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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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Old 03-03-2013, 12:38 PM
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Default Carry in CA - dispelling some misinformation

From http://calgunsfoundation.org/news-bl...alifornia.html

Calguns Foundation, with our partner SAF, filed the first post-Heller “right to carry” lawsuit in the nation on May 5, 2009, 15 days after the first Nordyke v. King panel decision incorporated the Second Amendment. The case against the sheriffs of Sacramento and Yolo Counties was originally known as Sykes v. McGinness.

We moved quickly on carry after we read the Heller decision, as we found it surprisingly supportive of the right to bear arms. The board members, partners, and volunteers of CGF made the strategic decision to prioritize the right to carry as the next most critical step in securing the right to keep and bear arms. Incorporation felt like a foregone conclusion that would resolve in due course and thus the first Nordyke panel opinion gave us a chance to move more quickly on a carry case. Time was and remains of the essence due to the political realities of potential new Supreme Court Justice appointments.

We prioritized carry because it is most critical to the safety of our members and has the most potent ability to widen and strengthen the American investment in the right to arms. It's one thing to argue about what you can or can't do when you're not currently doing it, it's another for the government to try to take licenses away from those who have them and have gotten used to exercising them day to day. Many in the Second Amendment community thought we were rash or wrong to so quickly attempt to solidify the right to carry - so bold as to potentially take the most important social issue on immediately. But while reasonable people can disagree, we were confident that first, you can not win battles you do not fight, and second, criminals would raise these issues immediately regardless of what we did.

Lately, and for various reasons, some are criticizing CGF as “a failure” regarding the right to carry. We find that statement amusing and uninformed and hope to dispel some disinformation as well as educate everyone on what we've accomplished and where we’re all going.

The Nordyke opinion was vacated, taken en-banc and then stayed for McDonald v City of Chicago. The district court judge in Sykes stayed our case for Nordyke on September 1, 2009. We knew that meant that the case would be paused until at least late June 2010 as that's when the opinion in McDonald would be issued. At the same time we were getting mixed messages from then Sheriff McGinness and Sacramento County counsel. Also, now that we had time, we wanted to add a recent license denial to our plaintiffs to avoid certain non-substantive arguments from the other side when the case resumed.

We asked two trusted volunteers to apply in late February 2010 using a good cause statement of "I wish to carry a firearm for self defense and the defense of my family."

Sheriff McGinness’ official policy that dated from 2007 and was still in effect in early 2010 stated, “[t]he mere fear of victimization, or desire to carry a firearm, shall be insufficient” “good cause” to issue a gun carry permit," and that “[w]hat may be good cause in one area of the county may not be in another area.” Further, his policy required a one year minimum residency in Sacramento county before issuing a license.

On April 10, 2010 Sheriff McGinness updated his policy to remove some of the issues we had challenged in Sykes. The first of our volunteers (who were not very difficult for the Sheriff's office to guess were related to CGF and that was part of our intent) received his carry license in the first week of May, 2010. We then sent another wave of volunteers through and they promptly received their carry licenses as well.

On June 28, 2010, the McDonald decision was issued that incorporated the fundamental right to keep and bear arms.

Settlement discussions began the month after McDonald with Sacramento and we quietly spread the word to Ms. Sykes, the other Sacramento plaintiffs, and additional volunteers and members to go ahead and get their carry licenses.

However, we had some specific required changes to their policy document before we would allow Sacramento County out of the case. On approximately October 18, 2010, the policy document posted online was changed to have the following negotiated language at the top of it: "[s]elf-defense may be considered good cause for the issuance of a permit, however, each application is unique and the Sheriff retains the ability to deny permit applications where it appears that doing so is in the interest of public safety." That language remains at the top of Sacramento County’s policy document to this day.

On October 22, 2010, we filed a motion to amend our complaint and said this about our agreement with Sacramento County:
Quote:
The Court ordered that this action be held in abeyance for sixty days following the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020 (2010), which was handed down on June 28, 2010. During this period, Plaintiffs and Defendants Sacramento County and McGinness were able to resolve their dispute. An appropriate stipulation of dismissal covering the dispute with the Sacramento defendants is filed separately.
From that time forward our case was restyled Richards v. Prieto and continued against Yolo County and the Yolo County Sheriff.

While settlement conversations were underway we had our volunteers reach out and address some of Sacramento's other, more tactical policy issues, including a vestigial requirement that limited licensed carry within 1000' of a school. By letter on October 5, 2010, that policy was removed from existing and new licenses. We also had volunteers communicating with both leading sheriff candidates to make sure they would honor the agreement we had made with Sheriff McGinnis.

