SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – Emboldened by a string of recent favorable federal court rulings, gun rights advocates now aim to overturn California’s longstanding open-carry laws.
Two men from rural Northern California counties say they’ve been denied open-carry permits by local authorities and can’t even begin to start the application process because the state doesn’t give sheriffs the necessary forms. They believe California’s laws, which require applicants to demonstrate “good cause,” amount to a de facto ban and note that the state hasn’t issued an open-carry license since the law went into effect in 2012.
On Wednesday, the two men argued in federal court that the public safety laws infringe on their constitutional and “God-given” right to travel and be in public with loaded firearms.
“The state has taken a broad-brush approach and banned the right to bear arms,” said Amy Bellantoni, attorney for plaintiffs Mark Baird and Richard Gallardo.
The Siskiyou and Shasta county residents sued California Attorney General Xavier Becerra this past April in federal court, claiming the state laws violate the Second and Fourth amendments.
Their case, and several others, could impact California and the few remaining states that restrict or prohibit the open carrying of firearms. California is one of five states that prohibit carrying guns in public, as do Florida, Illinois, New York, South Carolina and the District of Columbia.
While California law does allow counties with fewer than 200,000 residents to issue open-carry permits, it leaves the decision up to local police chiefs and sheriffs. The plaintiffs say the population requirement is unfair and that the law gives local law enforcement too much discretion.
Under the law, local law enforcement “may issue” an open-carry permit if the applicant is of “good moral character” and “good cause” exists.
During a court hearing Wednesday in downtown Sacramento, the state’s lawyers said California’s open-carry laws are “firmly rooted in history” and enacted to protect public safety. They argued that the Second Amendment doesn’t give Americans an “unconditional right” to carry guns in plain view and cite the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller.
Matthew Wise, deputy attorney
general, told the court that the plaintiffs’ lawsuit is an “overreach” and called two of their declarations “misleading and false.”
California has enacted some of the nation’s strictest gun laws over the decades, but many are being challenged in federal courtrooms. Groups are currently challenging open-carry, magazine capacities, ammunition background check and age-based restrictions.
The open-carry lawsuit was filed just days after a gun rights advocates scored a major victory when a federal judge tossed California’s voter-approved ban on high-capacity gun magazines over 10 rounds.
“The Second Amendment does not exist to protect the right to bear down pillows and foam baseball bats. It protects guns and every gun is dangerous,” U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote.
In addition, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled in July 2018 that carrying guns in public is a constitutional right. The court shortly after decided to revisit the decision and announced an en banc hearing. The court has since stayed the hearing pending an opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York.
The Supreme Court announced Monday it will hear the New York case in December, setting up its first gun-rights case since Heller in 2008.
U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller acknowledged the high-profile cases pending in higher courts could impact the Sacramento case, and asked whether the plaintiffs were “laying the foundation” for another.
“It’s hard not to see this as one of those cases,” Mueller said.
The judge, a Barack Obama appointee, asked the plaintiffs’ lawyer to explain how California’s process is denying access to open-carry permits.
“There is no procedure, that’s the problem,” responded Bellantoni. “The statutes provide no procedure.”
Bellantoni claims the state doesn’t provide sheriffs forms or information regarding open-carry permits even if they wanted to issue one, and called the population requirement subjective.
Mueller said she would issue a written order on both motions as quickly as she can and raised the possibility that she may stay the case pending the related matters. Baird and Gallardo seek a preliminary injunction and while the state seeks dismissal.
A few ways to bring in extra money would be to save your aluminum cans and glass bottles to take to your recycle center, save your pocket change and put it in coin wrappers or you could have a yard sale. If you don't have enough for your own yard sale, get some other Jeffersonians to join with you.
Every little bit adds up!
Trinity County Spaghetti Feed & Fundraiser Win a Freezer Full of Meat!
Trinity County, State of Jefferson is having a spaghetti feed on Saturday, October 19, at the Trinity County Fairgrounds from 4 to 7 pm. Tickets are only $8 a person, $4 for children ages 7 to 12, and free for children 6 and under. Coffee, tea and lemonade are included in the ticket price and you may also BYOB (bring your own beverage).
