The CalGuns Foundation had sued Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County for his policy of forcing carry applicants to first be approved by their local town or city police chief. This acted as a de facto ban on carry licenses in LA County. On Tuesday, this policy was overturned in a decision by Judge Deirdre Hill.
From the CalGuns release on their win:
ROSEVILLE, CA — 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.”
The CalGuns Foundation will be filing more lawsuits as part of their Carry License Sunshine and Compliance Initiative to force state and local officials to comply with state law, legal precedents, and the US Constitution. Since they started their legal campaign in 2009, the number of carry permits in California has grown by almost 30,000. This may not seem like a lot but it is tremendous when you consider that there are California counties whose carry permits number in the single and double digits.