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-   -   9/19/2013 CGF Files New Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit to Stop DOJ's DROS Delay Policy (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=656150)

wildhawker 12-13-2012 10:45 AM

9/19/2013 CGF Files New Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit to Stop DOJ's DROS Delay Policy
 
http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/201...uit-gun-delays

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Calguns Foundation Sues California Attorney General Kamala Harris and
DOJ Firearms Bureau Chief Stephen Lindley Over Federal Civil Rights Violations


SAN CARLOS, CA – The Calguns Foundation filed a new federal civil rights lawsuit this morning on behalf of three California residents, naming Attorney General Kamala Harris and DOJ Bureau of Firearms Chief Stephen Lindley as defendants. The case challenges the California Department of Justice’s practice of denying individuals’ fundamental rights protected under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

The Department, through defendants Harris and Lindley, have been and continue to enforce a policy of forbidding many gun purchasers from taking possession of their lawfully-obtained firearms through what are commonly referred to as “DROS delays”, sometimes for over a year or indefinitely.

One plaintiff in the case, Darren Owen of Taft, California, has been denied his firearm for over 18 months.

“It’s the government’s responsibility to timely prove that someone has already been adjudicated and their Constitutional right to purchase and possess guns taken away through due process,” explained Gene Hoffman, the Foundation’s Chairman. “It’s not the individual’s job to prove that they have fundamental rights.”

“By shifting the burden to the individual, the DOJ is blatantly violating the Constitution and thumbing its nose at the U.S. Supreme Court’s D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago decisions.”

Victor Otten, an attorney for the plaintiffs, agrees. “Our clients are not prohibited from owning guns under state and federal law,” noted Otten. “The bottom line is that if the DOJ cannot determine that someone is ineligible to possess firearms in a timely manner with all of the databases and law enforcement resources it has at its disposal, then they have no choice but to allow our clients and other similarly-situated gun owners to take possession of their firearms.”

Under current California law, the DOJ must permit a firearm purchaser to receive their firearm at the end of the 10-day DROS background check period unless it determines that the purchaser is not eligible to possess or purchase firearms. Earlier this year, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D – San Francisco) amended his bill AB 500 to allow the Department of Justice to deny the release of firearms for up to 30 days. AB 500 is presently awaiting California Governor Jerry Brown’s action.

“We’ve received hundreds of reports like those at issue in this case and it’s a virtual certainty that there are thousands of others like the individual plaintiffs out there,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Brandon Combs. “The DOJ’s policy is nothing short of outrageous.”

Continued Combs, “It’s time for the DOJ to respect the Second Amendment. If the Attorney General and her staff refuse to do it voluntarily, we will not hesitate to force it in the courts. In filing this case, we seek to ensure that the Constitutionally-enshrined fundamental rights of Californians to buy and possess firearms are respected no matter how far Ms. Harris or Assemblymember Ammiano might wish the DOJ’s powers extended.”

The new federal lawsuit is entitled Darrin Owen, et. al. vs. Kamala Harris, et. al. and may be viewed or downloaded at http://ia601002.us.archive.org/8/ite...71.docket.html.

The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves its members, supporters, and the public through educational, cultural, and judicial efforts to defend and advance Second Amendment and related civil rights. Supporters may visit http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/donate to join or donate to CGF.

###

Please forward this official communication to all of your contacts and help us distribute this important gun rights news alert.

***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 12, 2013

The Calguns Foundation, 7 Californians Sue Attorney General Kamala Harris, DOJ Over Gun Delays

SAN CARLOS, CA – The Calguns Foundation has filed a lawsuit on behalf of seven California residents today against Attorney General Kamala Harris, the California Department of Justice, and DOJ Bureau of Firearms Chief Stephen Lindley. The case challenges the DOJ’s policy of requiring some firearm purchasers to prove their legal standing to take possession of acquired firearms and forcing them to wait beyond the statutory 10-day waiting period.

One plaintiff in the case, Daniel Schoepf of Long Beach, California, was denied his fundamental right to keep and bear arms for self-defense even after DOJ told him that he was legally eligible to purchase and possess firearms.

In 1984, Schoepf was detained in Los Angeles County for having two tablets in his pocket that were later discovered to be common, non-prescription pills. The detectives subsequently released Schoepf and no charges were filed. In 2006, DOJ firearms section Program Manager Steve Buford sent Schoepf a letter stating that he was eligible to purchase and possess firearms; however, in 2012, DOJ reversed that position and instructed Schoepf’s local firearms dealer to hold back delivery of Schoepf’s gun.

