When California Senate Bill 707 took effect on January 1, 2016, it established preferential treatment for retired government employees over and above the rights of licensed, law-abiding private citizens approved to carry a handgun. The Ninth Circuit has already held that there is no rational basis for the State to treat retired government employees more favorably than law-abiding members of the general public when it comes to limiting access to firearms...yet that’s exactly what SB 707 did.
Garcia v. Becerra (formerly Garcia v. Harris), filed in response to the enactment of SB 707, is intended to strike down as unconstitutional an exemption to the criminal provisions of California Penal Code Section 626.9, otherwise known as the “Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995,” under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
Garcia v. Becerra is currently on appeal at the Ninth Circuit.
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Fighting for Equal Rights
As we've shown in the first two SB 707 videos, the measure made California campuses less safe by limiting the number of CCW holders who could legally carry their weapons on school property. It was destined to fail until union lobbyists negotiated special privileges for their members at the expense of the rights of other law-abiding CCW holders.
Law professors at schools such as Berkeley and Stanford agreed that SB 707 wouldn't make campuses any safer. The Daily Californian wrote after the bill's signing:
Franklin Zimring, a campus law professor, said he doesn’t believe the law will have any effect on the prevalence of campus shootings in the short term or long term.
“It’s a symbolic tug-of-war between pro-control and gun-rights partisans,” Zimring said. “(The bill) was about trying to make a statement.”
Stanford law professor John Donohue said he believes that it is more important to pinpoint people who shouldn’t have guns and prevent them from purchasing them than to regulate people with CCW licenses.
“I really think the bigger problem is going to be: Can we get more of these people identified and made to be prohibitive purchasers?” Donohue said.
Despite the opinions of these professors and the objections of gun rights groups, SB 707 was signed into law. The only recourse for those whose rights had been stripped away was litigation.
As Craig said, fighting gun control laws in court is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive work. Quality civil rights litigation counsel, appellate attorneys, and Constitutional experts charge from $250 to $900 per hour. Major lawsuits such as Garcia v. Harris – which require significant fact-finding, discovery, depositions, motions to compel disclosure, etc. – cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Garcia v. Harris is currently on appeal at the Ninth Circuit. Please consider donating $25, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford today to help fund this important litigation.