A Los Angeles homeowner who had his concealed carry weapon (CCW) license revoked after using a gun to fend off armed attackers at his home may have little recourse to get his permit back.
“In their terms and conditions agreement, LASD (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department) grants itself virtually limitless and unchecked discretion to revoke a constitutional right over just about anything at any time,” Amy Swearer, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News Digital.
At issue is the case of L.A. resident and married father of one Vince Ricci, who earlier this month was forced into a gunfight when two armed men jumped the fence of his gated community and attempted to force their way into his front door. Ricci – concerned for the safety of his wife, 5-month-old daughter and the family’s nanny – fought back, first with a hot cup of tea he was holding in his hand when the attack began, then by pulling out his gun and getting into a firefight with the intruders in his driveway.
Surveillance footage captured the dramatic scene unfolding, showing the intruders retreating from Ricci’s gunfire, with one hopping back over the fence and another running around a car in the driveway.
But Ricci told Fox News Digital last week that the response to the harrowing incident has been for authorities to target him, calling him to inform him that his concealed carry license had been “revoked” as a result of him “yelling” at Los Angeles police officers while they attempted to investigate the incident three days later.
“After successfully defending my home and my family and my 5-month-old child, California has now decided to suspend my Second Amendment [rights],” Ricci said in an NRA video that was shared with Fox News Digital.
Reached for comment by Fox News Digital, an LASD spokesperson said the agency recognizes the ordeal was “extremely traumatic and startling for the Ricci family” and that they hoped “the individuals responsible for this crime are arrested and held accountable.”
The LASD added that the “Department of Justice (DOJ) establishes guidelines for CCW permits and the Sheriff’s Department must follow the DOJ parameters in accordance with the law” when it came to revoking the homeowner’s permit, adding that it can be “immediately reinstated as long as the permit holder has also followed all required CCW policies.”
“The DOJ has been notified and there are avenues for Mr. Ricci to re-apply for his permit. We have been in contact with the Ricci family and have been providing information to them about CCW protocols and guidelines in an effort to ensure their Second Amendment rights are protected,” the spokesperson said. “The Sheriff’s Department respects the rights of individuals to exercise their Second Amendment rights and continually processes over thousands of CCW permit applications and renewals every year. The Sheriff’s Department CCW Unit works diligently to track, process, and manage individuals who possess or seek CCW permits in Los Angeles County.”
But Swearer argued it is “completely unclear” what DOJ guidelines LASD could be referring to, questioning whether the department “would have any role in the decision to revoke Ricci’s permit.”
“The only specific policies that LASD mentions in passing are regarding ‘proper notifications’ and the ‘use of [a] properly documented weapon,'” Swearer said. “But, to my knowledge, the only place where such policies are found with respect to the automatic revocation of a CCW license isn’t in DOJ guidelines or state law, but in the additional ‘terms and conditions’ agreement that LASD requires all CCW applicants to sign. Not only are these terms and conditions not required by the California DOJ or by state law, but LASD is one of only a few jurisdictions that impose them.”
Nevertheless, Swearer noted that California law enforcement agencies are responsible for issuing concealed carry permits and that they have “broad discretion over most aspects of issuing or revoking those licenses.”
Given California’s strict gun laws and the discretion given to the state’s law enforcement agencies, Swearer questioned what recourse the homeowner has to regain his Second Amendment rights.
“They’ve revoked his license because they want to and because they can. I don’t think this is an overly cynical view of how LASD, specifically, and California lawmakers, generally, approaches the right to keep and bear arms,” she said.
While denying licenses has become harder for authorities to justify in light of recent Supreme Court rulings, Swearer argued that California still has the ability to restrict its citizens’ ability to carry firearms.
“There’s no reason to pretend that Bruen dramatically altered this general anti-Second Amendment mindset,” Swearer said of the 2022 Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. “They’ve just had to get more creative with how they get in the way now. They can’t restrict public carry nearly as much on the front end, so they seem bent on doing everything in their power to suspend and revoke licenses at will on the back end.”