Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman, who attended the hearing, “the court remarked that the Attorney General is doing local law enforcement no favors with their misleading policy."
“While our continued position is that the confusing language used by the California Department of Justice in their Law Enforcement Gun Release letter is unfair to gun owners, local law enforcement agencies, counties and cities,” continued Hoffman, “our successful resolution of this lawsuit is a step forward in clarifying the duties of local authorities in the return of firearms to their lawful owners.”
With the settlement, San Francisco has implemented an updated policy on the return of unregistered firearms that are legally owned by someone who has presented a Law Enforcement Gun Release letter from the California DOJ. In addition, San Francisco agreed to reimburse the Foundation a portion of the legal fees and expenses of bringing this case to protect the rights of gun owners.
“With this case now positively concluded, we will be sending California law enforcement agencies a memorandum containing a copy of the updated San Francisco policy,” said Brandon Combs, executive director of the Foundation. ”Through these efforts, we hope that their responsibilities to gun owners when presented with a LEGR will be made clear and that their future returns of firearms avoid the legal pitfalls we addressed in this case.”
The updated San Francisco policy is available to view or download at http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/churchill/SFPD-db-13-080-2013-05-09.pdf.
The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which serves its members and the public 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. Supporters may visit http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/donate to join or donate to CGF.

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Merced County, CA Sheriff Pays CGF $9,250 in Handgun Carry Case Settlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 3, 2013

Merced County, CA Sheriff Pays CGF $9,250 in Handgun Carry Case Settlement


SAN CARLOS, CA  – As part of a settlement reached in the handgun carry case of Michelle Rossow, et al. v. County of Merced and Merced Sheriff Mark Pazin, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department has agreed to pay The Calguns Foundation $9,250.47 for attorney fees in the matter.
[caption id="attachment_1452" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Settlement Check Image County of Merced’s check to CGF for $9,250.47 in the Rossow v. Merced lawsuit.[/caption]
The lawsuit, filed in July 2011, sought to correct problems in the Sheriff’s policy for applications for and licenses to carry concealed handguns as part of the Foundation’s ongoing Carry License Sunshine and Compliance Initiative.
In addition to the fee recovery, The Calguns Foundation’s action against the Sheriff resulted in a number of changes to the Sheriff’s carry license policies, which was based on a boilerplate document produced by Lexipol, a law enforcement policy management outsourcer, and modified with local rules.
The Foundation first contacted Merced in October of 2010, when it discovered that the Sheriff had established an unlawful moratorium on the acceptance of new carry license applications. The Sheriff subsequently lifted the moratorium but refused to modify parts of his policy that CGF identified as unlawful. When talks broke down, the Foundation filed the lawsuit in Merced County Superior Court.
“It’s great to see a successful outcome in this case, as Merced’s policy on licenses to carry handguns was substantially revised to address the most grievous concerns, and the Court retained jurisdiction to address future compliance issues,” said attorney for plaintiffs Jason Davis of Mission Viejo.
“This case is an important next step in our Carry Initiative,” explained Brandon Combs, executive director for The Calguns Foundation. “The County chose to address our concerns rather than face a possible court order, and we applaud them for that. Now it’s up to the other California sheriffs to follow suit or be sued themselves.”
“Ultimately, this case is about making carry license policies consistent with California law,” said Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman. “We hope that we can accomplish this without suing every California county, but if that’s what it requires, that’s what we are prepared to do.”
The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which serves its members and the public 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. Supporters may visit http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/donate to join or donate to CGF.
CONTACT: Brandon Combs
(650) 275-1015
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The Calguns Foundation, 7 Californians Sue Attorney General Kamala Harris, DOJ Over Gun Delays

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 12, 2013

The Calguns Foundation, 7 Californians Sue Attorney General Kamala Harris, DOJ Over Gun Delays

SAN CARLOS, CA – The Calguns Foundation has filed a lawsuit on behalf of seven California residents today against Attorney General Kamala Harris, the California Department of Justice, and DOJ Bureau of Firearms Chief Stephen Lindley. The case challenges the DOJ’s policy of requiring some firearm purchasers to prove their legal standing to take possession of acquired firearms and forcing them to wait beyond the statutory 10-day waiting period.

One plaintiff in the case, Daniel Schoepf of Long Beach, California, was denied his fundamental right to keep and bear arms for self-defense even after DOJ told him that he was legally eligible to purchase and possess firearms.

In 1984, Schoepf was detained in Los Angeles County for having two tablets in his pocket that were later discovered to be common, non-prescription pills. The detectives subsequently released Schoepf and no charges were filed. In 2006, DOJ firearms section Program Manager Steve Buford sent Schoepf a letter stating that he was eligible to purchase and possess firearms; however, in 2012, DOJ reversed that position and instructed Schoepf’s local firearms dealer to hold back delivery of Schoepf’s gun.

