NRA And CRPA Sue California Over Assault Weapons Control Act

I have not seen the complaint yet but the NRA and the California Rifle and Pistol Association are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the State of California that seeks to have the Assault Weapons Control Act declared unconstitutional. Attorney Chuck Michel said the complaint would be up soon.

I think this is just the beginning of the lawsuits to come against the new gun control laws enacted in 2016 plus by Prop 63.

From the NRA-ILA on the lawsuit:

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced it is supporting, along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s newly expanded Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA).

The suit, Rupp v. Becerra, seeks to have the courts declare the AWCA unconstitutional because the ill-conceived law will do nothing to stop terrorists or violent criminals, and infringes on the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

The AWCA makes it illegal to manufacture, sell, transport, import or transfer hundreds of popular and commonly owned semi-automatic firearms the law inappropriately demonizes and condemns as “assault weapons.” This means it is illegal for owners to transfer or sell these firearms to anyone in California, including to their own children or heirs upon death. And owners themselves will be violating the law by continuing to possess their firearms unless they register them as “assault weapons” with the state.

The Rupp case was filed in direct response to a number of anti-gun-owner laws, including the expanded “assault weapon” statute, which were signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in July 2016. Collectively, those new gun bans have become known as “gunmageddon” among California’s roughly 10 million gun owners. The Rupp case challenges those restrictions, as well as California’s broader statutory scheme, which arbitrarily and unconstitutionally restricts the use and possession of the most commonly owned firearms in the United States.

Multiple lawsuits challenging other aspects of the unconstitutional laws passed last year are also in the works and will be filed in the coming weeks. Rupp is the first of a number of NRA/CRPA sponsored lawsuits soon to be filed that will challenge the “gunmageddon” bills, as well as the new laws enacted by Proposition 63 — which was overwhelmingly opposed by law enforcement.

Movement In CRPA-NRA Lawsuit Against San Francisco

Jackson v. City and County of San Francisco was filed back in May of 2009. The suit challenges three San Francisco ordinances on Second Amendment grounds. Yesterday, Judge Richard Seeborg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a ruling on San Francisco’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. He denied their motion and said the case can move forward.

More on this from attorney Chuck Michel:

On September 27, 2011, Judge Richard Seeborg of the United States District Court, Northern District of California, issued his long awaited ruling on San Francisco’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. Holding that the plaintiffs had “adequately alleged an intent and desire to engage in conduct that is prohibited by the ordinances but which they contend is constitutionally protected,” the court denied the City’s motion. The case, entirely funded by the NRA and CRPA Foundation, can now move forward toward a determination of its merits. The full text of the court’s Order Denying Motion Dismiss for Lack of Standing can be viewed here at www.calgunlaws.com.

The order was issued in Jackson v. City & County of San Francisco, No. 09-2143 (N.D. Cal.). The Jackson lawsuit, filed on May 15, 2009, challenges three San Francisco ordinances on Second Amendment grounds. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the City’s enactment and enforcement of three city ordinances requiring firearms be disabled by a trigger lock or stored in a locked container, banning the sale of ammunition that “serves no sporting purpose,” and prohibiting firearm discharges with no self-defense exception unduly burdens the right to self-defense. The Jackson case has already been successful in forcing the City to amend its discharge ban, a law that has been in place for some 73 years, to allow for discharges in self-defense, defense of others, and all other circumstances allowed for under state and federal law.

On February 10, 2011, the City responded to Plaintiffs’ Complaint with a motion to dismiss the case based on its claim that the City does not enforce the challenged ordinances. As such, the City argued, Plaintiffs have no legitimate fear of prosecution and otherwise suffer no injury by complying with the law. The technical claim was that Plaintiffs lack “standing” to bring their claims, based on the dearth of prosecutions to date. In short, the City exposed itself as unconcerned that its ordinances in fact coerce law-abiding citizens to surrender their constitutional right to self-defense.

Plaintiffs responded on March 23, 2011, arguing the City’s motion should be denied. Plaintiffs regarded as unpersuasive the City’s claims that its ordinances are not and have not been enforced and that Plaintiffs suffer no injury by obeying these laws. Ultimately, Plaintiffs asked the court to recognize the very real harm they each suffer by complying with the unconstitutional laws.

