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City Attorney Richard Doyle

“We don’t want to turn the guns over and we don’t have to turn the guns over, the courts have agreed with us.” – San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle in San Jose Woman Sues City, Police for Access to Her Guns [at]

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  1. ‘…following a 2013 incident in which her husband was held for psychiatric evaluation.’

    I’m just curious what the results of the ‘evaluation’ were. You’d think if the psychiatrists deemed him to be a danger to himself or others they would have mentioned that.

  2. I think the most disturbing thing about this is that they have essentially said that complying with California’s safe storage laws “isn’t good enough”. They have also admitted that the woman is free to go out and buy (and thus presumably store) new guns. So lets break down the logic: Your husband was put on a psychiatric hold, so you are going to lose a civil right right. Well, not really actually, because since you are not a prohibited person, and there is no law against having guns in the home when there is a prohibited person there, so you can go ahead and buy more guns if you want. But we’re going to keep your property anyway, because we want to be “cautious”.

    Wait. So you’re saying the presence of guns in the house is an unacceptable risk to public safety, which is why you won’t give them back to the owner. If that’s the case, then why is she allowed to go out and buy more? If she is fully within her rights to store new guns int he house, why is she not allowed to store the guns she already had?

    SAF is going to have a field day with this. Sorry San Jose taxpayers, but you’re going to be on the hook for this one. By the time the city attorney stops fighting this, it’s going to be a multi-million dollar settlement due to litigation costs.

    • @Kyle: I had the same thought. That is, you can’t have your guns back but you are free to go buy more ? That makes no sense. Well, actually it does if you think about it this way: She can go buy more but then they may also take those away. As she is not a restricted person she is free to purchase firearms. However, as soon as she tried to bring them home and store them in her home, where her husband also lives, they could and probably would be taken away. Guessing the News did not give too much information about her husband’s condition due to healthcare privacy concerns. Without those details it is difficult to decide who is right or wrong in this case. If she could demonstrate that the guns can be kept from him then she probably should get them back. If not, then I understand their concern. But, again, it depends on his mental evaluation and current condition.

    • Yes it will cost taxpayers, but well worth if it serves to bitch-slap the city council whose OK was needed to proceed with the case. The case details were discussed in a closed session, but likely that the city attorney thumped his chest and council went along with it.

      Unlike LAPD, the weapons have not been destroyed (court ordered they be preserved), the gun owner will get her firearms back, and Calguns, SAF, and her attorney will get their fees. My only regret is their fees can’t be made stratospheric.

      • There is a concept in law where an agent (private or public) must act within the bounds the the assigned agency (the limits to what actions are allowed under the agency….an agent is not empowered to operate outside the bounds of that agency and claim the granting authority is responsible for the agent’s action).

        If any city employee operates outside their explicit agency/authority, that employee is personally responsible for those actions deemed outside the employees “agency” (authority. So, if as alleged in the latest suit, the named police officer, or city attorney, took actions not allowed under the authority of the cop/attorney then the plaintiff can sue that person for just about everything that person owns or will own. The finding of lack of agency often happens when the actual political unit (police department, DA, city council, etc.) finds itself facing a ruinous legal action.

        • SJ’s Mayor Liccardo claimed, “we’ve shaken the sofa cushions and there’s no money left”. A taxpayer group later published a study giving specific examples of how to save more than $145M / year with significant savings in the first year.

          Meanwhile SJ has paid several million in legal fees trying to get Oakland A’s to move to SJ and millions more to defend a ballot initiative that curtailed SJPD salaries and benefits. No 20-20 hindsight: both seemed doomed from the beginning despite brave words from City Attorney Rick Doyle. And critics have been proven correct.

          SJPD response time has tripled, officers fled to other departments, and SJPD continues to loose more than can be hired. Property crime (home invasions, burglaries, car thefts) have soared and looks like a new murder rate will be reached this year.

          Despite these problems, SJ is still a pretty decent place to live and safer than comparable cities with over a million. SJ has a city-owned indoor range, a large County park outdoor one, several nearby private ones, and big turnouts at 2A meetings. Even the local LGBT-friendly shooting group shows about 250 members on their online site.

    • The problem is obvious. They have already been given away to friends and family, and it would be embarrassing to have to demand them back. Anybody thinks the police have unlimited space to store somebody else’s guns is nuts.

  3. This is a good one to file away as a response to the other side when they bleat about how they’re not really coming for your guns.

    Wasn’t there another case recently, that would be somewhat germane here? In that case, the feds ruled that the prohibited person himself could have a third party keep his firearms for him.

    The absurdity and inherent civil rights violations of this situation notwithstanding, why couldn’t the woman keep the firearms somewhere outside the home – at a third party, for example? And, on what grounds did the state seize her property in the first place? Sounds like her second, fourth, and fourteenth amendment-protected rights, at a minimum, have been grossly violated.

      • You must be one of those bitter clingers that obama mentioned with your talk of registration equals confiscation. I would consider you an American Citizen, that believes in the ideals of this nation.

        What you are saying about registration equals confiscation is that there should be only the seller’s character assessment of the buyer, as what should determine a firearm sale. That is free market capitalism, and that is wrong some ignorant representatives and sheep say.

        Why is FFL Point of Sale registration allowed in the guise of a background check? Answer, comfortable cowards of previous generations who negotiated rights away.

        • “Why is FFL Point of Sale registration allowed in the guise of a background check?”

