Attorney Chuck Michel is the West Coast attorney for the National Rifle Association and was the trial counsel in Peruta v. County of San Diego. He issued an interesting statement on Friday regarding the attempt by California Attorney General Kamala Harris to intervene and appeal the case.
Michel notes that when the Attorney General was named in other suits regarding carry, she successfully argued that the power to administer carry licenses lay with the sheriffs and not her. In the statement below, he uses her own language in official filings to impeach her efforts to intervene in the Peruta case.
The Attorney General’s office was repeatedly invited to participate in this case both by Sheriff Gore’s attorney, and by the plaintiffs. The Attorney General declined to participate in the case, just as she has refused to get involved in similar cases challenging policies in other cities and counties that refused to accept self-defense as justification to get a license to carry a firearm in public to defend yourself and your family.
In fact, when the Attorney General’s office was named as a defendant in some of those cases, it has successfully moved to be dismissed from the cases because the court has accepted the Attorney General’s argument that she is not the official vested with the authority of the state when it comes to administering these licenses – the Sheriff is.
Excerpts from Mehl:
1) “Since only sheriffs and chiefs of police have authority under the CCW statutes to grant, deny or revoke licenses, Applicants cannot establish Article III jurisdiction over the Attorney General with regard to their facial challenges to the validity of the statutes or for review of the Sheriff’s refusal to grant their CCW licenses.”
2) “Only sheriffs and chiefs of police are authorized to perform these functions. . . . Contrary to Applicants’ implication, the Attorney General is not authorized by the CCW statutes to review the decisions of the sheriffs and chiefs of police. Because Applicants’ alleged injury can occur only through the actions of the Sheriff, independent of the authority of the Attorney General, any ostensible harm cannot be traced to the Attorney General.” Mehl v. Blanas.
It is ironic that the Attorney General does not recognize that the arguments she made about her authority to abandon the defense of the gay marriage ban apply equally here. The Sheriff has the ultimate authority to decide whether to continue to fight this case, and he has made his decision to refrain from doing so. But now that it suits her political agenda, Kamala Harris wants the court to impose a double standard.