Quote Of The Day

From the amicus brief submitted to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Peruta v. County of San Diego by the Second Amendment Foundation and the CalGuns Foundation.

An official’s personal views of someone’s suitability to enjoy constitutional rights, or of an individual’s moral virtue, simply cannot be factors in regulating the exercise of constitutional rights.

This was written by Alan Gura in response to the requirements of California Penal Code Section 12050 which states that an applicant for a concealed carry permit must show “good cause” and be of “good moral character”.

SAF And CalGuns Sue California Over “Assault Weapons” Arrest

This was just released by the Second Amendment Foundation and the CalGuns Foundations:

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in California, seeking to have the state’s definition of so-called “assault weapons” declared unconstitutionally vague.

Joining SAF and Calguns in the lawsuit is Brendan John Richards, an Iraq combat veteran who served as a U.S. Marine, and whose arrest and six-day incarceration in the Sonoma County jail – and subsequent dismissal of all charges – was the catalyst for this legal action. Named as defendants are California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the California Department of Justice, the City of Rohnert Park and police officer Dean Becker.

Richards was jailed in May 2010 after Officer Becker, investigating a disturbance at a motel where Richards was staying, learned that Richards had two pistols and a rifle, all unloaded, in the trunk of his car. Becker, arrested Richards for unlawful possession of an assault weapon. However, in September of last year, the charges were dismissed by the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office, based on a report from the state Department of Justice that showed none of the guns met the state’s definition of an assault weapon.

“California’s law allows possession of a variety of firearms that do not meet the state’s assault weapons definition, which we believe is unconstitutionally vague,” noted SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “Mr. Richards was jailed for almost a week, when he had broken no law because a police officer had a conflicting view and the District Attorney’s office believed him.”

“California attempts to make a distinction among firearms where no natural one exists,” noted Calguns Executive Director Gene Hoffman. “The generic definition of so-called ‘assault weapons’ was simply an attempt to prohibit possession of guns that look scary.”

Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Don Kilmer of San Jose and Jason A. Davis of Mission Viejo. Kilmer said the case is indicative of the way things have become in California.

“Now that the right to keep arms has correctly been recognized as fundamental and applicable to California,” Kilmer said, “gun owners can’t be faced with the practice of ‘arrest them first and let the courts sort it out’ for exercising constitutional rights. That is just how things are done in our country.”

Some Pictures From CCRKBA Rally In Los Angeles

The CalGuns Foundation, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, CalGuns.net, CCRKBA, and the Second Amendment Foundation sponsored a rally today in Los Angeles to protest Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayor’s plans for more gun control. It also featured CCRKBA’s Guns Save Lives rolling billboard truck.

Below are some pictures from the event posted by Eugene Tan. I see a lot of great signs with a lot of great Oleg Volk photos in them.

Congratulations are due to Gene Hoffman and all the attendees at this event as well as to the sponsors.

Links to all the pictures from the event can be found here.

CCW Win in Sacramento County, California

Just sent out by the Second Amendment Foundation:



BELLEVUE, WA & SAN CARLOS, CA – The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Calguns Foundation have dismissed their case against Sacramento County, California and its Sheriff, John McGinness, after the Sheriff modified his handgun carry permitting policy. Law-abiding Sacramento County residents may now successfully apply for permits to carry handguns by asserting self-defense as a basis for carry permit issuance. A one-year residency requirement has been eliminated, as has policy language that tied self-defense to arbitrary geographic factors.

While Sacramento County has changed its policies, other counties still fail to recognize that self-defense is a legally sufficient reason for issuance of a handgun carry permit. The litigation will continue against Yolo County and its Sheriff, Ed Prieto, on behalf of SAF, Calguns, and Davis resident Adam Richards. Additionally, this past March, Calguns supporter Brett Stewart unsuccessfully asserted self-defense as a basis for seeking a carrying license from Sheriff Prieto. The Sheriff’s written policy states that “self protection and protection of family (without credible threats of violence)” are insufficient reasons to exercise Second Amendment rights. Mr. Stewart will seek to join the litigation as a plaintiff in this case, now styled Richards v. Prieto.

