District Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division (Los Angeles) has scheduled an August 8th hearing for Ulises Garcia et al. v Kamala D. Harris ( Case 2:16-cv-02572-BRO-AFM ). The case concerns California bill SB 707, which bans people with concealed carry permits from carrying on school grounds — but allows certain retired government employees to do so.

The suit claims that the law violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. The Firearm Policy Center:

FPF filed suit challenging SB 707, which divides law-abiding gun owners into two classes – and an upcoming hearing could have huge ramifications on the legislature’s ability to pass discriminatory anti-gun laws in the future.

SB 707 banned law-abiding, CCW-licensed individuals from carrying handguns for self-defense on “school grounds.” However, the law created an exemption some former government employees.

One man, Dr. Ulisses Garcia, was issued a license to carry in response to a threat of violence from a former patient. Since the passage of SB 707, Dr. Garcia is unable to lawfully carry his handgun when he attends his children’s school events or simply drops them off in the morning. But this law applies differently to people who have worked in different professions, and those people don’t have to make that choice.

Here is the provision of the Silveira v. Lockyer case. From the decision SILVEIRA v. LOCKYER (pdf):

C. The AWCA’s Provisions Regarding Off-Duty Police Officers Do Not Offend The Fourteenth Amendment; However, There Is No Rational Basis For the Retired Officer Exemption. Plaintiffs contend that the privileges that are afforded to off-duty and retired peace officers under the AWCA violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Specifically, they contend that the pertinent provisions afford benefits to off-duty and retired officers that are unavailable to the plaintiffs, and that there is no rational reason that they and other law-abiding citizens should be treated differently than off-duty and retired peace officers.53

For good or ill, the “rational basis” argument developed in the courts is absurdly easy to meet. Generally stated, if the legislature can make a statement that sounds reasonable — it does not have to meet any proof that it is reasonable– the standard is met. AG Kamala Harris exploits that interpretation of the rational basis standard.

CA AG Kamala Harris’ arguments (briefly summarized): There is no Second Amendment right to carry on School Grounds. Allowing retired peace officers to carry has a rational basis. The state can confer special privileges on retired police officers, because there is no comparable group to them. That no equal protection applies, because of the above.

Harris argues that the plaintiffs have no standing because they are not arguing to be allowed to carry in schools, but only to prevent retired police officers from being allowed to carry. The brief from the AG’s office cites cases to make these arguments.

The judge in this case is Beverly Reid O’Connell. She was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013. There is hope. Despite her Democratic pedigree, some of President Obama’s appointees have made decisions that limit government power.

While I’d like to paint a rosy picture about the chances to overturn SB 707, the odds are that it will be dismissed. Inequality in the law for retired police officers exists across the nation. It would be a large not-to-say unexpected step for a California judge to overturn it.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

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28 Responses to Lawsuit Challenges Ban on School Carry on Equal Protection Grounds

  1. Regardless of the lower court outcome the 9th Circuit will figure out a way to come up with the wrong ruling.

  2. In short, it’s CA. You don’t have rights, peon.

    Even if this works it’s way up, I’m sure the 9th Circuit will make sure to deny you your rights whether by trial or en banc (aka “up yours”) review.

  3. Equal protection is the way most gun rights lawsuits should be based. Forget pleading the 2nd, they’ll just tell you that it doesn’t apply. Equal protection is how the left has been winning damn near everything for the last 20 years.

      • This challenge definitely needs to happen, even if it’s likely to go nowhere. Call the anti-gun progs out on civil rights grounds — because that’s what’s at stake. The Second Amendment is merely a template for what the progressive left would do to the entire Bill of Rights if they thought they could get away with it.

  4. “Harris argues that the plaintiffs have no standing”

    Standing is lawyer speak for ‘shut up and do what we tell you’.

    • There’s been no mass murder of suburban white children and it doesn’t concern evil assault weapons, so there’s no need to Do Something(tm). This white-Hispanic George Zimmerman type guy is wasting valuable space on the Social Justice docket.

  5. As far as I have ascertained, the upcoming hearing addresses only the standing issue on the State’s motion to dismiss. The argument for the sate is that Plaintiffs will not be harmed if retired officers are allowed to carry–and a harm is an essential element of standing. The case would have been easier but for the intervening Peruta decision that held there was no right to carry concealed, and as such, the State can set the terms and conditions as to its permission to where concealed carry is permitted.

    And by the way, my understanding is that the good Doctor can drop his kids off in the parking lot of the school, but he can’t get leave the parking lot.

