FPC saw that the Alameda County, CA Sheriff was trying to avoid complying with the Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen, so we decided to send a polite email informing him of his duties:
Dear Sheriff Ahern,
We have been informed by our members who reside in Alameda County that:
1) You and your office have stated that you have a “lack of personnel” sufficient to accept and process applications for, and issue, licenses to carry a firearm.
2) You and your office refuse to comply with the United States Supreme Court decision of NYSRPA v. Bruen, 597 U. S. ____ (June 23, 2022) [No. 20-843, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 3055] (slip op. attached for your reading pleasure), particularly with respect to your continuing enforcement of the unconstitutional “good cause” requirement under Cal. Penal Code section 26150(a)(2) (but surely in many other ways — read on).
3) You and your office use the “Permitium” application system, which does not comply with state law requiring a process that is “uniform throughout the state, upon [application] forms to be prescribed by the Attorney General.”
4) You and your office have stated that “it is not realistic that” applicants would “be notified in ninety days if [their] application would be approved or denied[,]” as state law requires.
5) You and your office are not accepting or processing applications for licenses to carry handguns.
6) Carry license application interviews in Alameda County are “postponed until further notice.”
7) Carry license applicants in Alameda County will be required to “fill out a new form.”
8) You and your office are really making a lot of people angry—and understandably so, since you’re denying them access to and exercise of fundamental, individual rights explicitly enshrined in the Constitution. See, the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
(In case you’re feeling lazy, here are the really important parts relevant to this demand:
“A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” That’s the Second Amendment.
“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” That’s the key part of the Fourteenth Amendment.)
You and your office are, of course, required to comply with and fulfill your duties under state law. And we hope—but are not very confident—you understand that you and your office are required to comply with the United States Constitution all the time. Now. Today. (And we caution you that you must follow the Constitution tomorrow too, lest you see a ‘loophole’ here.) Not when you feel like it. All. The. Time. (That’s how we like our rights: All the rights. All the time. True story.)
We’ll note here that not only do you now possess a crisp, clean, just-downloaded PDF copy of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, but the law is—quite—“clearly established.” You or your lawyers should know what that means. (Hint: Google “qualified immunity.”)
Now for the punchline: If you do not immediately stop enforcing unconstitutional laws, regulations, policies, and practices against carry license applicants and licensees we will sue you.
And as much as that would delight us, we’d prefer to avoid that since, well, it would mean we have to temporarily stop suing other government actors who really need a good suing. But we (and by “we,” we mean “you”) can avoid all that if you are willing to do the right thing. And since you authoritarian, law-enforcement-brass types never seem to know what the “right thing” is, we’ll define that here to mean immediately stop enforcing unconstitutional laws, regulations, policies, and practices against carry license applicants and licensees.
Look, it’s okay to let people exercise their human rights. Even you can do it. To help make that point for us, here’s the late Michael Jackson performing a song that, we hope, inspires you to make a change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PivWY9wn5ps.
Sing it with us: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer. ‘If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change.’ (Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah…)”
Here’s the thing: We have copied our San Francisco-based litigation counsel, Mr. George M. Lee, on this message in case you have any questions about what the Constitution requires or our commitment to ensuring that you immediately terminate your unconstitutional policies and practices. We believe you know Mr. Lee from prior litigation against you, so we hope that you’ll take this seriously and save everyone the time and expense of teaching you how the Constitution works.
Please let us (or George Lee) know if you are going to do the right thing. If we or George don’t hear from you by Tuesday, July 5, 2022, we’ll assume you too want to be sued.
Have a great Independence Day weekend, and maybe read the Declaration of Independence again. It might be a useful refresher.
Firearms Policy Coalition
P.S. Like a Blue Light Special, you have to hurry. This offer won’t last long. As in: you have days, not weeks.HS:1936834192-86223#}