“We are very happy to have been able to work with Sheriff McGinness to assist Sacramento County in revising their policies and practices,” said Gene Hoffman, Chairman of the Calguns Foundation. “Over the past year, more than 30 of our law abiding members and supporters have received licenses to carry firearms with good cause’ statements that are simple variations of self-defense. Even though the Sheriff is retiring at the end of the year, both candidates to replace Sheriff McGinness have publicly stated their support for Second Amendment rights and that they consider self-defense a compelling reason for issuance of gun carry permit.”

“The Second Amendment Foundation will continue working with the Calguns Foundation and keep funding attorney Alan Gura’s lawsuits in California until everyone’s firearms civil rights are fully protected,” added SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “Together, we will see many more legal victories.”

For those who wish to apply for a CCW permit, the Calguns Foundation maintains an informational portal to assist applicants in all 58 California counties as part of its recently announced Carry Licensing Compliance and Sunshine Initiative. The Sacramento County page has details on the actual procedure and successful good cause statements and is available at http://bit.ly/CGFSacCarry .

Congratulations to the CalGuns Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Deana Sykes for taking a stand for gun rights in California – and winning.

Given Nikki Stallard’s comments at the Gun Rights Policy Conference on this case, I wonder how the California media will play it.

CalGuns Foundation Launches CCW Project

The CalGuns Foundations has launched a new web portal dedicated to providing information about concealed carry in every county of California. They call it their Carry License/CCW Compliance and Sunshine Initiative. The goal is to make CCW-related information available to the law-abiding public in one central location and to prod local governments into compliance with California state law.

“Detailed information about carry licensing, or CCW (Carry a Concealed Weapon), has historically been kept out of reach by the local authorities who issue carry permits,” notes Calguns Foundation Director Brandon Combs. “Many Sheriffs don’t want citizens to see to the current reality of the right to bear arms in their county. It’s time that we hold these officials accountable.” As part of the initiative, Calguns Foundation and its network of volunteers requested from each of California’s 58 sheriffs carry license-related documents such as their policy, local forms, and application instructions as well as statements of “good cause” that lead to both granted permits and denials. “After reviewing a small sample of the records, we knew we had to make a real effort to clean up policies that violate state or Federal law across the state.”

The new web portal will have county-specific information including editable forms, contact information for each sheriff’s office, and all carry license-related local materials. There will also be county-specific discussion threads so that applicants and others can share information and experiences. The site will also have as it becomes available copies of each county’s accepted “good cause” statements with applicant information redacted.

Gene Hoffman, chairman of the CalGuns Foundation had this to say about the site:

“We want the public to know how each California sheriff determines ‘Good Cause’ and ‘Good Moral Character,’’ their only areas of discretion under existing law. There is a substantial public interest in this information since the right to bear arms hinges squarely on these standards, which currently vary from county to county,”…“We believe that after the McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court case, the Second Amendment right to bear arms requires that “good cause” be interpreted as ‘self defense’ and ‘good moral character’ be interpreted as ‘not prohibited from possessing firearms.’ We have already filed a federal lawsuit entitled Sykes v. McGinness challenging the constitutionality of unfettered discretion in carry licensing in Sacramento and Yolo County.”

Concurrent with the roll-out of the CCW project, CalGuns has sued Ventura County for because Sheriff Bob Brooks decided to withhold certain public records in violation of the California Public Records Act. The complaint can be found here. Their attorney had this to say about the lawsuit:

“I am not sure what they are hiding, but Ventura’s suppression of records previously held by the courts to be public should concern all those who expect accountability from public officials,” said Mr. Jason Davis, who brought the case on The Calguns Foundation’s behalf. “This is the first in a potential string of lawsuits to be filed against local agencies should they continue to disregard the public’s interest in their carry licensing programs. Not only does the Act require these authorities to release the information, the very application Sheriff Brooks refused to produce reminds applicants that the applications are public records which could be disclosed upon request. It makes no sense for counties to fight losing battles in these tough economic times.”

Open Carry Win in California

UOC or unloaded open carry may seem like an alien concept to those of us who live outside of California. We understand concealed carry and we understand open carry. But unloaded open carry? However, in California, due to a quirk in the law, it is legal to carry an unloaded firearm openly and to have a loaded magazine or speed-loader elsewhere on your body.

