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2nd Amend. Litigation Updates & Legal Discussion Discuss California 2A related litigation and legal topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 10-29-2014, 4:17 AM
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Default CCW and Public records access.

An observation about our CCW permits and public records act requests.

CBS vs Block was a California State Supreme Court ruling that opened up CCW permits to public record review, the "core" of the ruling was that the "good cause" statements and who the permits were and weren't being issued had to be available because if a Sheriff was able to seal the records, then it would be impossible to determine if the Sheriff had discriminatory issuance policies.

Fast forward post Peruta ruling, while we are still in Limbo, some sheriffs who weren't issuing before are and many more are issuing permits more "Liberally".

So my question to the "forum" is the following:

If a sheriff changed their CCW policies so that "Self Defense" was the only "Cause" that needed to be put on the CCW permit for "Good Cause" and that all applicants would be approved as long as they passed background checks and completed all objective training standards.

"Good Moral Character" would only be used for denial if the sheriff had probable cause to believe that the person would present a "clear and present" danger to the public safety if they were issued a CCW permit.

For example, someone with multiple DUIs. misdemeanor assaults or other behaviors where a person shows reckless disregard for the safety of others.

If a Sheriff was operating under the above policies, could they now defend the privacy of their CCW holders from the press and others who want the records not to exam equal protection violations, but to publically expose law abiding citizens who have carry permits.

The core of the CBS vs Block ruling was to establish transparency on the issuance of CCW permits because at the time, the LA sheriff department was being secretive.

Once a sheriff goes from "May issue to Shall issue", the need for public access of the "good cause" statements to evaluate for "equal protection" issues is "gone", hence, the "core" problem that "CBS vs Block" corrected would no longer exist.

So my question to the forum is the following: Could a sheriff whose policies are "shall issue", who is making getting a CCW permit as smooth as possible for the applicant and who is not playing games actually protect our CCW permit information?

If my observation is "WRONG", please educate me and the rest of the forum as to what I am wrong on and if possible, how to make things right.

Assuming I am "Right", there would now be incentives for Sheriffs to stop screwing around and just jump in "Shall Issue" and be done with it.

Nicki
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Old 10-29-2014, 6:05 AM
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DevilDawgJJ DevilDawgJJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicki View Post
An observation about our CCW permits and public records act requests.

CBS vs Block was a California State Supreme Court ruling that opened up CCW permits to public record review, the "core" of the ruling was that the "good cause" statements and who the permits were and weren't being issued had to be available because if a Sheriff was able to seal the records, then it would be impossible to determine if the Sheriff had discriminatory issuance policies.

Fast forward post Peruta ruling, while we are still in Limbo, some sheriffs who weren't issuing before are and many more are issuing permits more "Liberally".

So my question to the "forum" is the following:

If a sheriff changed their CCW policies so that "Self Defense" was the only "Cause" that needed to be put on the CCW permit for "Good Cause" and that all applicants would be approved as long as they passed background checks and completed all objective training standards.

"Good Moral Character" would only be used for denial if the sheriff had probable cause to believe that the person would present a "clear and present" danger to the public safety if they were issued a CCW permit.

For example, someone with multiple DUIs. misdemeanor assaults or other behaviors where a person shows reckless disregard for the safety of others.

If a Sheriff was operating under the above policies, could they now defend the privacy of their CCW holders from the press and others who want the records not to exam equal protection violations, but to publically expose law abiding citizens who have carry permits.

The core of the CBS vs Block ruling was to establish transparency on the issuance of CCW permits because at the time, the LA sheriff department was being secretive.

Once a sheriff goes from "May issue to Shall issue", the need for public access of the "good cause" statements to evaluate for "equal protection" issues is "gone", hence, the "core" problem that "CBS vs Block" corrected would no longer exist.

So my question to the forum is the following: Could a sheriff whose policies are "shall issue", who is making getting a CCW permit as smooth as possible for the applicant and who is not playing games actually protect our CCW permit information?

If my observation is "WRONG", please educate me and the rest of the forum as to what I am wrong on and if possible, how to make things right.

Assuming I am "Right", there would now be incentives for Sheriffs to stop screwing around and just jump in "Shall Issue" and be done with it.

Nicki
I can't stand the fact the GMC is an issue/out for people to use. What do the other 39 shall issue states do?

The problem at the most rudimentary level is defining what is GMC. No two Sheriffs are alike. The law is already in place for prohibited persons. The Sheriff/you may think crime(s) (as you mention) reflects a 'clear and present danger.' There are so many variables and what if's, that no one can objectively say who can carry and who cannot. There are also crimes that do not involve moral turpitude.... and we’re just talking about crime here. What about financial responsibility? Obligations to family (dead beat dads’/moms. Should that not be considered? What is GMC? It’s a terrible metric, just as bad as “good cause.”

Until we ARE a shall issue, even if Peruta holds up (I will not jump for joy, until GMC is removed), we ARE still at the mercy of one politician to decide our right.
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Last edited by DevilDawgJJ; 10-29-2014 at 6:10 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-29-2014, 7:12 AM
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I don't believe that CBS vs. Block focused strictly on Good Cause. Yes, that was a core issue that gave rise to the case, but the decision seems to go a lot farther than just Good Cause.

