The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Among lawyers, the buzzword we looking for in an equal protection case is “strict scrutiny,” because chances are that once the court has said that standard applies, the government will lose. Nevertheless, there are plenty of cases—including last term’s Obergefell decision on gay marriage—in which a government action has transgressed even less rigorous levels of scrutiny.
People with concealed carry permits sued California, claiming exempting retired peace officers from a law banning guns in schools discriminates against people who are not retired peace officers.
Eleven people and four gun groups sued Attorney General Kamala Harris on April 14 in Federal Court.
The Legislature last year recast the Gun-Free School Zone Act, which still exempts “individuals employed as ‘peace officers,’ members of the military, private security guards, and others actually employed to provide statutorily authorized security or law-enforcement services.”
On April 14, the Firearms Policy Foundation — together with other organizations and individuals — filed a suit against the state of California and Attorney General Kamala Harris, alleging the state made special “exemptions” for former police officers in order to secure passage of Senate Bill 707, which banned concealed carry on college campuses.
SB 707 is a gun control bill. It is part of a larger strategy of zero tolerance gun control measures with the real aim to trip people up in ways that even the smallest mistake causes them to lose their gun rights. SB 707 adds a new tripwire to the Gun Free Zone laws that surround 1,000 feet around every school in California threatening everyone, even those with a dire need or legal permit, from being within these zones with a gun. Everyone that is, except for the one lobby Sacramento needed to support this law, retired police officers. Even though they are no longer law enforcement officers and do not have any police powers, they will be granted a privilege no other citizen will have in the State of California. Indeed, there are lobbyists that seem to believe that retired police officers are not subject to living among their lowly fellow citizens as equals under the 14th Amendment; that they are better, exempt; that they are not “little people”.
Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed to Strike Down Gun Control Exemptions for Retired Law Enforcement Officers
LOS ANGELES (April 14, 2016) – Earlier today, 11 individuals and 4 nonprofit civil rights organizations filed a new federal equality lawsuit against the State of California and Attorney General Kamala Harris, arguing that the state’s many special statutory exemptions to gun laws for retired “peace officers” are a violation of their Fourteenth Amendment constitutional rights.
According to institutional plaintiff Firearms Policy Foundation, the new lawsuit’s purpose is to strike down as unconstitutional a number of exemptions that shield retired “peace officers” from the criminal provisions of California Penal Code Section 626.9, otherwise known as the “Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995”, because retired “peace officers” and regular law-abiding people should be treated the same under the Equal Protection Clause.Read more
Weeks after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill barring concealed weapons on K-12 school grounds, one district in Northern California is reaffirming its policy to allow the practice, and the local police chief agrees.
The Anderson Union High School District will continue to allow licensed employees to carry concealed weapons on school campuses, with officials saying it will keep students and faculty safe.
In The News: FPC’s Brandon Combs on “Which Way, L.A.?” to discuss Los Angeles magazine ban, SB 707 lawsuit
Firearms Policy Coalition President Brandon Combs joined “Which Way, L.A.?” host Warren Olney, UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, Peter Repovich of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, and Margot Bennett of Women against Gun Violence to discuss the proposed retired police officer exemption to the City of Los Angeles ban on “large-capacity” firearm magazines. FPC’s planned SB 707 lawsuit was also discussed.
Now that Gov. Brown has signed SB 707 into law, we’re going to do exactly what we said we would do: File a federal civil rights lawsuit.
While we prepare the case, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help fund lawsuit or let us know that you’d like to be considered as an individual plaintiff candidate.
SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 707, prohibiting gun owners issued a license by their local police chief or sheriff from carrying handguns for self-defense on California school grounds. It also subjects those with a carry permit, issued only after passing a strict, fingerprint-based background check and agency-approved training course, harsh new criminal liability for merely possessing a single round of ammunition on the grounds of any school or college campus, even if they don’t also possess a firearm.Read more