          Because when the background check is executed the firearm is not identified in the data going into NICS; the government only knows that you are being approved for the sale/possession of “a” firearm and the record stays at the FFL, where it is available for inspection – but not for copying all of the records; only to establish proper operational adherence to the rules. The FFL is supposed to be able to destroy the Form 4473 after 30 days. So that doesn’t count as registration. Even though, just as it was demonstrated in 1984’s Red Dawn, if anyone wants to confiscate all of the local guns, all they need to do is seize the FFL’s master book where all firearms purchases are logged, then pay a visit to each purchaser for “seizure & re-education”. That’s the way I understand it. So no, that isn’t “registration” per se; what we have here in Massachusetts however is definitely registration and that’s why I’m moving back to Maine where Constitutional Carry is the law of the land.

        • What is and is not supposed to happen are two different things. ATF has been photocopying 4473s.

          Q: For what lawful purpose?
          A: no lawful purpose, only because they are unopposed and out of control.

  4. Until we make individual agents of the state personally and financially liable for illegal activity conducted while on the job this sort of a use will never end. Bankrupt and imprison a few and others may learn not to trample law and rights. It’s called betrayal of the public trust, and it’s damn serious, but it’s ignored since the guilty rarely go down for it.

    Like Florida’s current governor. He’s using tax payer dollars to settle lawsuits against him for violating open government laws. He needs to be in prison.

      • They don’t seem to be too concerned about bankrupting regular citizens who get caught up in the wheels of “justice”, so I’m not too worried about them. When they place career advancement and personal gain, etc. above the interests of the citizens they are supposed to be serving, I say bring ’em down.

        Unfortunately neither of us likely to see what we think is acceptable, namely public officers whipped into shape or shipped out. Even when they do finally die or retire, we need better stock to take their places, which isn’t happening either.

    • Throughout history, there has frequently been a backlash from the people against their leaders when the leaders go too far. I am talking about times when the people retake control of their government and then follow it with a move to seek justice for past wrongs. An extreme example was the Nuremberg trials. Nearly every Nazi tried in that court claimed they were just following orders. Heck, Saddam Hussein tried to tell an Iraqi court that they lacked the legal authority to convict him. A few years ago, a judge ruled that a law prohibiting people from suing doctors who work for the VA was unconstitutional. The VA thought they were immune to malpractice lawsuits, and as such, they assumed they could get away with shoddy medical practices along with not having insurance. It didn’t work in the end. I am confident that one day theses bozos will face justice…I just hope it is soon enough to face that justice in this life and not the next.

  5. I’m not a gambling man, but I’d wager that the wife’s firearms have already been sent to the smelter; with the more choice pieces being disposed of into an officer’s private collection.

    • You’d think it would be cheaper to fess up and pay for the firearms than to fight the lawsuits, but then when you’re gambling with the taxpayers’ money, why not?

    • Yeah. I’d bet those guns are gone. If they aren’t gone yet, they are probably making plans to destroy them as we speak. Just like the Veteran who’s guns were destroyed, she will never see those firearms again. IMO.

  6. LAWYER !!

    someone wanna tell me again about how attorneys have a code of ethics? when lawyers gain political power, they cannot sustain the facade of circumspection they so lavishly try to convey when seeking office. power corrupts, powerpoint corrupts absolutely.

        • never happened.

          there have been three instances where a lawyer could have been involved. i decided to just suffer the loss and avoid the hassle. got better things to do with my time. and ironically, one of my longest acquaintances is an attorney. we understand each other, but have interesting stories to tell each other.

          but i digress.

          again, look at what you have for politicians. lawyers all. how’s that working for ya?

      • and your point?
        if she runs out of money, her lawyers will flee. they only do pro bono when it could result in headlines that bring in more paying customers.

        but my major point was a lawyer in a political position unmasking what lies beneath for all of them.

        • Her attorney could be taking the case on a contingency basis – don’t know details. Anyway, SAF & Calguns have joined her legal team.

        • like any “good” mechanic, when you need one, you need one. just don’t turn your back on them.

  7. This is why people do not trust government. Ronald Reagan got it right when he said that the scariest phrase in the English language is: “I am from the government, and I am here to help.”

    • Everybody loves Reagan. He signed the FOPA 1986, along with the Hughes Amendment. People don’t seem to remember that the republicans have passed as much gun control as they could. W may not have had the chance to reauthorize the AWB, but is on record as saying he would have. He did give us the effing “Patriot Act”. Republicans are no friends to gun owners. They are only slightly less bad compared to the democrats.

  8. WARNING: Take a chill pill before reading the case. It is more eye-popping than just the brief news item – skip to FACTS starting on page 4. You’ll see that City Attorney Doyle’s statement is disingenuous.

    Case 5:15-CV-03699 at

    Happy to see participation by Calguns and SAF, but disappointed that the NRA is MIA on this case. Disclosure: am not affiliated with NRA, SAF, or Calguns, but donate to all three.

    SAF donations:

    Calguns donations:

  9. Vote down budgets, publish residences. Demand quarterly audits, it’s obviously to fun to be a cop in CA, thecops just ain’t feelin it.

    Again, Still, this is a blue state liberal (D) head problem. You’re all f-ing up America, and we’re going to take it back eventually. If you live in a blue state, you may be part if the problem. If you have a (D) after your name, are a liberal, or a rino, the problem is part-of-you, you are permenantly damaged and your mom (one of your five fathers who wears the dress more often) owes us an abortion, and should’ve sold you for parts before you were a “human being”. If we get a chance to talk to your ‘mom’, maybe we can convince him that the statute of limitations hasn’t run yet.

  10. I guess at the end of the day, all women like to be appreciated and treated with respect and kindness. I try my best to confront situations because I know, at the end of the day, you can deal with it or it will deal with you.


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