To answer the question of why one would even bother all you have to do is look at the California Department of Justice concealed carry permit statistics. While in some of the more rural counties concealed carry permits are issued regularly, in the largest urban counties you can forget about it unless you are rich or famous or both. In San Diego County for the year 2007, there were only 1,479 permits issued out of a population of 2.8 million. That is about a .05% rate. Los Angeles County is even bigger in population (approximately 10.3 million) and even stingier with their permits (1,237). However, the dubious prize winner is San Francisco with just 6 permits issued in 2007.

To protest this disparity in granting concealed carry permits, there is a burgeoning Unloaded Open Carry movement in California. Activists will carry their firearms openly and unloaded in public. One such activist is Samuel Wolanyk of San Diego. In urban areas this can cause a bit of a stir. Here is how Gene Hoffman of the CalGuns Foundation describes Mr. Wolanyk’s encounter with police in San Diego:

Nearly two years ago, “open carry” activist Wolanyk wound up looking down the barrels of two police handguns when San Diego Police officers Jody Kinsley and Troy White responded to a call of a man wearing a kilt, with a holstered gun, in San Diego’s Mission Beach area. The officers immediately exited their vehicles on arrival at the location, drew their firearms, and ordered Mr. Wolanyk to the ground.

The officers quickly determined the firearm was unloaded, had no magazine in it, with no round in the chamber, and was thus in full compliance with California law. The firearm was unloaded even though Mr. Wolanyk did separately possess loaded magazines carried in an additional pouch attached to his belt (a completely lawful activity).

Until that day, these officers had never heard of the burgeoning Unloaded Open Carry movement, in which persons entitled to possess firearms exercise their right to lawfully carry unloaded, holstered handguns (though some onerous geographic limitations do apply). One other key legal restriction on open carry in California law also exists: people must give up their Fourth Amendment rights and submit to law enforcement examination of the firearm to determine if it’s loaded. In Wolanyk’s case, however, the officers weren’t performing a loaded firearm examination; in the officers’ minds, they were responding to a “man with a gun” call and acting accordingly.

After San Diego Police Sergeant David Kries arrived at the scene, Mr. Wolanyk had hoped the officers’ errors would be competently rectified and he would then be free to go. But Sgt. Kries showed he too didn’t understand California’s complex gun laws, and arrested Mr. Wolanyk for carrying a “loaded” firearm – in direct conflict with both prior case law (People v. Clark) and common sense, which requires ammunition to be in a position from which it can be fired in order for a firearm to be considered loaded. Mr. Wolanyk was taken to San Diego Police headquarters, where it was determined that he violated no law. Two hours later, Wolanyk was back at Mission Beach with Officer Kinsley handing him back his firearm and ammunition. Neither an apology nor an explanation of why the Department hadn’t properly trained their officers was provided.

This incident led to a CalGuns Foundation funded and supported lawsuit against the City of San Diego. One goal of Wolanyk v. San Diego was to ensure that the police officers of the San Diego Police Department were properly trained regarding UOC. The other, as one might well expect, was to clear Mr. Wolanyk’s name.

On Wednesday, September 29th, the City of San Diego settled the lawsuit rather than to go to trial with it. Mr. Wolanyk received $35,000 for his improper arrest and the SDPD granted his petition for a Finding of Factual Innocence which acknowledges that they had no reasonable cause for his arrest. Along with the settlement, the SDPD will enhance their training of their police officers to prevent such improper arrests in the future. This is definitely a win for civil and gun rights in California.

Now that the lawsuit has been settled, Mr. Wolanyk has posted the details of the incident on the CalGuns forum here. If the details are accurate, and I presume that they are, it is obvious that he knew the law on unloaded open carry more than the officers and police sergeant in question.

I am not an enthusiastic proponent of open carry as I think carrying concealed helps preserve your “gray man” status and preserves your element of surprise when dealing with the criminal element. That said, I do realize that open carry works to legitimize the carrying of firearms and desensitize the general public to the sight of a gun. As some have observed, it is akin to the gay rights movement in some of their protests. You may not always agree with them but you have to admit that they have been very effective in securing gay rights. In time, I hope the same will be said for the open carry activists.