“I know I’m not alone in this, that DOJ is wrongly denying many Californians their Second Amendment rights just like they are mine,” said Schoepf. “I’m not a criminal and certainly not a disqualified convict but am a law abiding citizen with my Second Amendment rights fully intact. They left me no choice but to fight this injustice in court.”

“Over the past year, the DOJ has been directing California gun dealers to delay the release of firearms to people eligible to possess them – sometimes indefinitely,“ said Jason Davis, attorney for The Calguns Foundation. “The DOJ simply has no legal authority to justify their policy.”

The DOJ claims that these delays are primarily due to lack of information in their criminal history databases. In a July 2011 Los Angeles Times article, assistant attorney general Travis LeBlanc said the DOJ’s criminal records database system was “shoddy,” with the ‘guilty’, ‘not guilty’, or ‘case dismissed’ disposition information missing for about 7.7 million of the 16.4 million arrest records entered into the database over the last decade – and presumably much more for older cases.

“In essence, the DOJ is relying upon their improperly-maintained database to deny the fundamental rights of individuals,” said Gene Hoffman, Chairman of The Calguns Foundation. “That policy is entirely unacceptable and we look forward to putting an end to it.”

The attorney for plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Victor Otten, agrees.

“Our clients follow the law and so should the DOJ,” said Otten. “The DOJ is gleefully enforcing a policy that deprives my clients of their civil rights. The arrogance of the Department to think that it can abrogate the Constitution and statutory duties set by the Legislature is very unsettling.”

“This case really underscores the value of our DOJ Watch program,” said Brandon Combs, Executive Director of The Calguns Foundation. “Attorney General Harris’s hostility towards some civil rights predictably resulted in a shift away from former Attorney General Brown’s correct application of the law – and we are here to hold her accountable.”

The lawsuit is entitled Schoepf, et. al. vs. Kamala Harris, et. al. A copy of the complaint may be viewed or downloaded at http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/wp-...-complaint.pdf.

The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which serves its members and the public 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. Supporters may visit http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/donate to join or donate to CGF.

GOEX FFF 12-13-2012 10:51 AM

Thanks for looking in to this Brandon and for all the work you do! :thumbsup:

mrdd 12-13-2012 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wildhawker (Post 9911961)
The good news is that gun purchases in California have increased about 400%. The bad news is, and DOJ has acknowledged, that processing the increased level of DROS applications requires resource allocation such that they have to limit the hours for taking DROS denial appeals calls (see below).

OK, but we agree there is more going on than a recent 400% increase in DROS applications, right?

We have noticed increased reports of delays for people who successfully purchased in the past, beginning around March of this year. What is going on with that?

hawk1 12-13-2012 11:04 AM

Quote:

The bad news is, and DOJ has acknowledged, that processing the increased level of DROS applications requires resource allocation such that they have to limit the hours for taking DROS denial appeals calls (see below).
They certainly have the resources to drum up old, non-disqualifying convictions...

What happened to the extra DROS money they had?

Oh yeah, they no longer have it...:rolleyes:

tcrpe 12-13-2012 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrdd (Post 9912052)
OK, but we agree there is more going on than a recent 400% increase in DROS applications, right?

We have noticed increased reports of delays (and denials) for people who successfully purchased in the past, beginning around March of this year. What is going on with that?

Exactly, and will they push for retroactive denials now?

The certainly have an ulterior motive in this.

Maybe the DOJ should start issuing support ticket numbers . . . . . :shrug:

rplusplus 12-13-2012 11:07 AM

Calling for a mod to STICKY this one at least for a little while... All it will take is for Zimmerman to make the news again for this to be on page 6.

mrdd 12-13-2012 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HowardW56 (Post 9912042)
No doubt the increased number of delays indicated there is some procedure changes in play here, but if you take into the consideration the huge increase in gun sales there is a measure of truth/fact also...

Yes, but the increase in DROS applications is probably limited to the last 1/3 of the year at most. We have been seeing the delay reports since around March so there is definitely more going on.

randian 12-13-2012 11:35 AM

Somebody in the previous thread said that DOJ is asking for originals of documentation on offenses they've already considered and cleared. Is DOJ mad? Originals are precious. From what I see here on these forums, originals can be impossible to recreate should they be lost, especially for old offenses. They should not be subjected to unnecessary risk of loss through postal error, DOJ error, or any other kind of mishap. Copies should be sufficient. If they want the originals, they should send somebody out to inspect them in person.

drdarrin@sbcglobal.net 12-13-2012 11:58 AM

I smell a case being built here, against the DOJ and their inability to process these in a timely manner.

