Civil Rights Suit Alleges CA Gave ‘Exemptions’ to Former Officers to Secure Gun Ban

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On April 14, the Firearms Policy Foundation — together with other organizations and individuals — filed a suit against the state of California and Attorney General Kamala Harris, alleging the state made special “exemptions” for former police officers in order to secure passage of Senate Bill 707, which banned concealed carry on college campuses.

The suit alleges that the state violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by creating a group who can carry concealed: former police officers; and a group who cannot: concealed carry permit holders. And the suit accuses of the state of doing this in order to win the support of “anti-gun ‘peace officer’ political organizations.”

According to the Firearms Policy Foundation, “As it was initially proposed, SB 707 would have broadly eliminated handgun carry on campus for virtually everyone except on-duty police or others specifically authorized to assist in an emergency.” Then the “powerful government employee association lobbyists,” who represent former peace officers, “immediately offered their full support of SB 707 — but only if the gun control bill was amended to exclude their retired members from the carry crackdown and allow them to continue carrying their personal firearms on school grounds whenever and however they pleased.”

The California legislature acquiesced, and SB 707 passed, barring concealed carry permit holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus but allowing former police officers to carry when they wish. Over “40,000 Californians [sent] letters of opposition” to SB 707 once the deal between lawmakers and peace officer “political organizations” was struck, but Governor Jerry Brown (D) ignored the letters and signed SB 707 into law on October 10, 2015.

The ban on campus carry took effect January 1, 2016, at which point the Firearms Policy Foundation and other plaintiffs claim, “it established preferential treatment for retired ‘peace officers’ over and above the rights of law-abiding private citizens approved to carry a handgun, despite the fact that retired ‘peace officers’ are not authorized to engage in law enforcement activities any more than their fellow private citizens.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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