I find ironic that a Sheriff can think that a simple assertion of possible endangerment (that the person applying for a permit could possibly pose a danger) is enough to deny a permit through some bull**** GMC reason when in reality, per CBS vs. Block that Sheriff can't even deny public access to permit records based on such conjectures! Imagine that! Yes, I know, apples and oranges, but it gives you an idea of how poorly some of these Sheriffs view the rule of law. But, I digress.

Anyway, IANAL, but just by a layman's reading of the decision, it seems clear to me that even if there are no GC issues involved, CBS vs. Block still mandates access to permit records, even though some sheriffs (cough, McMahon, cough) seem to have disdain for that rule.
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Old 10-29-2014, 8:55 AM
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The disclosure of records is a statutory matter. CBS's limits as to specific vulnerabilities and health information was later codified into the PRA. No, a sheriff going "shall issue" -- even in the way we think it should be so -- would not magically change the force of statute and our state constitutional right of access to records.

But it would provide an opportune political climate for changing the PRA to exclude carry license records. We have covered that ground in the Legislature and will continue to press for such a change following the positive final disposition in Peruta.
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Old 10-29-2014, 9:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DevilDawgJJ View Post
I can't stand the fact the GMC is an issue/out for people to use. What do the other 39 shall issue states do?
I think it is more relevant to look at other California state licenses with a GMC clause, for instance the license to practice law. The standards are supposed to be objective, there is a mechanism for appeal and rehabilitation of GMC, etc. One crank with a bug up his/her @ss can't on a whim keep you from practicing law.
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Old 10-29-2014, 9:55 AM
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I think it is more relevant to look at other California state licenses with a GMC clause, for instance the license to practice law. The standards are supposed to be objective, there is a mechanism for appeal and rehabilitation of GMC, etc. One crank with a bug up his/her @ss can't on a whim keep you from practicing law.
And then block you from accessing his records which may contain information about that whim.
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Old 10-29-2014, 9:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dave_cg View Post
I think it is more relevant to look at other California state licenses with a GMC clause, for instance the license to practice law. The standards are supposed to be objective, there is a mechanism for appeal and rehabilitation of GMC, etc. One crank with a bug up his/her @ss can't on a whim keep you from practicing law.
And then block you from accessing his records which may contain information about that whim (as we've seen in the Birdt case).
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Old 11-03-2014, 4:25 AM
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apples and oranges, but it gives you an idea of how poorly some of these Sheriffs view the rule of law. But, I digress.
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Old 11-07-2014, 1:48 AM
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Originally Posted by wildhawker View Post
The disclosure of records is a statutory matter. CBS's limits as to specific vulnerabilities and health information was later codified into the PRA. No, a sheriff going "shall issue" -- even in the way we think it should be so -- would not magically change the force of statute and our state constitutional right of access to records.

But it would provide an opportune political climate for changing the PRA to exclude carry license records. We have covered that ground in the Legislature and will continue to press for such a change following the positive final disposition in Peruta.
Thanks for the information Brandon.....

Under the current "may-issue" scheme that controls Kaliforniastan I understand why we have needed open records for LTC's, however I would be very reluctant to obtain my LTC (can't in my county) if the LTC or ANY of my information was public record.
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Old 11-07-2014, 8:52 AM
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Thanks for the information Brandon.....

Under the current "may-issue" scheme that controls Kaliforniastan I understand why we have needed open records for LTC's, however I would be very reluctant to obtain my LTC (can't in my county) if the LTC or ANY of my information was public record.
We're all sensitive to the concerns you expressed and will continue efforts to limit disclosure of gun owner data to protect privacy and advance public safety.

-BC
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:57 PM
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I keep hearing people holding up the law license standard of GMC as something to be emulated for CCW. The problem I have with it is that it is essentially a deeply flawed thinking. Having GMC for a license to practice law is an entirely separate issue from having it applied to a natural, civil, and constitutionally protected right. IMHO, GMC should have no place anywhere in our CCW rules and regs. It's a subjective mechanism that exists solely to give Sheriffs wiggle room to do what they want and deny people their rights to carry even if they are not prohibited from possessing firearms. In practical terms, if we make it an objective standard then it just allows Sheriffs to deny people permits for petty, minor things.

GMC needs to go away or get ruled on in a fashion similar to Peruta where the court says that non-prohibited=good moral character.
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Old 12-16-2014, 4:02 PM
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I keep hearing people holding up the law license standard of GMC as something to be emulated for CCW. The problem I have with it is that it is essentially a deeply flawed thinking. Having GMC for a license to practice law is an entirely separate issue from having it applied to a natural, civil, and constitutionally protected right. IMHO, GMC should have no place anywhere in our CCW rules and regs. It's a subjective mechanism that exists solely to give Sheriffs wiggle room to do what they want and deny people their rights to carry even if they are not prohibited from possessing firearms. In practical terms, if we make it an objective standard then it just allows Sheriffs to deny people permits for petty, minor things.

GMC needs to go away or get ruled on in a fashion similar to Peruta where the court says that non-prohibited=good moral character.
Here's the thing, you are thinking of GMC as it is applied with the current CCW penal code, which is truly a blank check to the Sheriffs. Look up the definition of Moral Turpitude, the inverse of Good Moral Character, and how it is applied to law. There are specific, and comprehensive, offences that have been defined as showing Moral Turpitude. There is your hard and fast list of a start for what should be put into law as what can deny you on GMC. What we would then need to fight on is Rehabilitation from Moral Turpitude, or, what actions or length of time will allow one of those offences to no longer count against you.
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