California has some issues. Any law-abiding gun owner who pays any attention can see that. The state is as anti-gun as they come, and it looks like it’s actively competing with other states to stay that way.
However, some of the issues aren’t purely at the state level necessarily. Sometimes, it’s the local sheriff that’s the problem.
A resident and five pro-gun groups have filed a lawsuit against Riverside County and Sheriff Sniff for his concealed carry license policy and practices that, the plaintiffs allege, are unconstitutional.
Riverside County resident Arie van Nieuwenhuyzen purchased a handgun with the intent of applying for a CCW. When he asked the Sheriff’s department how he would go about apply, he was told he was ineligible for a permit because he’s a U.S. resident, not a U.S. citizen.
Van Nieuwenhuyzen has lived in Riverside since 1983 as a legal U.S. resident. According to the lawsuit, van Nieuwenhuyzen has been a successful business owner and member of the community. He is an active member of his church and teaches Sunday School. He “has obeyed all laws and customs of his adopted country and state.”
“Courts across the country have long held that legal United States residents are entitled to the same constitutional protections as everyone else,” lead attorney George M. Lee said in a statement. “Sheriff Sniff’s discriminatory and unconstitutional policies and practices are denying people access to the right to keep and bear arms and violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s command that all people shall enjoy equal protection of our laws.”
In addition to Van Nieuwenhuyzen, The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF), and Madison Society Foundation (MSF) have all signed on as plaintiffs.
The problem here is that when you create a system where local officials are the final arbiter on who gets to exercise a constitutional right, some are going to exercise that power to discriminate against others.
But none of that matters in California, where the only people they seem to think should be armed are the criminals who they have to know will ignore the law.
Of course, I also find it ironic that a state so known for standing by illegal immigrants (I hate the term “alien” since my kneejerk reaction to it is to think of little green men) would have an official be so blatantly anti-legal immigrant.
Now, I’m not going to pretend to know why Van Nieuwenhuyzen hasn’t obtained citizenship. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me in the least. It might have given Sheriff Sniff less of a reason to deny his application, but it doesn’t change the reality that Sniff is apparently denying him on bogus grounds.
I’d like to wish Mr. Van Nieuwenhuyzen luck with his lawsuit. Who knows, it might change the entire stupid process in California for the better.