“I know I’m not alone in this, that DOJ is wrongly denying many Californians their Second Amendment rights just like they are mine,” said Schoepf. “I’m not a criminal and certainly not a disqualified convict but am a law abiding citizen with my Second Amendment rights fully intact. They left me no choice but to fight this injustice in court.”

“Over the past year, the DOJ has been directing California gun dealers to delay the release of firearms to people eligible to possess them – sometimes indefinitely,“ said Jason Davis, attorney for The Calguns Foundation. “The DOJ simply has no legal authority to justify their policy.”

The DOJ claims that these delays are primarily due to lack of information in their criminal history databases. In a July 2011 Los Angeles Times article, assistant attorney general Travis LeBlanc said the DOJ’s criminal records database system was “shoddy,” with the ‘guilty’, ‘not guilty’, or ‘case dismissed’ disposition information missing for about 7.7 million of the 16.4 million arrest records entered into the database over the last decade – and presumably much more for older cases.

“In essence, the DOJ is relying upon their improperly-maintained database to deny the fundamental rights of individuals,” said Gene Hoffman, Chairman of The Calguns Foundation. “That policy is entirely unacceptable and we look forward to putting an end to it.”

The attorney for plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Victor Otten, agrees.

“Our clients follow the law and so should the DOJ,” said Otten. “The DOJ is gleefully enforcing a policy that deprives my clients of their civil rights. The arrogance of the Department to think that it can abrogate the Constitution and statutory duties set by the Legislature is very unsettling.”

“This case really underscores the value of our DOJ Watch program,” said Brandon Combs, Executive Director of The Calguns Foundation. “Attorney General Harris’s hostility towards some civil rights predictably resulted in a shift away from former Attorney General Brown’s correct application of the law - and we are here to hold her accountable.”

The lawsuit is entitled Schoepf, et. al. vs. Kamala Harris, et. al. A copy of the complaint may be viewed or downloaded at http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cgf_dros-delay-complaint.pdf.

The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which serves its members and the public 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. Supporters may visit http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/donate to join or donate to CGF.
CONTACT:
Brandon Combs
bcombs@calgunsfoundation.org
(650) 275-1015

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[gview file="http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cgf_dros-delay-complaint.pdf"]


The Calguns Foundation, CAL-FFL Oppose South SF Hollow Point Ammo Ban, Gun Owner Database Scheme

SAN CARLOS, CA and MADERA, CA (March 27, 2013) – The Calguns Foundation and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees have sent a formal letter of opposition to the City of South San Francisco on two proposed ordinances that would negatively affect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and retailers.
Proposed ordinance 10.58.020 would require an electronic report be sent to the Chief of Police for every sale of 500 or more rounds of ammunition in a single transaction, creating an electronic database of gun owners that would be subject to public records requests. Proposed ordinance 10.58.010 would prohibit the possession or sale of certain ammunition -- including that commonly possessed for self-defense -- "Black Talon" ammunition, and ammunition "intended exclusively for law enforcement and military purposes."
The pair of gun control measures are being pushed by Mayor Edwin Lee of the neighboring City of San Francisco, who championed identical measures in San Francisco earlier this month.
"San Francisco Mayor Lee is trying to take his wrong-headed and atrocious policies around the Bay Area, starting with the City of South San Francisco," explained Brandon Combs, executive director of The Calguns Foundation. "We're cautiously optimistic that they will be viewed for what they are and rejected by the City Council tonight."
"The proposed ordinances suffer from a number of serious defects, including vagueness and Second Amendment concerns," said attorney Jason Davis, who penned the letter to the City on behalf of CGF and CAL-FFL. "If the proposals are adopted, they would most certainly be the subject of very expensive litigation."
"It says something about the quality of a measure when it names products that haven't been on the market for years as well as repealed sections of the Penal Code," noted Combs. "In Mayor Lee's obsessive rush to trample the Second Amendment and privacy rights of law-abiding people, he left the proverbial barn door open for legal action. Any city that follows in his misguided footsteps will be a soft target for our litigation program."
The CGF/CAL-FFL letter can be viewed at http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/SSF-letter.pdf. The proposed ordinances and the City's Staff Report can be viewed at the Firearms Policy Coalition website at http://www.firearmspolicy.org/the-issues/california/2013-2014/south-san-francisco-ammo-ban.
The Calguns Foundation (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.
California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (calffl.org) is California’s premier non-profit industry association of, by, and for firearms manufacturers, dealers, collectors, training professionals, shooting ranges, and others, advancing the interests of its members and the general public through strategic litigation, legislative efforts, and education. For more information or to join Cal-FFL, please visit calffl.org.
[gview file="http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/SSF-letter.pdf"]