    • I wonder if he’ll have standing when yet another registered Democrat murders undefended children strikes yet another blow for social justice at yet another school. If it saves just one life…

    • In other words the “sensitive places” caveat of the Heller decision comes back to bite us. Again. Still.

      It is the “gift” that keeps on giving.

  6. This carve out for cops on all the things really rustles my jimmies.

    Frankly, it should piss off the cops, too.

    “Okay, little doggie, if we let you keep your toys you and your union won’t raise a stink when we trounce the rest of the citizenry, right?”

    “Right-o boss!”

    “Good boy.”

    • This is a major tactic that has allowed California liberal’s to be so successful with their anti-gun agenda.

  7. I have a great idea. Let’s get a red state to return the favor. Maybe, I dunno, outlaw all discussions in schools that view socialism positively. Then start by jailing socialist college professors. They argue that it is “reasonable” to the safety of the republic and schools are “sensitive” areas where the 9th has already ruled that the constitution doesn’t apply. The only thing I can think of that would offend them more is mandating prayer back into schools. I mean if the 2nd doesn’t, then that bam in the first doesn’t either.

    • See: Scopes “Monkey Trial”

      Didn’t work out, but somehow didn’t establish a broad precedent with regards to “banned topics” in schools…

  8. Retired cops are not above the law nor should they be treated differently than anyone else. Off duty I can understand, but not retired. I can’t see any rational for retired cops to have a different set of rules than anyone else.

  9. “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

    How quaint this seems in our brave, new world.

  10. Shouldn’t those Oaf Kippers we keep hearing about staunchly denounce these kinds of carve outs and permissions at every step? You know, since they’re “one of us” and everything…

    • The Oathkeepers are a joke, and the brainchild of that disaster hasn’t stopped laughing (or left the bank) since they began.

      My parents’ generation continues with the uniform worship and Little Stewie keeps giving the simpletons something silly to clutch their pearls over, then they send him more money.

  11. “CA AG Kamala Harris’ arguments (briefly summarized): There is no Second Amendment right to carry on School Grounds. “

    The Second Amendment doesn’t grant rights. It restricts the government from infringing on the People’s pre-existing rights. The Progressive Liberals (Democrats) claim they are the educated elites, yet they fail to grasp this one basic concept.

  12. This is a silly legal pursuit. It’s an attempt to be cute and technical. The problem is, the court doesn’t care. And if the court doesn’t care, these legal theories that avoid the main question aren’t going anywhere.

  13. I get that retired cops may have made some enemies over the course of their career, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t have enemies that intend to do us harm. If there is a rational basis for a carve out, then it should stand there is no rational basis for the law in the first place. But I’m not a lawyer, just a citizen.

  14. “There is no Second Amendment right to carry on School Grounds. Allowing retired peace officers to carry has a rational basis.”

    Come on, guys, somebody has to know where I can get me some of what she’s smoking! If the POTUS decides to retire in CA, he cannot carry in those places, but a high-school dropout, who retired as a patrolman in LA, can? Retired SEALS cannot? There is no rational justification.

  15. lol that standard is ridiculous!

    I’m an unemployed deep sea lobster veterinarian, there is no group comparable to me!

    I should be able to have the right to carry on all state property…and airports.

  16. Read: https://www.fop.net/legislative/issues/hr218/hr218faq.pdf
    H.R. 218, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act”
    and
    S. 1132, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act
    Improvements Act”
    and
    H.R. 4310, the “National Defense Authorization Act”

    First, I FULLY support and deeply appreciate our Law Enforcement Officers. My Uncle was a career Police Officer and Chief of Police. Reading the above, I don’t understand how former Military Veterans are exempt from falling under the above provisions and ESPECIALLY the United States Coast Guard:
    Office of Law Enforcement (CG-MLE)

    Formerly the Office of Law Enforcement (CG-531)
    Mission:

    The United States Coast Guard is the nation’s leading maritime law enforcement agency and has broad, multi-faceted jurisdictional authority. The specific statutory authority for the Coast Guard Law Enforcement mission is given in 14 USC 2, “The Coast Guard shall enforce or assist in the enforcement of all applicable laws on, under and over the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.” In addition, 14 USC 89 provides the authority for U.S. Coast Guard active duty commissioned, warrant and petty officers to enforce applicable U.S. law. It authorizes Coast Guard personnel to enforce federal law on waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction and in international waters, as well as on all vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction (including U.S., foreign and stateless vessels).

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