The court’s ruling did just that. Plaintiffs laud the decision, upholding reason over rhetoric and recognizing the “immediacy and concreteness of the injury [Plaintiffs] have alleged” and the unreasonableness of requiring a self-defense emergency, or a criminal prosecution, to arise before judicial review of these laws is available. The ruling paves the way for future Second Amendment litigants in the Ninth Circuit.

More On NRA/CRPA Amicus Briefs

The NRA and the CRPA filed amicus briefs in the California carry case Richards v. Prieto. The release from Chuck Michel is below which explains them in more detail.

August 31, 2011 – Today, the California Rifle and Pistol Foundation (“CRPA Foundation”) and the National Rifle Association filed amicus briefs in support of appellants in Richards v. Prieto, who have challenged California’s regulatory scheme governing the issuance of permits to carry concealed firearms (“CCW permits”) and Yolo County policies for its (non)-issuance of permits to residents seeking to exercise their right to carry a loaded firearm in public.

At issue in Richards is a Yolo County policy conditioning the issuance of CCW permits on a wholly discretionary assessment of each applicant’s “moral character” and stated “good cause.” In practice, Yolo’s policy prohibits the vast majority of county residents from obtaining a permit.

In its brief, available here, CRPA Foundation argues in support of the appellants that Yolo County’s CCW permitting policies are unconstitutional to the extent they deny law-abiding residents the only lawful means of exercising their right to bear operable handguns for self-defense anywhere in the State, despite the United States Supreme Court’s declaration that armed self-defense is a “central component” of our Second Amendment rights.

CRPA Foundation’s brief further provides an historical analysis of the right to keep and bear arms, which establishes that Yolo County’s broad prohibition on the carriage of loaded firearms is categorically unconstitutional and, at a minimum, fails to satisfy the heightened scrutiny required of regulations that so severely burden the right as to eliminate it altogether.

CRPAF is itself currently before the Ninth Circuit, litigating its own challenge to prohibitory local CCW permitting policies. Briefing in that case, Peruta v. San Diego, will be completed onASeptember 6, 2011.

In its brief, available here, NRA provides the Ninth Circuit panel with significant background on the practices and experiences of other states in issuing carry permits throughout the nation. NRA’s amicus brief beautifully illustrates the fact that issuing such permits to law-abiding citizens will not increase crime rates and may, in fact, cause them to fall.

The CRPA amicus brief is available here.

The NRA amicus brief is available here.

Classy Move

The NRA and the California Rifle and Pistol Association just filed an amicus brief in a California carry case, Richards v. Prieto. In return, the Second Amendment Foundation just issued this press release yesterday expressing their thanks for the NRA/CRPA support. Its good to see them playing well together!

SAF THANKS NRA, CRPAF FOR AMICUS BRIEFS IN RICHARDS V. PRIETO CASE

For Immediate Release: 9/1/2011

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today thanked the National Rifle Association and California Rifle and Pistol Foundation for filing amicus briefs in SAF’s challenge of Yolo County, California’s policies that exploit the state’s regulations on the issuance of concealed firearms carry permits.

Joining SAF in that lawsuit is the CalGuns Foundation. The case is known as Richards v. Prieto. It targets Yolo County’s arbitrary policy that requires CCW applicants to provide good cause for obtaining a permit, and subjects each applicant to a “moral character” standard.

“The policies practices in Yolo County are clearly unconstitutional and should be overturned,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We filed the lawsuit because citizens should not be subjected to such policies simply in an effort to exercise their rights to bear arms for personal protection.

“We are delighted that our good friends at both the NRA and CRPA have filed briefs in support of this cause,” he continued. “Authorities in Yolo County who are trying to perpetuate this egregious policy despite the Supreme Court’s clear determination that self-defense is a cornerstone tenet of the right to keep and bear arms.”

Gottlieb noted that the overwhelming majority of the states have adopted shall-issue statutes for concealed carry licenses or permits, and that they have worked remarkably well by removing the authority from local officials who may want to abuse complicated regulations such as those that exist in the Golden State.

“State and local governments should be scrambling to review, and where necessary, adjust firearms laws and regulations in the wake of two Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment,” Gottlieb said. “When local governments continue to resist, rather than comply with, the principles and spirit of high court rulings and the Constitution, we’ll continue to meet them in court. As NRA and CRPAF have demonstrated with their briefs in this case, when we take people to court, we’re going to have company.”

