CRPA Year In Review 2011

December 29, 2011

2011 Activities And Accomplishments

Each year the CRPA proudly presents its listing of significant accomplishments and activities performed over the previous 12 months. This year’s report is broken down into three major sections: Legislative Activity, Litigation Activity, and finally a listing of those activities and accomplishments that won’t fit into just one category or another. This is your CRPA in action!

State Legislative Advocacy
Tom Pedersen, CRPA’s Full-time Legislative Liaison and Advocate in Sacramento lobbied on behalf of members.

As you know, this was another challenging year for firearms owners down at the Capitol. The number of moderate legislators has continued to decline, making it difficult to defeat anti-gun bills before they reach the Governor’s desk. A number of anti-gun bills passed this year by a very slim majority. Simply put, we need more pro-gun legislators to turn the tide. There are credible estimates that up to 40 percent of the assembly members and several Senate seats could turn over in the 2012 election cycle. 2012 may very well represent the best opportunity for us to tip the scales in our favor.

With that said, we ended this legislative year with some great results. Four out of the seven key bills we focused on went in the favor of the CRPA membership. Sunday, October 9 was the last day for the Governor to sign or veto bills. CRPA and NRA had a productive meeting with the Governor’s office on the afternoon of the 9th and stayed in communication with the Governor’s staff up until the midnight deadline. The positive results from the meeting were the signing of SB 610 and the veto of SB 427.

Here are the final results on just some of the key bills we worked on this year

Signed: SB 610 – License to Carry a Concealed Handgun Streamlined (Effective 1/1/2012) – The signing of SB 610 is an applauded victory for firearms owners in California. Senator Rod Wright introduced SB 610 this year to streamline the process for issuance of a license to carry a concealed handgun. The current licensing process has been a serious frustration for many people attempting to obtain a license. At this time, some licensing agencies require applicants to obtain liability insurance as a condition of issuance of a license. Liability insurance is not required under existing law and should not be required to obtain a license. In addition, some licensing authorities require applicants to pay a firearms training fee and complete a firearms training course before the authority considers approving an applicant for a good cause. It was CRPA’s position that a good cause determination should be made by the authority before an applicant is required to pay for and complete a firearms training course.

The signing of SB 610 corrects the many biases in the current law. Effective January 1, 2012, applicants for a license to carry a concealed handgun will not be required to pay for any training courses prior to a determination of good cause being made. The bill also provides that no applicant will be required to obtain liability insurance as a condition of the license. In addition, the licensing authority must notify the applicant if the request for a license was denied and shall state the reason for the department’s published policy as to why the license was denied.

Failed Passage: SB 124 – Expansion of Handgun Ammunition Definition – SB 124 is another victory for firearms owners. SB 124, introduced by Senator de Leon, would have expanded the definition of handgun ammunition to include most rifle cartridges, require registration of ammunition purchases, and would have effectively halted mail order sales of ammunition. Besides the registration and mail order issues with this bill, a major concern with this legislation was that it could have reclassified non-lead ammunition as “armor-piercing” ammunition. It is currently a felony to possess armor-piercing ammunition. And currently, non-lead ammunition is required when hunting in the California condor zone. If this bill would have passed, it could have halted hunting in the condor zone.

Vetoed: SB 427 – Ammunition Registration – SB 427 was an enormous concern for all firearms owners and one of the most important bills of the legislative year. As you know, this is the second year we have beat back ammunition registration. SB 427 would have required registration of handgun ammunition and some rifle cartridges, including .22 rimfire and would have stopped online and mail order purchase for delivery to your home or business. For example, you would not have been able to purchase handgun ammunition and some rifle ammunition online or by mail from companies like Midsouth or BassPro Shops for delivery to your home or business. It also would also have required vendors to obtain a local license to sell ammunition.

Failed Passage: SB 798 – Regulation of BB and Pellet Guns – SB 798 is another bill strongly opposed by CRPA members that we were able to defeat this year. SB 798 was an unnecessary bill since federal law already regulates BB and pellet guns and supersedes state law. As originally written, SB 798 would have required that the entire exterior surface of BB and pellet guns be manufactured in bright colors as are toy guns (i.e., white, bright orange, bright red, bright green, bright blue, bright yellow, bright pink, or bright purple). In an effort to sidestep the federal law, SB 798 proposed to delegate the authority to cities and counties to pass ordinances regulating the sale and possession of BB guns and pellet guns.

Significant Civil Litigation

In the post-Heller and McDonald legal environment, NRA and CRPA Foundation have formed the NRA/CRPA Foundation Legal Action Project (LAP), a joint venture to pro-actively strike down ill-conceived gun control laws and ordinances and advance the rights of firearms owners, specifically in California. Sometimes, success is more likely when LAP’s litigation efforts are kept a low profile, so the details of every lawsuit are not always released. Below you will see a partial list of the LAP’s recent accomplishments, litigated through the valiant efforts of Michel and Associates:

Parker v. California – Lawsuit successfully struck down main portions of California’s AB 962, which would have placed draconian restrictions and regulations on ammunition transfers. Currently litigating the number of attorneys’ fees that the State must pay.