Perhaps a change like DOJ has 10 days to deny and if the don't or fail to respond at all, you're good to go?

Just thinking out loud.

tcrpe 12-13-2012 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VW*Mike (Post 9912506)
DOJ meaning state or fed?

State

Librarian 12-13-2012 12:22 PM

Sticky as requested, but let's keep it low volume please.

Mrbroom 12-13-2012 12:26 PM

A quick thank you on behalf of one of my co-workers.. Him and I have purchased firearms together for at least the last 5 years. All of a sudden in July this year, he was denied by the DOJ. Him and I were purchasing some stripped lowers. We contacted the Calguns Foundation and advice was given on the appropiate steps to take. Today, Turners called my friend and told them he was now cleared..

25 years ago my co worker was arrested but not charged with any crime and it seems that is what held him up. He dide a live scan and fire arms check with the state that took months to finally give him the release..

Thanks to CGF for the help!! All paper work has been copied to Jason as requested..

Dantedamean 12-13-2012 12:54 PM

Man this sucks, I hope we can get a good case out of this to get rid of the DROS requirement. Sounds like they're intentionally stopping people from exercising their constitutional right simply because they can.

norcalgunguy 12-13-2012 1:45 PM

Big thanks to Brandon for your efforts!

clbshooter 12-13-2012 4:16 PM

Brandon, I can tell you without a doubt that this was what I was told this past Monday when I talked to them. I have the date and time logged on my cell phone. This will be easy to prove if they record their incoming calls. Thanks for all the help you do for gun enthusiasts in Ca.,. AND I never received a DROS denial form. Where do these come from and how long does it take to receive?

hawk1 12-13-2012 4:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clbshooter (Post 9914138)
Brandon, I can tell you without a doubt that this was what I was told this past Monday when I talked to them. I have the date and time logged on my cell phone. This will be easy to prove if they record their incoming calls. Thanks for all the help you do for gun enthusiasts in Ca.,. AND I never received a DROS denial form. Where do these come from and how long does it take to receive?

Q: How do you know DOJ is lying?

A: Anytime they give you an answer over the phone...

wildhawker 12-13-2012 5:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clbshooter (Post 9914138)
Brandon, I can tell you without a doubt that this was what I was told this past Monday when I talked to them. I have the date and time logged on my cell phone. This will be easy to prove if they record their incoming calls. Thanks for all the help you do for gun enthusiasts in Ca.,. AND I never received a DROS denial form. Where do these come from and how long does it take to receive?

I'd need the name and/or ID of the person(s) you spoke with to further pursue the "vacation" matter (please not on open channels like here). The DROS denials will go to the FFL where the transaction originated.

-Brandon

tcrpe 12-13-2012 5:53 PM

On the subject of a new effort to dredge up ancient, incomplete and defective records while placing the burden of proof on the citizen, and can see a cause of action.

As far as stupid, uncaring, lazy, and inept state workers and their vacations, No cause of action unless they have statutory time frames within which to produce.

No surprise there with their attitude.

Dantedamean 12-13-2012 5:55 PM

Out of curiosity can you legally record the phone call with the DOJ?

chiselchst 12-13-2012 6:00 PM

Whenever I have a serious issue requiring phone conversations, I try to make it a practice of documenting all of the info; like time, the persons name, and also the employee ID number (they usually have one). And I take notes...

Perhaps if this is done it may aid in CG's following up these types of situations...

wildhawker 12-13-2012 6:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dantedamean (Post 9914807)
Out of curiosity can you legally record the phone call with the DOJ?

Consult your lawyer ahead of time.

-Brandon

wildhawker 12-13-2012 6:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tcrpe (Post 9914795)
On the subject of a new effort to dredge up ancient, incomplete and defective records while placing the burden of proof on the citizen, and can see a cause of action.

So do I.

Quote:

As far as stupid, uncaring, lazy, and inept state workers and their vacations, No cause of action unless they have statutory time frames within which to produce.
:whistling:

-Brandon

tcrpe 12-13-2012 6:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wildhawker (Post 9914915)
So do I.



:whistling:

-Brandon

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/c...C48CE51A07.jpg

wildhawker 12-13-2012 6:42 PM

Bones ref FTW!

Shrubmaster 12-13-2012 8:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rplusplus (Post 9912086)
Calling for a mod to STICKY this one at least for a little while... All it will take is for Zimmerman to make the news again for this to be on page 6.

I brought it up too, only to be met with countless "black helicopter" replies. Last time I try to keep the calguns community up to date on REAL threats to individuals rights.

