Winning back firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time

Another small victory by SAF laying the foundation for bigger victories:


A senior U.S. District Court judge in California has issued a permanent injunction against the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s longstanding policy of “dissuading, discouraging, and preventing non-United States citizens from applying for a CCW license,” in a lawsuit brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, Calguns Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition.

SAF, Calguns and FPC were joined by the Firearms Policy Foundation and Madison Society Foundation, and Arie Van Nieuwenhuyzen, a permanent resident alien who has lived in Riverside since 1983 and is a business owner there.

The case is known as Van Nieuwenhuyzen, et al. v. Riverside, CA Sheriff Stanley Sniff, et al.

Senior United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson entered the order permanently enjoining Riverside County from having a policy and practice that prevented legal U.S. residents from exercising their right to apply for a carry license.

“We’re delighted with the outcome of this case,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “This isn’t our first experience with such a policy, and we’re happy to have had good partners in this challenge. Mr. Van Nieuwenhuyzen has been a productive, law-abiding member of his community for decades, and there is no good reason to discourage or deny someone of his background and standing the ability to apply for a carry license.”

“This coalition victory is important,” added Brandon Combs of the Firearms Policy Coalition, “because it not only helps to restore access to the fundamental right to bear arms, it also sends a crystal-clear message to carry licensing authorities that the rights of the people can and will be enforced in our courts. Anyone who stands between the People and their rights is on notice.”

The policy was carried out under former Sheriff Stanley Sniff, who lost to current Sheriff Chad Bianco in the last election. Sheriff Bianco campaigned on a promise to promote access to concealed carry licenses and reform earlier policies. Under terms of the permanent injunction, the Riverside Sheriff’s Department have 30 days to finalize all changes to their CCW policy and eliminate “any and all U.S. Citizenship requirements” from the department website that describe the application process, and from CCW application forms.

“This is just one more example of winning back firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time,” Gottlieb said.

I donate money from every paycheck, matched dollar for dollar by my employer, to SAF and Firearms Policy Coalition. I think this is the path by which we have the best hope to reach our desired goals.

But this won’t be enough, we also have to change the culture. Next weekend I’m taking people from Barb’s Book Club to the range to teach them gun safety and to shoot for the first time.


10 thoughts on “Winning back firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time

  1. Neat to see a fellow Dutchman in that case. Arie, time to trade in that green card for a naturalization certificate. I did years ago. Lots of reasons, but one of them was that it was time to become a full member of the team.

  2. I’m on the fence on this one.

    So legal *residents*- not citizens- were being discouraged? Call me populist, but shouldn’t our own citizens take priority over non-citizens?
    I know that leaves a ton of room for bad shit to take place, but this one does smell of “All our things are yours, foreigner,” to me.

    • Do you also think freedom of speech, the right to a trial by jury, right to a lawyer, and the 4th Amendment should be reserved only for citizens? Or are these inalienable rights belonging to all people?

      What I see this doing as laying the ground work to help establish the precedent of the right to keep and bear arms is an inalienable right as opposed to a privilege the government can revoke as it deems necessary.

    • The is why we have borders, and should enforce them with gusto.

      While the unalienable rights of all people within these borders are to be protected, likewise, no one should be allowed in unless they respect the rights of others and can thus be trusted to bear arms in public.

      See how this works? But we’ve all forgotten it.

      This is the same as the argument over the thirteenth amendment, isn’t it? For the very definition of being under the protection of the US constitution is that you have, among the other things, the right to bear arms where ever you go.

      I will say however that since we are as a nation incapable of understanding these fundamentals, we will surely fail. We’re letting across our borders those who would un-make this country. In our pride and arrogance we believe that we can side-step the fundamentals (because we’re “smart”) and then essentially micro-manage. We ignore the critical burden of screening who may come here and who may not, and that forces us to compromise further when we realize that we’ve let in millions of people who can’t be trusted to bear arms where ever they go.

      As I’ve said now for decades; every little bit of Progressivism REQUIRES just a little bit more.

      Sit and ponder that for a few years and let it sink in. It’s OK; we’ll wait…

      So long as we’re in that particular mode of “every bit of compromise (of the fundamental principles of liberty) requires just a little bit more”, and for sure and for certain we are in that mode, it means we are in the process of failing as a society, as a nation, and as a civilization.

      Without the fundamentals we are lost, yet we’ve been trained, each and every one of us, to eschew, suspect and even fear and hate “fundamentalism” as though it were nothing but a distraction from our goals.

      I can prove it to you right here and now, by your own reaction to the following;
      Until Western Civilization re-discovers the Protestant Reformation, which gave birth to Western Civilization, Western Civilization is on a glide path to extinction.

      It’s crazy, right?
      That’s what I mean. While it is true, the vast majority of Westerners will howl in condemnation of it’s being said.
      And there’s your problem right there.

      This is like an airliner flying at 30,000 feet. The passengers get angry at the pilots, and over-throw them, and take over the cockpit, being sick and tired of the pilots’ fundamentals and their knowledge of the fundamental physics of flight, and of navigation, et al.

      “We can do it better” they convinced one another to believe. The pilots’ beliefs are too rigid and old-fashioned, and, well, it’s time for a change! And we ALL KNOW that change is good!

      And they did believe it, with every fiber of their being, and so they all died, with the pilots gagged, hog-tied and forgotten in a closet. And right before they made that smoking crater in a desolate place, they were all thinking and saying to one another, “If only we could believe in ourselves just a little bit harder…” Maybe if they had persecuted the pilots a bit more, killing them rather than merely gagging and forgetting them; maybe that would have saved the day…but one thing is for sure, they had themselves utterly convinced that returning the pilots to their role as aeronautics fundamentalists would have only been a step backward! ANYTHING BUT THAT!

  3. All of my Amazon purchases are through the “smile” program so .5% of purchases are donated to SAF.

  4. This is a hollow victory….as it essentially changes nothing. What was happening BEFORE this ruling is the Riverside County Sheriff was accepting applications for a concealed carry license from citizens but NOT from people
    who were LEGAL RESIDENT ALIENS. Now the sheriff must accept applications
    for a concealed carry license from BOTH groups. But since the Riverside
    County Sheriff essentially NEVER approves an application for a concealed carry license ( with the exception of large campaign donors and politically connected
    people) the end result hasn’t changed. NO ORDINARY CITIZEN of Riverside County EVERY succeeds in being given a concealed carry license. And that is the essential reality for virtually ALL of Kalifornia with the exception of very remote places like Modoc County. A difference that makes no difference IS NO DIFFERENCE. And in this the ruling makes no difference.

  5. Yay, we’re winning back the “right to pay the government for permission” to exercise an unalienable right.

    If that is progress, well then OK, but let’s not celebrate overmuch. It only shows how very far we have to go.

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