Peruta v. County of San Diego – Lawsuit challenges San Diego County’s strict requirements for obtaining a CCW. Though the trial court did not grant Plaintiffs the relief sought, its opinion was the first to recognize post-Heller that the Second Amendment right “to bear arms” secures a right to carry arms in public for self-defense; not a total victory, but positive progress in Second Amendment jurisprudence. Since total victory is the objective, however, Plaintiffs have fully briefed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and are awaiting argument, seeking just that.

Jackson v. City of San Francisco – Lawsuit challenges San Francisco ordinances requiring handguns be locked up in the home, banning firearm discharge (the lawsuit already forced amendment authorizing lawful discharges), and prohibiting sales of common self-defense ammo. San Francisco’s motion to dismiss was denied. Plaintiffs’ motion to decide the matter on the merits will be filed soon.

Bauer v. Harris – Lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of DOJ’s system for charging “fees” to purchase firearms. Service of an amended complaint to address SB 819 pending. Plaintiff, Mr. Barry Bauer, is a CRPA Board member.

Assenza v. City of Los Angeles – Successful motion to enforce a prior consent decree entered into by the City of Los Angeles regarding the handling of applications by citizens for a license to carry firearms. We are seeking relief to ensure full compliance with the consent decree so that citizens have an opportunity to be issued licenses.

Davis v. City of Los Angeles – Lawsuit challenges LAPD’s failure to adhere to its own written policy for processing nine LA residents’ applications for a license to carry a firearm. As a result of plaintiffs’ motion to compel, LA was ordered to turn over documents related to the issuance of these licenses. The case will likely go to trial early next year.

CBD v. Bureau of Land Management, et al. – Intervened in a lawsuit behalf of hunters in an Arizona lawsuit in which self-proclaimed environmental groups sued the BLM to prohibit the use of lead ammunition for hunting in the Arizona Strip, a classic hunting area. On October 3, 2011, the court ruled in favor of the NRA and the BLM and threw out the lawsuit.

CBD v. EPA – NRA and SCI jointly intervened, opposing self-proclaimed environmental groups’ efforts to ban lead ammo nationwide under TSCA. The Court held CBD’s petition to be untimely filed and threw the case out.

Richards v. Prieto – Filed an amicus brief in 9th Circuit Court of Appeals supporting appellants who challenge Yolo County’s practices in issuing licenses to carry the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Millender v. County of L.A. – Filed amicus briefs in the US Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit challenging officers’ ability to write broad search warrants to seize guns unrelated to the alleged crime. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the brief in its ruling, and the U.S. Supreme Court accepted this case for review. Oral arguments took place before the Supreme Court on 12/5/11.

Nordyke v. King – Filed amicus briefs urging the Ninth Circuit to adopt a “strict scrutiny” standard of review for serious firearm restrictions.

People v. Delacy – Submitted amicus brief in support of a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court in the case used as a vehicle to address courts’ varying interpretations of Heller’s “presumptively lawful” language and whether discriminatory classifications that affect the fundamental right to keep and bear arms are subject merely to rational basis scrutiny.

Maikhio v. California – Submitted amicus brief in support of the petition for writ of certiorari to the California Supreme Court in the case addressing whether the same Fourth Amendment standard of reasonable suspicion of a violation of law that applies to law enforcement officers who stop vehicles on public roads applies to game wardens who stop hunters’ and anglers’ vehicles on public roads.

More lawsuits and amicus briefs are pending and will be filed VERY SOON!

  • We performed legal advocacy with regulatory agencies influencing how firearm laws are applied and enforced.
  • We submitted hundreds of Public Records Act requests to DOJ, ATF, and other firearm-regulating agencies to keep tabs on their activities, and monitoring anti-self-defense groups to expose their true agenda.
  • We produced numerous legal memoranda on gun laws for free public education.

Local Ordinance Project
Seventeen years ago the NRA and CRPA joined forces to fight local gun bans being written and pushed in California by the gun ban lobby. Their coordinated efforts became the NRA/CRPA “Local Ordinance Project” (LOP) – a statewide campaign to fight ill-conceived local efforts at gun control and educate politicians about available programs that are effective in reducing accidents and violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. The NRA/CRPA LOP has had tremendous success in beating back most of these anti-self-defense proposals. Here are just a few highlights over past 12 months:

Sunnyvale & Azusa – Submitted opposition letters that helped defeat ill-conceived local ordinances, including a dealer regulation scheme that would have made it practically impossible to sell guns in these cities

Fresno – Assisted with drafting a successful City Council resolution supporting a shall-issue firearm carry license policy.

Twentynine Palms – Submitted a letter opposing the proposed amendment to the City’s code that would have restricted target shooting on private land. The City followed our suggestions and adopted San Bernardino County’s less-restrictive regulations.

Sutter County – Submitted an opposition letter to proposed code amendments prohibiting the discharge of firearms from certain sources. The proposal has been indefinitely postponed.