Sunnyvale Planning Commission Wants To Impose Unconstitutional Restrictions Due To NIMBYs

Attorney Chuck Michel who works with the NRA/CRPA Legal Action Project in California posted an article this evening about the Sunnyvale, California Planning Commission. The Planning Commission is seeking to have the Sunnyvale City Council adopt a new municipal ordinance which would put increased restrictions on the sale of firearms in Sunnyvale. The Commission is responding to unfounded complaints from some neighbors of a firearms dealer that opened in Sunnyvale in 2010. The complaints include that they weren’t notified and that children walk by the store on their way to school as if just merely seeing guns will turn their kids into the next Klebold and Harris (of Columbine infamy).

NRA & CRPA OPPOSE NEW REGULATIONS RESTRICTING FIREARMS DEALERS IN SUNNYVALE, CA

On August 22, 2011, the Planning Commission for the City of Sunnyvale held a meeting to consider the City’s ongoing “Firearms Sales Study Issue.” The issue originated when a firearms dealer, U.S. Firearms, opened for business in Sunnyvale in the fall of 2010. Despite the fact that the dealer had all necessary permits and licenses from both the state and federal government, neighbors made complaints to Sunnyvale staff and elected officials.

The Sunnyvale Planning Commission ultimately decided to sponsor the issue as a result of the complaints, but the City Council ranked it number 4 of 4 for 2011. Even though this issue had the lowest ranking by the City Council for 2011, and the fact that the Staff Report on the issue (AVAILABLE HERE) indicates that “there has been no evidence of increased crime, property devaluation or land use incompatibilities as the result of the businesses,” and Sunnyvale “staff ha[d] not identified any adverse land use impacts associated with a firearms store,” the Planning Commission nonetheless recommended that the City Council adopt an ordinance to amend the City’s municipal code to place restrictions on firearm sales in Sunnyvale. Though the staff report acknowledged there had been no problems with firearm sellers, staff nonetheless inexplicably noted in the report that, “[t]he greatest concern regarding firearm sales is the business operator that is engaged in buying and selling the firearms.”

The approved ordinance would: 1) add a definition for “firearms sales business;” 2) prohibit these businesses in commercial and industrially-zoned districts within 200 feet of public schools in order to provide a buffer to the schools; and 3) require a new DPS Firearms Dealer Permit that would include additional conditions such as requiring a security plan to be installed and then inspected by the City, and that the Federal Firearm License (FFL) holder and all employees meet the state and federal requirements regarding past criminal convictions, etc. (current requirements are limited to the dealer and not the employees).

Michel & Associates attorneys submitted an opposition letter to the Planning Commission on behalf of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) noting that firearm dealers are subject to a variety of background checks at both the state and federal levels. The letter (AVAILABLE HERE) also noted that firearm dealers are generally some of the most upstanding members of society, and that after the Supreme Court’s McDonald decision, they enjoy a protected status as purveyors of a fundamental right. So the fact that some “residents [of Sunnyvale] have expressed [unfounded] concerns about the potential crime and public safety risk associated with a firearm sales business located near their homes and schools” does not mean that the City of Sunnyvale is free to infringe on fundamental Second Amendment rights.

The letter explains that since the Second Amendment is a newly court-recognized right, the contours of the Second Amendment’s protections are still being litigated in courtrooms across the country. The letter also amicably explains the current legal landscape regarding firearm regulation, and suggests Sunnyvale should avoid litigation on these issues by consulting with the NRA, CRPA, and their attorneys.

As the city continues moving forward with the proposed ordinance, additional correspondence will be submitted.

I have examined the 141 page staff report submitted to the  Sunnyvale Planning Commission. Much of the document was devoted to reporting on the comments at a public meeting on the issue. Approximately 120 people attended the June 2011 meeting and it appears that the overwhelming majority were against any new regulations and were indeed pro-rights. Many of the letters received also support the existing gun store, U.S. Firearms, and gun stores in general.

However, the Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV) has weighed in on the issue with a 59 page submission urging the Planning Commission to adopt new regulations. Unfortunately, this submission and not the majority of the residents of Sunnyvale seems to have carried the day. You must wonder if LCAV will also foot the legal bills for Sunnyvale when they get the pants sued off of them on Second Amendment grounds. I somehow doubt it.