The Trinity County SOJ community has really outdone themselves this year by offering a chance to win a 15 cubic foot freezer filled with meat donated by several of the biggest bidders from the livestock auction at the Trinity County Fair. For tickets or more information email Ann Bales at email@example.com.
State of Jefferson Fall Dinner and Fundraiser
Good food, fun and lots of prizes are promised at the State of Jefferson Fall Dinner and Fundraiser on Saturday, November 16, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, located at 3210 West Center Street in Anderson.
The dinner will be catered by Apple Jacks and there will be a no host bar, plus a dessert auction. Great auction prizes are in the offering to include a mystery safe and numerous other surprises. Doors open at 5 pm and dinner will be served at 6 pm.
Dinner menu and ticket prices will be announced in the near future. For more information, ticket prices or if you would like to donate a prize or dessert, please call 246-9706.
The Jefferson Messenger will be published only on the second Saturday of each month starting today. Ginny Ripini, who always has all the latest updates about the California economy and government, will continue to publish twice a month on the first and third Saturdays of the month.
Click here for the archived broadcasts to keep up to date! To call into the live Jefferson radio shows, the number is 530-605-4567.
Standing County Committee Meetings Subject to change without notice.
Coos County, OR
3rd Wednesdayeach month- 6PM
60 W Third St
Curry County, OR
2nd Wednesday each month -
29513 Ellensburg Ave
Gold Beach, OR
Douglas County, OR
2nd Tuesday each month - 6 PM
506 SE Jackson St
El Dorado County
2nd Tuesday each month -
American Legion Hall, 4561 Greenstone Road, Placerville
Doors open 5:30 to 6:30 PM, to socialize, ask questions and/or enjoy a meal. The meeting time: 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Jackson County, OR
2nd Thursday each month -
412 E Main St
Rogue River, OR
Josephine County, OR
1st Thursday each month - 6:00 PM
GP Parkway and Foothill Blvd
Grants Pass, OR
3rd Thursday each month -
Kerby Belt Building
Klamath County, OR
1st Tuesday each month -
Sizzler's Meeting Room
2506 S Sixth St
Klamath Falls, OR
Mariposa County 4th Tuesday each month – 5:30 PM Happy Burger Diner Meeting Room 5120 State Hwy 140 at 12th St Mariposa
2nd and 4th Tuesdays each month - 6:00 PM
Robinson's Conference Center 293 Lower Grass Valley Hwy
3rd Wednesday each month - 6 PM
5:30 PM Social time
Mt. Vernon Guild Hall
3185 Bell Rd
Mondays at 5:30 PM
2570 S. Bonnyview Road
Shasta County Intermountain Patriots
2nd Tuesday each month - 6:30 PM
Burney Lions Hall
Main Street, Burney
4th Tuesday each month
Social time - 5 PM
The Ol Merc
Hwy 299, McArthur
Meeting time - 6:30 PM
McArthur Lions Hall, Hwy 299
2nd &4th Tuesday each month
Grizzly Rock Cafe
4905 North Golden State Blvd
American Values SOJ
1st & 3rd Tuesday each month -
Mountain Mike's Pizza
111 Maggs St, Oakdale
Sutter and Yuba Counties
4th Monday each month - 6:30 PM
Church of Glad Tidings Building 500, Room 212
1179 Eager Road
1st & 3rd Friday each month -
20794 Walnut Street
2nd Thursday each month -
Hayfork Community Church
7450 State Highway 3
3rd Wednesday each month -
Round Table Pizza
120 Nugget Lane
2nd Tuesday each month -
6:00 PM Willow Springs Club House 20522 Willow Springs Rd Soulsbyville
The conference calls have been put on hold for now and placed on an as needed basis. Please check back here to see if any have been scheduled.
A Huge Thank You to Our Newsletter Staff Ginny Rapini Terry Gherardi Penny Garland Sally Rapoza