On Thursday, June 9, 2011, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Green granted a motion in the NRA and CRPA Foundation financed case against the City of Los Angeles regarding the LAPD’s concealed weapons permit (CCW) processing and issuance policies. The motion was brought to force LAPD to comply with a 16-year-old Consent Judgment from the 1995 Assenza v. City of Los Angeles case. For years, LAPD has repeatedly sought to avoid its obligations under the judgment and to keep people in the dark about what it takes to get a CCW in the City of L.A.

The City unsuccessfully opposed the motion.

Under Penal Code § 12050, the LAPD has an obligation to process applications for CCWs, and to issue CCWs if the applicant has “good cause.” For many years, the City and the LAPD had a policy of not making CCW applications available, never finding good cause to exist, and effectively prohibiting the issuance of any CCWs. The City’s unlawful refusal to properly process CCW applications and issue CCWs was challenged in two lawsuits in 1992 and 1994. To settle the suits the LAPD agreed to be bound by a Judgment requiring that all citizens who request a CCW permit application could get one at any LAPD station house, that the application would be accompanied by a written copy of the LAPD’s procedure for handling the application, including the factors used to determine whether an applicant has ”good cause” for the CCW, and that applicants would be informed of the procedures for appealing the denial of a CCW application. The settlementalso established a Citizens Advisory Review Panel, made up of appointed citizens who would review CCW applications denied by the LAPD and make recommendations regarding whether the LAPD should reverse its denial of the CCW application.

The LAPD has repeatedly failed to honor its legal obligations under the Judgment. The LAPD stopped making CCW applications and a written copy of the CCW policy and appeal process available at all station houses. And the LAPD is ignoring the recommendations of the Citizens Advisory Review Panel and has instead enacted a de facto policy of again issuing no CCWs, despite whatever showing of good cause the applicants might make.

The motion heard on Thursday sought, among other things, to force the LAPD to make CCW applications and copies of its written policy available at each station house as the judgment requires. To support the motion, NRA grassroots activists were recruited to investigate the LAPD’s CCW practices. They were frustrated by uncooperative officers at individual LAPD station houses. The officers had no understanding of the LAPD’s application process and, in almost all instances, could not provide a CCW application to the requesting citizen, much less a copy of the LAPD’s written court ordered policy. LAPD officers bluntly told citizens that unless they were celebrities, they shouldn’t even bother filling out the CCW application because they would be denied a CCW as a matter of LAPD policy. These NRA activist witnesses signed declarations about their frustrated attempts to get CCW applications, which were submitted with the motion to force LAPD to comply with the 16-year-old Judgment.

In granting the motion and ruling against the city, the Court ordered the City to provide contact information for CCW applicants to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, to get sworn declarations signed under penalty of perjury from every Commanding Officer at each of the LAPD’s 21 station houses and precincts confirming their compliance with the terms of the Assenza judgment and indicating what affirmative steps were taken to ensure compliance, and to prominently post a CCW link on the LAPD website so the public can easily access both the CCW application and the LAPD CCW policy. LAPD must comply with this Order by Wednesday, September 7, 2011.


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