San Francisco MTA Punked (bumped)

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority has rather rigid guidelines for the ads they will accept. For example, they won’t take any advertising that “appears to promote the use of firearms.” They even forced the new Will Farrell/Mark Wahlberg movie “The Other Guys” to change their ads so that it featured a can of Mace instead of a pistol.

Poster for GRPC on MTA bus stop (Calguns.net/forums)

However, the MTA was no match for the fearless duo of the CalGuns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation. According to Alan Gottlieb, he believes that MTA violated its own ad guidelines because “they believed we were prepared to file a lawsuit on First and Second Amendment grounds if, for any reason, the city didn’t take them.”

Gene Hoffman posted a crytic note on the CalGuns.net forum last night that said:

If anyone lives or works in the City, please stop by the following locations and report back (photos would be awesome) on what, if anything, you see there

Townsend St SS 86ft E/O 4th St F/E – 2
Masonic Ave WS 44ft N/O Hayes St F/N – 1
Geary Blvd NS 61ft E/O Divisadero St F/W – 2
Fulton St NS 94ft W/O 8th Ave F/W – 2
Mission St NS 86ft W/O 8th St F/W – 2
Polk St WS 23ft N/O Sutter St F/N – 1
North Point St NS 44ft W/O Polk St F/E – 1
Jackson St NS 38ft E/O Van Ness Ave F/W – 2
Columbus Ave WS 61ft S/O North Point St F/S – 2
Van Ness Ave WS 34ft S/O Greenwich St F/N – 1
McAllister St NS 28ft W/O Webster St F/E – 1
Lincoln Way SS 30ft W/O 21st Ave F/W – 1
Stockton St WS 181ft S/O Clay St F/N – 1
Haight St SS 39ft W/O Pierce St F/W – 1
Geary Blvd NS 24ft E/O 3rd Ave F/E – 1
Main St ES 269ft S/O Howard St F/N – 2


Speculation ran rampant that this was going to be another LCAV non-event or other guerrilla action against the anti-gunners. The result is what you see above – an in-your-face poster (with a shotgun) that promotes the Gun Rights Policy Conference in San Francisco. These posters appear on 15 bus stops scattered around San Francisco.

Way to go CGF and SAF! There is nothing like taking a guerrilla war to the heart of the enemies’s territory.

UPDATE: If you go to the link above to Calguns.net, you can see more of the GRPC posters around San Francisco.

UPDATE II: According to a report from CBS News, the San Francisco MTA is investigating whether the GRPC posters violate their policy on ads promoting the use of firearms. It looks like they are getting pressure from the SF Board of Supervisors to take them down. All of this publicity is making Alan Gottlieb happy. If they take down the ads, he’d be even more happy saying ” “All I can do is pray that all the publicity will make them want to decide to take down the ads — so we can sue!”

UPDATE III: Thanks to a reader of Snowflakesinhell.com, I see that the New York Times is now covering the story.

On Friday, riders waiting at a bus stop displaying the pro-gun poster seemed unaware that they had previously been shielded from such images. “I don’t want to see guns,” said Zsuzsanna Legradi, a 42-year-old gardener. “No one should have guns. It is bad enough that people have knives.”

Imagine her horror at seeing the Toyota Prius in this post.

A Trifecta in California

As reported in a release from the California Rifle and Pistol Association, three anti-gun bills in the California Assembly were voted down late last night. There was intense pressure on a few members to change their vote but they didn’t switch.

•AB 1810(Feuer) – Registration of Rifles and Shotguns
•AB 1934 (Saldana) – Handgun Open Carry Prohibition
•AB 2358 (De Leon) – Ammunition Registration

AB 1810 would have registered ALL rifles and shotguns in the same manner that handguns are currently registered in California.

AB 1934 would have prohibited the open carry of handguns whether loaded or unloaded. There is currently a growing movment among California gunowners to participate in unloaded open carry or UOC. The goal is to normalize perceptions of firearms and those who carry them.

