SCOTUS declines to hear Peruta v. California, a case that examines whether the Constitution allows requiring good cause for concealed carry permits
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, and its partner organization the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, praised the decision by the United States Supreme Court to decline hearing Peruta v. California, a critical case ARS and the Law Center have been involved in since the very start.
At issue was a California statute that requires citizens to demonstrate good cause to be eligible for permits to carry hidden, loaded weapons in public—an important policy on the books in several other states. In upholding the good cause requirement, a panel of 11 judges on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recognized that the Second Amendment is not unlimited and that, for centuries, the Constitution has permitted government to impose strict guidelines on carrying concealed weapons in public.
Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence:
“Today’s decision is a victory for smart gun laws and for public safety. By leaving the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Peruta undisturbed, the Supreme Court upholds the essentially unanimous view of the lower courts that reasonable gun regulation, like the good cause rule, are in line with the Second Amendment. Law enforcement officials, like the sheriff of San Diego County, who was the original defendant in this case, are in the best position to determine how to safeguard their communities, and the Court’s decision not to hear the case leaves intact the sheriff’s ability to do just that.”
Adam Skaggs, chief counsel at the Law Center:
“Today’s decision is just the latest in a long line of court decisions rejecting gun-lobby challenges to the smart gun laws that keep our families and communities safe. The Court’s refusal to take this case leaves in place the thorough, well-reasoned opinion from the Ninth Circuit, which found that requiring that concealed carry applicants show good cause before they are granted a permit to carry a hidden, loaded weapon in public is very much constitutional. Every circuit court of appeals to consider the question has concluded that the reasonable gun regulations like San Diego’s good cause rule do not infringe Second Amendment rights.”
The Law Center has been involved in the Peruta case for more than five years, and filed two amicus curiae briefs urging the Ninth Circuit to uphold California’s concealed carry permitting system—the position later adopted in the Ninth Circuit’sen banc opinion. The Law Center’s briefs were joined by leading national law enforcement officials, including the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
Related Resources from ARS & the Law Center:
Gorsuch’s Gun Lobby Gesture (Published in US News & World Report)
Gun Lobby May Have Found Their Man in Neil Gorsuch (Published in Newsweek)
Four Dead, Including the Shooter, in Second Mass Shooting of Day
Workplace Violence Is the Most Common Type of Active Shooting, According to FBI Analysis
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Today, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence responded to the tragic shooting at a UPS facility in San Francisco. Three were killed and two more were shot before the shooter turned the gun on himself, in yet another example of the horrific gun violence that occurs far too frequently in our nation and echoes the rampage killing at 101 California Street in 1993 that led to the Law Center’s founding. The shooter was an employee of UPS armed with a semiautomatic pistol, and reports suggest he suffered from mental illness. We know workplace shootings are the most common type of active-shooter situation, according to an FBI analysis.
“This morning, newscasts across the country had to interrupt coverage of a tragic mass shooting to bring live coverage of yet another horrific shooting—this time at a UPS facility in San Francisco,” said Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Our organization was founded by the survivors of an all-too similar massacre that occurred not far away, at a law firm at 101 California Street. We share our community’s sorrow and anger today, and we are heartbroken for those whose lives were shattered or lost. Details are still emerging about this attack, but we know its victims will be among the 300 Americans shot by guns every day—over 114,000 every year, over one million in the last decade. Workplaces are among the most common targets of mass shootings, and it’s imperative that we do more to protect our citizens from horrific tragedies like this and support the smart gun laws we know save lives.”
Related Resources from the Law Center:
- Gun Laws in California
- California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order Law
- FAQ About Gun Violence Restraining Orders
- California’s Assault Weapons Law
- National Assault Weapons Policy Summary
Our staff attorneys have immediate availability to speak with media on today’s shooting, California gun laws, and the state of firearms legislation nationwide.
Garrett McDonough, [email protected], 917-538-3775
Five Injured by Gunman Armed with Handgun and Military-Style Assault Weapon
Hearing to Debate Gun Lobby–Backed Bill to Deregulate Silencers Postponed
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Today, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence condemned the heinous attack on Majority Whip Steve Scalise and his staffer, a lobbyist, and members of the congressional security detail. Reports indicate the shooter was armed with a military-style assault weapon and a handgun, and was neutralized by law enforcement after exchanging gunfire for 10 minutes.
“Incidents like this morning’s shooting in Alexandria are far too common and call to mind so many other horrific gun tragedies our country has endured in recent years,” said Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The shooter was armed with a handgun and a military-style rifle, far too easily acquired by a man with a violent history, radical notions, and deadly intentions. We’re grateful to the law enforcement officers and first responders who bravely protected those present at the shooting and saved lives. In spite of events like this occurring with stunning regularity—this was the 153rd mass shooting of 2017—the gun lobby continues to push for the total dismantling of our gun laws, including its attempt to deregulate silencers, legislation that was scheduled to be debated in Congress today. It’s terrifying to imagine how much more difficult it would be for police to respond to a mass shooting when a gunman has a silencer. Our leaders in Congress need to take action to make this country safer and fight back against the gun lobby’s deadly agenda.”
RESOURCES FROM THE LAW CENTER:
- Today’s shooting took place in Virginia, a state with relatively weak gun laws—it receives a D on the Law Center’s annual Gun Law State Scorecard.
- Virginia does not require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between private or unlicensed parties, and doesn’t require a permit to purchase a weapon.