On November 2, 2010, Scott Jones was elected the new sheriff of Sacramento County.

Since then, Sacramento County has been issuing about 1100 new licenses per year to all residents throughout Sacramento County.


The Richards case predictably lost in the District court (just like Heller, McDonald, and Ezell but see SAF’s Woollard/Maryland carry case that won in the District Court) and the case was appealed. Oral arguments occurred this past December 6, 2012. The case is submitted and awaiting a ruling from the 9th Circuit court of appeals.

As Richards is but one part of a national strategy to put carry in front of the courts, it was heard just as the NY carry case entitled Kachalsky had lost in the 2nd Circuit court of appeals while days later SAF prevailed in the 7th Circuit court of appeals striking down Illinois' complete ban on carry in Moore. SAF is currently seeking cert from the Supreme Court in Kachalsky, with 20 states and many others asking the court to take the case and resolve the split between it and Moore. The court is expected to take that petition up at its conferences in early April 2013.

We knew that this was going to take some time, especially as we waited on Nordyke and McDonald. As such, we decided to take a parallel track to begin cleaning up policies and practices in other counties around California. This effort, which we dubbed the “Carry License Sunshine and Compliance Initiative”, would be valuable to Californians in a number of ways (it is also a model program for other similarly-situated states). The Initiative’s bottom line is that it has (and continues to have) more people carrying in the time between when we filed Sykes/Richards and the soon-to-come Supreme Court decision on carry as a right. In [the next post below] we detail the progress we've made under this initiative in Counties like Ventura, San Mateo, Stanislaus, Merced, and Shasta. We've also begun the fight in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Los Angeles Counties as well.

We now stand on a national precipice. With the victories in Illinois and Maryland District Court on the right to carry as well as the coming opinions of Federal courts of appeals in New Jersey, Maryland, and here in California, the Supreme Court is very likely to act on one of them, if not Kachalsky in April. Those of us who watch the court expect them to take a case and schedule argument early in the 2013-2014 term, realistically before the end of 2013. Should the court follow the patterns it had in Heller and McDonald, an opinion would be released in late June 2014.

Many sheriffs have made it clear that they will follow the Supreme Court's interpretation as soon as an opinion is issued. A few may be more recalcitrant, but we have resources in reserve to bring those hold-outs into compliance with the law of the land quickly.

We predict California will be shall issue in 2014 and we think it has much to do with our efforts to secure and clean up the right to carry here in California. We know for sure that we have put carry licenses in 2000 to 5000 new pockets here in California while we work to secure this critical right for all Americans.

-Gene
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Last edited by hoffmang; 03-03-2013 at 2:43 PM.. Reason: Forgot a couple links in translation from the blog
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:41 PM
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From http://calgunsfoundation.org/news-bl...ve-update.html

While we work to resolve the national question of the scope of the right to bear arms in public, the Initiative’s Compliance component would further go to address as much as possible in the 58 sheriffs’ carry license programs (from pre-application to issuance) so that, as soon as we did have a final decision from the Supremes (or a victory in the Ninth Circuit), people could apply en masse and would, it was hoped, not be stuck dealing with unlawful and burdensome local rules.

The Sunshine aspect of the Initiative had a two-part role: (1) it made the as-applied policies of all 58 sheriffs collectively exposed for the first time in history - telegraphing that Californians were very much interested in their rights, and (2) offering valuable insight to applicants and prospective applicants on “good cause” statements.

Since the Initiative took off in 2010, it has directly and positively affected carry throughout California in a number of ways. CGF v. Ventura County and Sheriff Bob Brooks was a lawsuit we filed - and won - when Sheriff Brooks refused to allow us access to public carry license records that we needed to show his actual practices, i.e., who was he giving carry licenses to and what “good causes” were acceptable? Through that lawsuit, we acquired and published the county’s records and sent a message to the other counties: show us, or we’ll have a judge make you show us.

Following that, CGF worked with newly-elected Ventura Sheriff Geoff Dean to install a completely-revamped policy largely based on CGF’s Model Carry License policy - the first and, to this day, only policy that both carefully adheres to state law and respects Constitutional doctrines on civil rights.

We also worked with San Mateo County to bring their policies and procedures into general compliance, while, like Ventura, they too retained discretion with respect to ‘good cause’ and ‘good moral character’ standards.

