Courts gradually cracking down on Los Angeles' refusal to grant concealed handgun permits

The City of Los Angeles, in particular, has a notorious reputation for denying and rejecting licenses to carry concealed weapons (“CCW”), despite the fact that multiple lawsuits have been filed over the years against the city to challenge its arbitrary CCW licensing procedures, stonewalling tactics, and bureaucratic obstruction.

To best understand the long held position Los Angeles has taken with respect to CCW permits, one should examine an issued statement released by the city circa 1974. The language in the statement, entitled "Board Policy Concerning Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons," reads:

By operation of California law, Penal Code Section 12050, the Board of Police Commissioners has discretionary authority to issue a license to carry a concealed weapon... However, experience has revealed that concealed firearms carried for protection not only provide a false sense of security, but further that the licensee is often a victim of his own weapon or the subject of a civil or criminal case stemming from an improper use of the weapon... For these reasons, considering the dangers to society resulting from possession and use of concealed weapons, it is the policy of this Board that 'good cause' for the issuance of any concealed weapons licenses would exist only in the most extreme and aggravated circumstances.

Although this statement violated the Penal Code Section 12050, it was the overt consensus amongst city officials, the LAPD and their affiliates up until 1992 when a lawsuit was filed, Lake v. City of San Fernando and City of Los Angeles, challenging the "Arbitrary practice of denial without a legitimate basis, despite meeting all of the required requisites to obtain a carry concealed license." . . .

The first legal action is to force the LAPD to reinstate its agreed-to policy of providing applications and copies of its written policy at all LAPD station houses, something it has neglected to do over the years.

And the second legal action is a new lawsuit, Davis v. City of Los Angeles. The nine plaintiffs in this suit have all been subjected to the same stonewalling tactics and mistreatment as previously rejected applicants (the ones who filed similar lawsuits), i.e. failures to respond to inquiries regarding the status of applications, failures to acknowledge the availability of the Citizens Advisory Review Panel as a method of appealing denial, and failure to give any weight to recommendations by the Citizens Advisory Review Panel.

As a result of those two new legal actions, earlier this month a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge ordered the City of Los Angeles to produce documents relating to the LAPD’s policies and procedures for processing applications for CCW permits. . . .



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