Pleasant Hill – Submitted an opposition letter that prompted the pulling of an ill-conceived ordinance that would have created restrictive zoning regulations for firearm dealers. The letter also led to the termination of the secretive ad hoc committee behind the ordinance.

Los Angeles – Submitted a letter opposing proposed expansion of LA’s gun purchaser warning letter program. The proposal has been indefinitely postponed.

Campbell & Oakley – Submitted letters opposing now-enacted ordinances that restrict firearm dealers. Follow up to come soon.

To contribute to the CRPA Foundation and support these and other similar Second Amendment cases, visit www.crpafoundation.org.

Other Activities

  • Coordinated over 30 state championship shooting matches throughout the state.
  • Wrote and published 12 issues of The Firing Line magazine.
  • Assisted UCLA’s Second Amendment Society in developing a panel discussion regarding gun rights.
  • Sent out special election alerts to CRPA members living in Assembly District #4 and State Senate Districts #28 and #17 with candidate evaluations.
  • Half Page 6-month Ad begins running in the PORAC News.
  • Participated in the Pacific Air Gun Expo.
  • Participated in the “Truth Rally” and press event in downtown Los Angeles organized by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, the Cal Guns Foundation, and the Second Amendment Foundation.
  • Secured the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center – Folsom Shooting Club for August of 2012 to initiate our new family-friendly picnic/bar-b-que/shooting event.
  • Manned a CRPA booth and spoke at the awards ceremony of the California Combat Match 3 coordinated by the California Army National Guard at Camp San Luis Obispo. This event proved to be very effective in developing our “Train-A-Soldier” fundraiser for the Foundation. Selling Limited Edition AR-15’s customized for CRPA to raise funds for litigation and to assist the Cal Guard. In addition, we used this event to begin development of multi-gun matches with these the Cal Guard.
  • Developed and introduced the CRPA Sportsmen’s Business Alliance to assist CRPA business and club members engaged in firearms retail, firearms training, or management of a shooting club or range.
  • The CRPA Foundation submitted a letter correcting and clarifying some of the areas of California firearm law addressed in a draft ATF Study that could result in banning the importation of self-defense shotguns.
  • Spoke before the NRA South Bay Members Council.
  • Renegotiated the CRPA Office lease, garnering a 20% decrease for three years, three months free rent and substantial renovation of the office space at the building owner’s expense, including all new paint and carpeting throughout.
  • CRPA leadership attended the NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh and participated in several important strategic meetings over the 4-day event.
  • Spoke to the West L. A. NRA Members Council in Culver City.
  • Attended the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association’s Board meeting and Annual Banquet and met with their President Noble Hathaway, Keynote speaker Otis MacDonald and the SAF’s Alan Gottlieb.
  • President Tony Montanarella and Executive Director John Fields produced the first monthly video report to the BOD & members. These video reports are sent out as alerts, posted on the CRPA website, and posted to Twitter and our CRPA Facebook pages. Seven more have followed each month.
  • CRPA Board members Liz Smith, Wesley Morris, and Ron Morales manned a CRPA booth at the 2011 Golden Gate Action Pistol/IDPA Championship in Richmond, CA.
  • Herb Williams and Kevin Thomason manned the CRPA Booth at the Shooting Sports Fair in Zamora, CA.
  • CRPA Board members Tony Montanarella, Tom Gaines, Mike Barranco, Jason Horn, Jon Monroe, Fred Oey, Tim Wheeler and Rima and I manned the CRPA Booth at the 3-Day Raahauge’s Shooting Sports Fair. We developed a new brochure which featured information about CRPA, CalGuns, and The Appleseed Project. Special Thanks to Fred Oey, Jacob Rascon, and Bob Zio who helped design the brochure, get it printed, and who coordinated the dissemination of these combined brochures from multiple booth locations in the fair.
  • Increased our activity and the number of followers on our CRPA Facebook page… Now with nearly 1,500 members.
  • Secured NRA Executive Vice President Wayne La Pierre as the keynote speaker for the 2012 Annual Banquet in Ontario. Secured Ronnie Barrett, CEO of Barrett Firearms and Arizona’s Pima County Sheriff Paul Babeu as guest speakers.
  • Developed a new CRPA web video.
  • CRPA’s Number 1 Membership Recruiter Kathy Graham recruited 31 new members between April 13 and July 25 and worked the Annual Reserve Peace Officers Conference in San Jose.
  • Worked the CRPA booth at the 2-day Santa Barbara Gun Show. Special thanks to Paul Dougherty for arranging the free booth!
  • CRPA Board member Tom Gaines manned the CRPA Booth at the Del Mar Gun Show.
  • Ran half-page ads and articles in Western Outdoor News.
  • Multi-year memberships for businesses and clubs were introduced

2011 Activities And Accomplishments

Each year the CRPA proudly presents its listing of significant accomplishments and activities performed over the previous 12 months. This year’s report is broken down into three major sections: Legislative Activity, Litigation Activity, and finally a listing of those activities and accomplishments that won’t fit into just one category or another. This is your CRPA in action!

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