Almost a year later and its finally getting the attention it deserves.

Gunlawyer 12-14-2012 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dantedamean (Post 9914807)
Out of curiosity can you legally record the phone call with the DOJ?

I would not do so in CA.

California's wiretapping law is a "two-party consent" law. California makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without the consent of all parties to the conversation. See Cal. Penal Code § 632. The statute applies to "confidential communications" -- i.e., conversations in which one of the parties has an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening in or overhearing the conversation. See Flanagan v. Flanagan, 41 P.3d 575, 576-77, 578-82 (Cal. 2002).* A California appellate court has ruled that this statute applies to the use of hidden video cameras to record conversations as well. See California v. Gibbons, 215 Cal. App. 3d 1204 (Cal Ct. App. 1989).

roushstage2 12-14-2012 12:54 PM

Good looking out guys!

ARfan23 12-16-2012 8:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drdarrin@sbcglobal.net (Post 9912400)
I smell a case being built here, against the DOJ and their inability to process these in a timely manner.

Perhaps a change like DOJ has 10 days to deny and if the don't or fail to respond at all, you're good to go?

Just thinking out loud.

That would be nice, but it will never happen ... as much as I agree with you.:euro:

HowardW56 12-16-2012 8:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drdarrin@sbcglobal.net (Post 9912400)
I smell a case being built here, against the DOJ and their inability to process these in a timely manner.

Perhaps a change like DOJ has 10 days to deny and if the don't or fail to respond at all, you're good to go?

Just thinking out loud.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ARfan23 (Post 9938043)
That would be nice, but it will never happen ... as much as I agree with you.:euro:

Be patient.....

Catching up 12-18-2012 2:07 PM

If people agree the 2nd amendment was to prevent an oppressive government from being oppressive, why wouldn't those same people ( and everyone else) believe you do not need military style weapons for the civilian population. If the whole purpose is to prevent the government (or military) from doing something, you need equal firepower?

gigglemonkee 12-20-2012 12:08 PM

got a call saying that a gun I should be able to pick up on sunday is delayed. Never had any run ins with the law other than a parking ticket and speeding ticket years ago. No detains or arrests and have bought about 13 guns this year no problem including picking one up the day before i started this dros. It is a ppt as well so I can't call DOJ until the hours between 2 and 4 to find out anything.

HowardW56 12-20-2012 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gigglemonkee (Post 9969610)
got a call saying that a gun I should be able to pick up on sunday is delayed. Never had any run ins with the law other than a parking ticket and speeding ticket years ago. No detains or arrests and have bought about 13 guns this year no problem including picking one up the day before i started this dros. It is a ppt as well so I can't call DOJ until the hours between 2 and 4 to find out anything.

So call them in 15 minutes or so and see what they have to say...

gigglemonkee 12-20-2012 1:05 PM

Just called was told "we can't say anything over the phone since we can't verify who you are"

HowardW56 12-20-2012 1:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gigglemonkee (Post 9970063)
Just called was told "we can't say anything over the phone since we can't verify who you are"


Thats a new twist, first time I've heard that....

gigglemonkee 12-20-2012 2:01 PM

Called back again they say keep trying so I can get through to the other department but it is taking them a couple weeks to do background checks since the rush over the weekend. They should have all current checks done by New Years.

gigglemonkee 12-20-2012 2:09 PM

Just called again and talked to someone. They said it is either me or the gun and can take a couple weeks of investigation.

potter 12-20-2012 2:57 PM

I just called BOF and got a message that the hours to inquire about a Denial are now 2-4 pm. I called back 20 times and when finally connected was told to call next year, as they aren't taking phone calls regarding Delays or Denials until after Jan 1st, 2013.

mrdd 12-20-2012 3:48 PM

This is very troubling that the state is holding up purchases like this.

Dantedamean 12-20-2012 3:53 PM

Ya this is BS, especially for people who already own guns.

Now Yee wants YEARLY background checks? How's the hell are they going to do that? This I hope will be the death of the DROS, well see.

randian 12-20-2012 4:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dantedamean (Post 9971376)
Now Yee wants YEARLY background checks? How's the hell are they going to do that?

I believe his actual strategy is to prevent non-government gun possession by

1) making it more expensive; I presume a fee is involved for the annual check

2) for those recalcitrant enough not to get the message and actually fork over the fees, prevent possession by massively backlogging the annual checks. Until your check comes through, you can't carry/shoot (or perhaps even own). Perfection is achieved when the backlog reaches a year or more.


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