After investigating then-San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey’s carry license program (or, rather, his total lack of one, save for the single license he issued to his own lawyer), CGF not only exposed the corruption of the system but forced San Francisco to adopt a carry license policy for the first time in its history. The policy, while terrible, is at least something that we and others can challenge as various cases resolve and precedence builds.
In Stanislaus County, we successfully compelled (with an assist from the Madison Society) the sheriff’s office to stop enforcing an unconstitutional policy and to revisit many of their local rules, a number of which were clearly violative of state law.

In Merced County, we litigated a number of Sheriff Pazin’s carry license policies and practices, forcing the County to adopt a much more compliant policy - more news on this will be published very soon.

In Shasta County, CGF worked with Sheriff Bosenko to update his office’s policies following the enactment of SB 610. These revised policies and procedures are in the Sheriff’s hands and, last we heard, were waiting on final approval before being officially put into place.

In Los Angeles County, we’re litigating against Sheriff Baca over his policy of making applicants first apply to their police chief - costing applicants additional money and time - before being allowed to apply to his office. We think such a rule is not only unconstitutional but against his statutory duties, so we want to make sure that Los Angeles, and any other county that might be looking to Los Angeles as a beacon, is taught a lesson and brought back into compliance with the law. We’re also preparing a related new effort in Los Angeles county that has to do with rights under the California state constitution.

CGF is presently working with a diverse selection of counties to improve their policies in advance of a second amendment “bear” decision, compiling the 2012 statewide audit based on CA DOJ data, and preparing its next wave of lawsuits, including a unique challenge to reduce the waiting times for new applicants (in some counties this can exceed 12 months before applicants can even apply).

Since our Initiative commenced, we’ve assisted countless applicants in counties across the state; some have been outright successful and are carrying today, and some have become plaintiffs (or plaintiffs in waiting). Importantly, helpful information like the Carry License Application Guide - the only one of its kind in California - has made it into the hands of thousands of Californians. Similarly, CGF has sent all 58 sheriffs updates on carry license laws and copies of our Model Policy.

We expect to continue our existing progress and expect to accelerate the changes we’re creating once the Supreme Court grants cert in a carry case and then beyond an opinion recognizing that the law abiding have a right to bear arms in public.

-Gene
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:43 PM
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I got mine last year because of this site and helped 5 others (firemen and teachers) get them after. My wife is a teacher and almost done with the process. Thanks Gene.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:50 PM
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Thank you to Gene and the whole CGF and all the supporters for this hard work!

Big change usually doesn't happen quickly. I know many of us (including me) have been watching this fight for years, wondering when it's going to happen.

I'm sure we're in the endgame now, and this issue will be decided finally as Gene said, sometime in 2014. Even before then, the legal effort is getting thousands of LTCs out there now.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CCWFacts View Post
Thank you to Gene and the whole CGF and all the supporters for this hard work!

Big change usually doesn't happen quickly. I know many of us (including me) have been watching this fight for years, wondering when it's going to happen.

I'm sure we're in the endgame now, and this issue will be decided finally as Gene said, sometime in 2014. Even before then, the legal effort is getting thousands of LTCs out there now.
+1 on that!!

I've been carrying now for almost 2 years. This summer will be the first time for me to renew my permit, thanks to CGF!
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:58 PM
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Thank you so much Gene. You Rock. (and Kudos to kestryll for being a game changer). What a bunch of good guys on our side..!
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:59 PM
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Some progress is always better than none at all. I, for one, applaud CGF's efforts against what is often perceived (and rightly so) as an immovable monstrosity of anti-rights bureaucracy.

Now if only we could get the "pistol white-list" destroyed, then I could actually buy the gun I want to carry too...
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:01 PM
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:03 PM
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Its going to take serious muscle in Ventura County.

I hate the fact we are FORCED to pay hundreds of dollars for classes just to have the LTC issued. The authorized Instructors can charge whatever they want because without their stamp of approval we dont get the LTC.

The Sheriff's buddies have a great business plan...a captive audience.
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:14 PM
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Thank you Gene...for everything you do!!!

I wonder, does this mean I should just wait until next year to try to apply for my CCW in Santa Cruz Co???
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:14 PM
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YAY this is good to hear hopefully one day my mother and I can get one in SD county
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:20 PM
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Riverside County

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Old 03-03-2013, 1:28 PM
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Excellent post, Gene. Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:35 PM
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YAY this is good to hear hopefully one day my mother and I can get one in SD county
Well I'm disappointed. No mention here of Peruta vs. Co of San Diego.