AB 2358 would have “required that ammunition vendors transmit records of sale, information on the quantity and type of ammunition purchased, and the personal information of purchasers collected at the time of sale to local law enforcement if required by city or county ordinance.” The sponsor of this bill was the same Assemblyman who was the prime sponsor of AB 962 which requires face-to-face sales of handgun ammunition. The dangerous component of this bill is the last clause – if required by city or county ordinance. This would have allowed politicians in areas such as Oakland, LA, and San Francisco to make life even harder for lawful firearms owners.

Congratulations to our friends in California and to all who worked so hard to defeat these bills including CRPA and CalGuns.

UPDATE: Dirtcrashr at Anthroblogory has more including info on SB250 which mandated spay or neutering of (most) dogs.

Spoofing the Anti’s

Oh, those crazy kids at CalGuns.net. They planned a pro-gun demonstration at the annual fund-raising dinner for the Legal Community Against Violence in San Francisco. Only they didn’t show. It was a spoof from the beginning as they knew LCAV monitored their message board. They wanted to get LCAV all hot and bothered and worried. It worked.

From the last post explaining their actions:

Maskirovka: “The means of securing combat operations and the daily activities of forces; a complexity of measures, directed to mislead the enemy regarding the presence and disposition of forces, various military objectives, their condition, combat readiness and operations, and also the plans of the commander… maskirovka contributes to the achievement of surprise for the actions of forces, the preservation of combat readiness and the increased survivability of objectives.” – source: Jon Latimer, Deception in War, The Overlook Press, Woodstock & New York 2001

I’m sure that many of you are curious about the results of the LCAV protest. Well, they hired extra security, alerted the hotel to the potential for protests and apparently called in the SFPD to intimidate us.

But we never planned to show in the first place.

As much fun as it would have been to organize a great big ruckus, it was much more fun watching them scramble about in fear that the gun nuts were going to heap insult upon the injury of McDonald at their pyrrhic victory dinner.

And we didn’t have to expend an ounce of energy.

What was the point?

Well, we learned a bunch.

1) That past actions have convinced them to take us seriously. Calgunner attendance at City Council meetings, legislative hearings and court cases has demonstrated that we’re able to mobilize a motivated group of activists on short notice. We’ve proven to them that we show up. We’ve shown that we’re effective, too. Emeryville’s revision of their proposed ammunition ordinance proved that.

2) That they’re paying attention to us. We long suspected that LCAV was monitoring our communications. It’s one of the reasons that CGF boardmembers are circumspect when discussing legal strategies. So, please be patient when folks are using cryptic language to discuss options for regaining our rights.

3) That now they don’t know when we’re bluffing. We’ve spoofed them twice so far. Who knows what other kinds of wild goose chases we can send them on? It will be fun to learn.

4) That they’re afraid of us. Despite my assertions (and requirements) that this “action” not allow any physical contact, trespassing, etc., LCAV felt it necessary to mobilize the police and additional security.

5) That they’re irrational. In every interaction that we’ve had with the antis, we’ve been polite. We’ve been well dressed, well spoken, chivalrous and respectful. We’ve been met with profanities, threats and incivility. I wouldn’t be surprised if local officials are starting to take notice the difference in style.

Make no mistake, folks. We’re winning this fight.

Sometimes it’s not what you do, but what the other side thinks that you’re willing to do that causes the most disruption.

I’d like to offer up a special thanks to all the folks who came together to make this happen. This was a fun little exercise.

Calgunners rock!

Read the whole thread to see the anticipated demonstration. It really starts to move along at page 3.

Were the Calgunners taken seriously? Yes they were. Ezra Denney was the LCAV staffer in charge of the event. On his Facebook page he put that they “might be meeting some wacky folks tonight. Protesters are fun!”

The San Francisco PD showed up in full force with extra motorcycle and bicycle cops assigned to the dinner and anticipated protest. And as they said on the CalGuns.net board, “on this date in San Francisco: nothing happened.” You can see the pictures of the additional cops here.

I started to read their preparations last night and they had me totally fooled. From the discussions, I was expecting some sort of Code Pink demo with pictures of protesters being led away in handcuffs.Checking back this morning I found out that nothing had happened.

It was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.