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Calguns Foundation Sues San Mateo County Over Preempted Parks Carry Ban

San Carlos, CA (October 20, 2011) – As part of its ongoing Carry License Compliance and Sunshine Initiative, the Calguns Foundation (CGF) announced that it has sued San Mateo County over their ban on the carry of firearms by those licensed to carry in San Mateo County Parks in a case entitled Early v. San Mateo County. California prohibits cities and counties from passing additional regulations regarding the licensure of firearms. Plaintiffs Grant Early and Gene Hoffman both hold state-wide licenses to carry firearms from their respective sheriffs in the counties where they reside.
CGF approached San Mateo County to request that the county simply add an exception to their ban on carrying a firearm in county parks for those who are licensed by the State of California to carry a firearm. The County refused to add the exception.
Those who hold carry licenses in California have had to show “good cause,” and complete a background check and training to obtain a permit from their sheriff or chief of police. In most cases “good cause” is a specific life threatening reason for their need to carry. However, in some counties the need for self defense is considered good cause to comport with the Constitution.
“My need to carry a firearm for self defense doesn’t stop at the edge of a county park,” said plaintiff Grant Early. “Mountain lions are common in San Mateo county parks as are predators of the two legged kind. I’m glad that the California Legislature saw fit to protect my right to keep and bear arms by requiring uniformity for carry licenses throughout the state.”
“Recently, San Francisco attempted to regulate the licensing of firearms and that attempt cost San Francisco more than $500,000.00 in legal costs to lose a court case,” stated Gene Hoffman, Chairman of CGF and a plaintiff. “Carry licenses were specifically highlighted in that case as being the type of state license that cities and counties had no authority to regulate. I certainly hope that San Mateo County comes to understand that it’s a bad idea to waste county taxpayer money to violate California law and limit fundamental individual rights.”
A copy of the complaint is available in CGF's downloads directory at http://calgunsfoundation.org/resources/downloads/category/19-earlyvsanmateo.html.
About the Carry License Compliance and Sunshine Initiative
CGF is working to compel government agencies to comply with the Constitution, to promote transparency in the process of issuing licenses, and to bring about a lawful and orderly way for California citizens to exercise self-defense. Through its Richards v. Prieto case, CGF changed Sacramento County’s carry license issuance policy to allow any law-abiding resident of Sacramento County to obtain a license. The case continues against Sheriff Prieto and Yolo County in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to test the sheriff’s assertion that he has the sole discretion to decide to who may – and who may not -- exercise the right to self-defense. Additionally, CGF has sued Merced County in Rossow v. Merced for various unlawful policies and procedures required of its carry license applicants. Recently, CGF won a lawsuit against Ventura County who had refused to make public the “good cause” statements that some Ventura County residents had used to obtain carry permits from the sheriff in that county. CGF is working to make the right to carry the means of self-defense available for all law abiding Californians. The lives of people living in Los Angeles and San Francisco are no less deserving of the constitutional right of self-defense than the good people of Seattle, Portland, and 40 other states throughout the nation.
The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which serves its members by providing Second Amendment-related education, strategic litigation and the defense of innocent California gun owners from improper or malicious prosecution. The Calguns Foundation seeks to inform government and protect the rights of individuals to acquire, own, and lawfully use firearms in California.
Contact:
Gene Hoffman 650-275-1015
hoffmang@calgunsfoundation.org