What's happening with our local "beef" with uncle bill??
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:36 PM
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Thank you for taking the considerable time to inform us.

I certainly would have left out "amusing". The sentence stands fine otherwise, and the disinformation promulgated by others, uninformed or otherwise, isn't funny.
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:45 PM
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Originally Posted by hoffmang View Post
In Shasta County, CGF worked with Sheriff Bosenko to update his office’s policies following the enactment of SB 610. These revised policies and procedures are in the Sheriff’s hands and, last we heard, were waiting on final approval before being officially put into place.
Now why would it be necessary for CGF to prod a sheriff like Tom Bosenko of Shasta County...Hmmm?

It is just another front, albeit a target more suceptable to press the agenda of compliance.

I heard that Bosenko was about to release the carry license policy on the radio about 2 weeks ago. There have been no updates to the county website, so it would be safe to assume they are still passing out the old packet.

If it werent for CGF, reform would have been shuffled behind a whole slew of mismanaged priorities and procrastination. (And I would still be waiting for my application to be considered.)
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:45 PM
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Well I'm disappointed. No mention here of Peruta vs. Co of San Diego.

What's happening with our local "beef" with uncle bill??
Peruta isn't a CGF/SAF case...
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:51 PM
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Riverside County

they will get to you, I have no doubt about it. My county hasn't seen much action towards improvement either. But I am ok with that as I know that we will benefit from the successes in other counties. remember, chess, not checkers. trying to fix my county now, would be checkers. Personally, I want to win this thing for all Californians. And if that means other counties get fixed first to set the stage for all counties...I am ok with that. the end goal is what matters.

Gene, CGF, SAF, and others.... a big thank you for all you do. Prior to you all stepping up, California didn't seem to have much hope of joining the rest of the nation and have a sane, fair, and constitutional LTC process. Given how long we have waited, and the obstacles the other side throws at us, and how long we have been without a sane LTC environment...June 2014 just doesn't seem that far off. and if everything goes a planned...worth the wait.

Please spread my thanks for all the team is doing.
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:56 PM
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No mention here of Peruta vs. Co of San Diego.
There is some historical friction there that need not be broadly recounted. The first complaint there was a copy of Sykes before Chuck Michel later got involved with Peruta.

-Gene
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Old 03-03-2013, 1:56 PM
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Peruta isn't a CGF/SAF case...
Ah! Thankyou....
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Old 03-03-2013, 2:02 PM
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Riverside County

I have from Riverside; and my wife will soon have one too.

Riverside is generally easy. Is it as easy as it should be? Absolutely not. But, it's not particularly difficult either. They DO issue though.
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Old 03-03-2013, 2:13 PM
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Its amazing for me to watch the country going two different ways in different areas of the same issue. Huge political push for AWB and mag restrictions but the people slowly but surely reclaiming and expanding the right to carry.
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Old 03-03-2013, 2:20 PM
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Gene, thank you very much for these update letters. It's great to hear summaries of what's really been important.
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Old 03-03-2013, 3:13 PM
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Riverside County

Or is it?

-Brandon
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Old 03-03-2013, 3:14 PM
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I'm not sure how many carry license applicants you've assisted or how much data you've analyzed but what I have in data and experience pretty well contradicts the impression you're trying to give here.

-Brandon

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I have from Riverside; and my wife will soon have one too.

Riverside is generally easy. Is it as easy as it should be? Absolutely not. But, it's not particularly difficult either. They DO issue though.
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Old 03-03-2013, 3:16 PM
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thank you for helping me protect my new family . this Dec will be my 2nd year of ltc in Sac County . I have helped several others to gain their ltc also in Sac County .

donating to cgf and using amazon cgf is amust
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Old 03-03-2013, 3:19 PM
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I have from Riverside; and my wife will soon have one too.

Riverside is generally easy. Is it as easy as it should be? Absolutely not. But, it's not particularly difficult either. They DO issue though.
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I'm not sure how many carry license applicants you've assisted or how much data you've analyzed but what I have in data and experience pretty well contradicts the impression you're trying to give here.

-Brandon
I knew sooner or later you and I would agree on something...
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  #28  
Old 03-03-2013, 3:35 PM
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I knew sooner or later you and I would agree on something...
Was only a matter of time.

-Brandon
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Old 03-03-2013, 3:38 PM
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I got mine Sept. 2012 thanks to this website. Still hard to believe. Thanks for all the hard work.
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Old 03-03-2013, 4:04 PM
Harry Schell Harry Schell is offline
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I decided not to push my local police chief after a discussion with his leading officer about the "requirements" to get an application. I pinned the man's ears back when he fooled around with the evaluation of my liability insurance coverage. I thought about it and decided I didn't want the attention I might generate from pushing the system.