The Case Of The Duck-Hunting High School Student

From the California Rifle & Pistol Association and attorney Chuck Michel:

SHOCKING VIDEO RELEASED BY CRPA FOUNDATION ABOUT NRA/CRPAF SUCCESSFUL LEGAL EFFORT ON BEHALF OF EXPELLED DUCK HUNTING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT

Last year the NRA and the CRPA Foundation joined forces under their California Legal Action Project (LAP) to provide legal assistance for high school student Gary Tudesko in his fight to be readmitted to Willows High School in Glenn County, California. NRA News, in cooperation with the CRPA Foundation, has now released a video chronicling the events and the ultimate victory. It is posted at http://youtube.com/MichelLawyers. The Tudesko’s will be guests of honor at the upcoming CRPA banquet to be held on February 26, 2011.

Sixteen-year-old Tudesko was expelled on November 19, 2009 for having unloaded shotguns in his pick-up truck that he legally parked on an off-campus, public street near the Willows High School campus. The high school is located in a small rural community near Sacramento, and the unloaded shotguns were in his truck because he had gone duck hunting in the pre-dawn hours before school. The case garnered significant national media coverage as an example of zero-tolerance policies run amuck.

Tudesko’s shotguns were discovered in the pick up truck by scent-sniffing dogs during a questionable school search. Police ran the license plates, determined Tudesko was the owner, and then called him out of class. Tudesko cooperated and readily told the Principal about the shotguns and his early morning hunting trip.The school first suspended Tudesko for five days, then extended the suspension indefinitely until an expulsion hearing was held. Tudesko’s mother, Susan Parisio defended her son during the November 19th public hearing on his expulsion. She challenged the school district’s legal jurisdiction to enforce the Education Code’s prohibition of guns on campus against her son for having unloaded shotguns locked in an off-campus vehicle parked on a public street. (See Hearing Minutes) High Principal Mort Geivett told the local School Board that, as a matter of law, it had no choice but to expel Tudesko, and the Board did just that.

Tudesko appealed the local school district’s expulsion order to the Glenn County Board of Education. The appeal hearing was held on January 19, 2010. Tudesko was defended by civil rights lawyers Chuck Michel and Hillary Green of the Long Beach-based law firm of Michel & Associates, P.C. (www.michellawyers.com). (Read the Brief in Support of Appeal filed by Michel & Associates, P.C.)

In a dramatic victory, the Glenn County Board of Education unanimously reversed the decision of the Willows Unified School District and Principal Mort Geivett reinstated Gary Tudesko at Willows High School!

This was a great victory for law-abiding gun-owners – particularly young adults who wish to enjoy their rights – over nonsensical “zero-tolerance” policies.

Disturbingly, Geivett claimed the school had jurisdiction over students traveling to and from school, as well as students off-campus during lunch, and that the school had jurisdiction over off-campus vehicles because students could not possess firearms within 1,000 feet of campus. But Geivett confused the Penal Code with the Education Code. With a number of exceptions, it is a potential criminal violation of the Penal Code, specifically the Gun Free School Zone law, to knowingly possess a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. But that law has nothing to do with the sections of the Education Code generally prohibiting possession of firearms on school grounds Tudesko was charged with violating. (See Education Code sections Tuedesko allegedly violated.)

Tudesko’s truck was parked off school grounds, and Gary was not traveling to or from school at the time of the search of the off-campus truck. He was in class. Moreover, schools do not enforce criminal/penal statutes like the Gun Free School Zone law, the District Attorney does. And, the District Attorney and Willows Chief of Police had already stated there would be no charges filed against Tudesko, likely because there was no intent to violate the law.

Legal issues aside, Tudesko was in this position because of a short-sighted bureaucratic approach to enforcing the school’s “zero tolerance” policy toward firearms, which is in many cases misapplied. Time and again these policies have resulted in a triumph of irrational political correctness over common sense and justice. Given that Tudesko had gone duck hunting that same morning with friends (hence the two shotguns), had bird-shot loads as ammunition, had both firearms unloaded, had intentionally parked off-campus to avoid any issues, and had several people who corroborated his story, school administrators should have acknowledged that the circumstances did not warrant expulsion.

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.