CGF, SAF, CAL-FFL Sue County of Alameda for Violation of Civil Rights

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For Immediate Release: June 26, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The County of Alameda’s zoning law requiring that gun stores be located 500 feet away from residential properties is not rational and cannot withstand any form of constitutional scrutiny, argues a new federal civil rights lawsuit filed yesterday in San Francisco, California.  Businessmen John Teixeira, Steve Nobriga and Gary Gamaza are joined by the Second Amendment Foundation, The Calguns Foundation, and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees as plaintiffs in the case. They are represented by attorneys Donald Kilmer of San Jose and Jason Davis of Rancho Santa Margarita.
The complaint describes how plaintiffs Teixeira, Nobriga, and Gamza had actually been granted a Conditional Use Permit and variance for the property on which they intended to open a gun store until the variance was revoked by the Alameda Board of Supervisors.  “John, Steve, and Gary did everything right. They had their paperwork in order,” said attorney Donald Kilmer.  “Their store was moving forward, things were going great, and then they were blindsided by the County long after putting money, labor, and time into opening their store.  That’s a serious due process problem for the County.”
“The facts in this case are outrageous,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “In the fall of 2010, Gamaza, Nobriga, and Teixeira formed a business partnership with the intention of opening a gun store in Alameda County. When they began the process of getting permits to open their shop, they were advised of a requirement that gun stores not be located within 500 feet of any school, liquor store or residence.
“After carefully measuring distances between the shop’s front door and the front door of the nearest property,” he continued, “they found that they were well beyond the 500-foot limit. But then the county changed the measurement requirements.”
The City of Sunnyvale recently conducted a study that showed gun stores had no correlation with area crime.  “The right to buy firearms is just as much a protected part of the Second Amendment as the right to buy books is protected under the First Amendment,” said Calguns Foundation chairman Gene Hoffman. “Just like we saw in the Nordyke case, Alameda County continues it's long-running effort to undermine the fundamental civil rights of it's citizens to purchase firearms that they have a right to buy.”
According to the lawsuit, the county allowed an objection to the businessmen’s permit to be filed even though the deadline had passed for such objections and the West County Board of Zoning Adjustments had voted to approve a conditional use permit and allow the gun store to operate.  “The outcome of this lawsuit may very well have far-reaching implications for firearms dealers not just in California, but across the United States,” noted co-counsel Jason Davis.  “Hopefully we can address these issues for dealers once and for all.”
“Alameda County has a long track record of denying Second Amendment Rights to its residents, even those enumerated in our Constitution,” explained Cal-FFL president Brandon Combs.  “We’ve seen over and over again how local rules like those Alameda County adopted are sold to municipalities by anti-gun extremist groups like New York Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence, Brady Campaign, and other Joyce Foundation-funded spinoffs.”
“They want to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution, but that’s simply not going to happen on our watch.  We will make sure Americans have a neighborhood gun dealer to sell them the tools they need to defend themselves from violent attackers.”
The case is captioned as Teixeira, et al. v. County of Alameda, et al. The docket and filings as they become available can be viewed at http://ia600408.us.archive.org/19/items/gov.uscourts.cand.256462/gov.uscourts.cand.256462.docket.html.
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The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms.  Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.
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.
California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (www.calffl.org) is California's premier non-profit industry association of, by, and for firearms manufacturers, dealers, collectors, training professionals, shooting ranges, and others, advancing the interests of its members and the general public through strategic litigation, legislative efforts, and education. For more information or to join Cal-FFL, please visit calffl.org.
Contacts:
SAF: Alan Gottlieb
425-454-7012 – alangottlieb@saf.org
CGF: Gene Hoffman
650-275-1015 - hoffmang@calgunsfoundation.org
Cal-FFL: Brandon Combs
888-541-3040 - bcombs@calffl.org


CGF Defends Innocent Gun Owner from Criminal Charges, Secures $35,800 Settlement in Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit

San Carlos, CA (May 14, 2012) – In an excellent conclusion to another federal civil rights lawsuit, The Calguns Foundation has secured a settlement agreement from defendants the City of Calexico, the Calexico Police Department, Chief of Police James Neujahr, and Calexico PD officer Mario Alcaraz. The case, Ian James Farias v. City of Calexico, et al., alleged that the defendants violated Mr. Farias’ Fourth Amendment rights by improperly arresting him and seizing his lawfully-possessed shotgun. The lawsuit also alleged that the Calexico PD failed to properly train their officers on firearms issues, leading to Mr. Farias’ arrest.
Mr. Farias had been driving through the Imperial County town of Calexico in late January, 2010, when Officer Alcaraz pulled Mr. Farias over for an alleged traffic violation. After receiving consent to search the back seat of the vehicle, Officer Alcaraz observed Mr. Farias’ shotgun – which was being transported unloaded and exposed on the back seat – and arrested Mr. Farias for an alleged violation of Penal Code section 12025 (a statute criminalizing the unlicensed carry of a concealed handgun). Mr. Farias spent 9 hours in the Imperial County Jail before bailing out and contacting The Calguns Foundation to assist in his defense.
With the aid of Foundation attorney Jason Davis of the law firm Davis and Associates, the criminal case against Mr. Farias was eventually rejected by the District Attorney’s Office. Not only did the DA not pursue criminal action against Mr. Farias, but Davis successfully obtained a rare Finding of Factual Innocence for Mr. Farias, which means that “no person of ordinary care and prudence [would] believe or conscientiously entertain any honest and strong suspicion that the person arrested [or acquitted] is guilty.” Mr. Farias then sued in Federal court to seek recovery of damages and mandate proper training, claiming that that the arrest violated his Fourth Amendment rights, among others.
As part of the settlement agreement, the City of Calexico paid Mr. Farias $35,800 and instituted a training program on criminal laws pertaining to firearms. The training bulletin, drafted by Mr. Davis and available for download at this link, and covers topics of search and seizure, loaded firearm laws, unloaded concealed firearm laws, and the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act.  Significantly, the mandated training program also includes training on the recently passed “Open Carry Ban” bill AB144 and the 116 exemptions under which unloaded open carry remains legal.
“The training bulletin is designed to educate the department on California’s complex and convoluted firearm laws,” said Jason Davis. “My client sincerely appreciates the assistance of The Calguns Foundation, which made it possible for us to aggressively pursue the case.”
“This case is a reminder that exercising one’s right to keep and bear arms is not a waiver of their right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures,” said CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman. “The more that California and local governments regulate firearms, the more they will have to train their law enforcement officers – or be held accountable in the courts.”
A copy of the complaint and case filings can be downloaded at this link.
Calguns Foundation is able to help defend innocent California gun owners like Mr. Farias because of the generous tax-deductible donations of our supporters. Please support our many Second Amendment lawsuits and programs by contributing at CGF's Donate Page.
Donations may also be mailed to:

The Calguns Foundation
751 Laurel Street Suite 935
San Carlos, CA 94070-3113
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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. 
 


CGF Sues San Francisco, Oakland Police Departments and CA DOJ Over Seized Firearms

San Carlos, CA (May 9, 2012) – In an important step to secure the rights of California gun owners, The Calguns Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation, and two individual residents of California have filed a new federal lawsuit in San Francisco. The case, entitled Churchill, et. al. v. Harris, et al., alleges that the police departments of both San Francisco and Oakland are unlawfully refusing to return lawfully-owned firearms to individuals who have had charges dropped after police investigations proved that they had done nothing wrong.
The ongoing seizure of those firearms is a violation of the Second and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution. What’s more, the departments’ refusal to return property after all charges are dropped is theft.
"In California, the Evidence Code makes it clear that simple possession is proof of ownership of almost all types of common property, including firearms," said Don Kilmer, attorney for the plaintiffs. "The California Department of Justice is misleading police departments in such a way that they violate the rights of gun owners who were investigated and found to not have violated the law."
The Oakland and San Francisco Police departments appear to be relying on a Department of Justice document that is being attached to the required “Law Enforcement Gun Release”, or LEGR, reports indicating that the requester may lawfully own and possess firearms. The document claims that the requesting person has to provide proof of ownership for every firearm when they go to retrieve their seized property.
According to longstanding California law, every firearm seized during a police investigation must be inventoried; a copy of that list is given to the person from whom firearms are seized. Every law enforcement agency knows which person they took firearms from and what specific firearms were taken.
"It's hard enough for a law-abiding gun owner to live through the uncertainty and fear caused by a false allegation or arrest, but to have the very people who are trusted and sworn to serve them then steal their property after they've been exonerated is inexcusable," said Calguns Foundation chairman Gene Hoffman. "Law-abiding Californians should not be forced to seek out expensive legal representation just to get back what is rightfully theirs in the first place."
A copy of the complaint and case filings can be downloaded here. The full docket can be viewed at this link.
To support this and other important Second Amendment lawsuits, please make a tax-deductible donation by secure credit card, e-check, or PayPal at CGF's Donate Page.
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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


Calguns Foundation Sues Los Angeles County, Sheriff Lee Baca

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
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.
Contact:
Gene Hoffman
650-275-1015
hoffmang@calgunsfoundation.org