I moved back to CA from a shall-issue state in 2005. I hold a non-resident permit from that state and have since 2001, and filed papers successfully in some other states in 2012 for non-resident permits so I can carry in 35 states. CA is special, so I can't, here. Yet. A close friend, after badgering by me, got his permit in CA but in another county than Los Angeles. I am certain I could have also, but for being in LA County.

Hopefully, between Moore and the upset in MD, CA can be pressured finally out of its regressive attitude. It will not be an easy fight.
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Old 03-03-2013, 4:05 PM
NorCalDustin NorCalDustin is offline
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I suspect the numbers are a little better than 2-5k...
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Old 03-03-2013, 4:16 PM
vantec08 vantec08 is offline
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Most informative. I and others put too much importance on Nordkye and when it was vacated and moved en banc, thought it was the death knell.
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Old 03-03-2013, 4:47 PM
MattyB MattyB is offline
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How bout working on gun bans instead of LTC? Doesnt matter if you have a license if you dont have a gun to carry.

California's main issues are the AWB and Mag restrictions. To disregard those is to be severely short sighted in the scope of things.
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Old 03-03-2013, 4:56 PM
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Through out history there are people that do and then there are people that detract from those that do.

Th update is nice to hear. With so many issues and so many organizations it is hard to see the molasses move some times.

Good Luck on your upcoming confrontation down south.

Respectfully,
Bill
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Old 03-03-2013, 5:01 PM
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Librarian Librarian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyB View Post
How bout working on gun bans instead of LTC? Doesnt matter if you have a license if you dont have a gun to carry.

California's main issues are the AWB and Mag restrictions. To disregard those is to be severely short sighted in the scope of things.
Other way around - doesn't matter what's available (so long as something is) so long as it's impossible to use them. CA is just a stop on the road - national will overcome CA, eventually.

Pattern has been so far
* 2A is an individual right, not connected with militia service (Heller)
* 2A applies against the states and all lower jurisdictions (McDonald)
and extension of the pattern seems to be
* 2A protects carry/use outside the home (forthcoming)
* 2A protects ownership/use of firearms 'in common use' (forthcoming)

It's a real choice - can't do everything at once.
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  #36  
Old 03-03-2013, 5:23 PM
rsacks rsacks is offline
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Any news on Santa Clara County?
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  #37  
Old 03-03-2013, 5:27 PM
MattyB MattyB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
Other way around - doesn't matter what's available (so long as something is) so long as it's impossible to use them. CA is just a stop on the road - national will overcome CA, eventually.

Pattern has been so far
* 2A is an individual right, not connected with militia service (Heller)
* 2A applies against the states and all lower jurisdictions (McDonald)
and extension of the pattern seems to be
* 2A protects carry/use outside the home (forthcoming)
* 2A protects ownership/use of firearms 'in common use' (forthcoming)

It's a real choice - can't do everything at once.
Id switch the last two points. Being able to possess weapons in common use would trump carrying them outside the home.

Reason I say that is that a decision could come down that only restricted weapons are allowed outside the home. By making all weapons in common use legal in the home first, then its a simple case of constitutional carry for outside the home after that.

I have not heard a compelling reason why we shouldnt be fighting tooth and nail to stop and/or overturn AWB's right now. Making those weapons legal first seems like a no brainer and ensures that they arent segregated from a successful LTC decision.
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  #38  
Old 03-03-2013, 5:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildhawker View Post
I'm not sure how many carry license applicants you've assisted or how much data you've analyzed but what I have in data and experience pretty well contradicts the impression you're trying to give here.

-Brandon
What the hell do I know. I haven't had huge issues applying, but, I've helped whomever I can (which, frankly, is a small number of people) get a CCW. I'd love for lots more to get, and am always open to helping people...

But, I'm more pragmatic than you. So, I'll jump through the hoops while I wait for you to sue and make the hoops go away.

Doesn't mean I like the hoops, just that I know how to play hoop games fairly well.
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  #39  
Old 03-03-2013, 5:38 PM
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Mistating the record to make your sheriff seem less anti - carry than he actually is, is not pragmatism.
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  #40  
Old 03-03-2013, 5:44 PM
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Thank you so much for all of this selfless work. As a woman living alone, I can only hope that my constitutional right to protect myself with a gun is recognized here soon.
What can I do to help?
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