- Virginia requires a permit for individuals to carry a concealed weapon and in 2016 enacted a dangerous law that grants recognition to concealed carry permits issued by any other state.
- The shooter was staying in the Washington DC area temporarily, but lived in Belleville, Illinois, a state with relatively strong gun laws.
- Illinois receives a B+ on the Gun Law State Scorecard, for smart gun laws like waiting periods and background checks, but the state does not regulate military-style assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines.
- Illinois is a “shall issue” state, meaning that concealed weapons permits must be issued if the applicant meets certain criteria.
For more information on the condition of gun laws in the United States contact our experts at [email protected].
Garrett McDonough, [email protected], 917-538-3775
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, and its partner organization the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, applauded the California Legislature for authorizing funding for the California Violence Intervention Prevention Program (CalVIP), formerly CalGRIP.
The 2017 California budget, which now heads to Governor Brown’s desk, includes $9.2 million for CalVIP, which is one of the only sources of state-level funding for locally driven violence prevention strategies. Earlier this year, attorneys from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions testified in support of CalVIP.
Robyn Thomas, Executive Director, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence:
“Today marks a major victory for the State of California and the many communities here who benefit from the gun violence intervention and prevention strategies supported by CalVIP. We want to thank the hundreds of Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence supporters who contacted their legislators and urged them to continue this impactful investment in our cities and young people. This funding will not only help make California safer, it will help save lives.”
Peter Ambler, Executive Director, Americans for Responsible Solutions:
“We applaud the California Legislature for including funding for CalVIP in the 2017 budget. Programs like CalVIP are what help make California a national leader in public safety. We look forward to Governor Brown reauthorizing funding for this vital initiative.”
In recent years, CalGRIP grantee cities across California, including Los Angeles, San Jose, and Oakland, have achieved lifesaving, cost-effective reductions in both violent crime and incarceration by implementing programs that provide focused outreach, counseling, and other services to at-risk youth. For example:
The program has provided Los Angeles $3 million over the past three years to help fund its Gang Reduction and Youth Development project.Los Angeles has seen a 38% reduction in homicides and 46% reduction in aggravated assaults since launching the project in 2007. [FBI Uniform Crime Reports]
Over the past three years, the program has provided the City of Richmond $1.5 million to help fund the Office of Neighborhood Safety—a city agency dedicated exclusively to the prevention of violence. Richmond has seen a more than 50% reduction in fatal shootings since ONS launched in 2007. [Office of Neighborhood Safety]
The program has provided $1.5 million to Oakland to fund Operation Ceasefire, the city’s project to reduce gun violence. Oakland has seen a 34% drop in gun homicides and a 39% reduction in non-fatal shootings since launching Operation Ceasefire in late 2012. [California Partnership for Safe Communities]
In March 2016, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence released a groundbreaking report, Healing Communities in Crisis, highlighting the importance of locally driven violence prevention and intervention strategies—exactly the kind of solutions supported by CalVIP funding.
To learn more about the CalVIP program, or to arrange time to speak with an expert, contact Sean Simons at [email protected].
WASHINGTON DC — Today, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, issued the below statement applauding the Rye Brook, New York, Board of Trustees for passing a new ordinance requiring gun dealers to adopt responsible practices proven to save lives and reduce gun violence. The Law Center and ARS’s policy experts helped craft this groundbreaking ordinance for the town of Rye Brook.
Allison Anderman, Managing Attorney, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence:
“Today, the Rye Brook Board of Trustees took bold, lifesaving action by passing a new, commonsense ordinance to ensure that gun dealers operate as safely as possible. These responsible policies will keep guns out of the wrong hands, help law enforcement solve crimes, and reduce gun thefts and trafficking. We hope the leadership exhibited by Rye Brook today will inspire other municipalities in New York and other states to step up and do their part to save lives from gun violence. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions stand at the ready to help any local government looking to make their community a safer place to live. With a president and Congress in the gun lobby’s grip, now more than ever it’s up to officials at the state and local level to fight for the smart gun laws we know save lives, and that’s exactly what Rye Brook has done.”
About the Rye Brook Ordinance
Rye Brook’s ordinance is now one of the most comprehensive gun dealer regulations in New York State. The ordinance:
- Prevents gun dealerships from operating within 500 feet of any public school, private school, nursery school, or religious institution, and zones them to appropriate commercial locations.
- Requires that all ammunition and firearms be kept secured and stored in areas not accessible to the public.
- Requires that dealers maintain an alarm system and video surveillance for security purposes and to aid law enforcement.
- Requires gun dealers to post notices and warnings of firearm laws.
- Requires gun dealers to report any theft or loss to local law enforcement officials.
- Restricts admittance for minors to gun dealerships.
- Prohibits individuals legally barred from possessing firearms from entering the gun dealership.
- Requires gun dealers to report their inventory to law enforcement officials every six months.
- Allows law enforcement to inspect gun dealerships for compliance with local, state and federal laws.
- Requires background checks for the employees of gun dealers.
Under California law, individuals convicted of any of roughly 40 separate misdemeanors are prohibited from owning or acquiring guns for 10 years after conviction, unless they successfully petition a court to demonstrate that they are not a threat to public safety. However, the state penal code’s list of firearm-prohibiting misdemeanors does not include hate crimes.
Between 2010 and 2014, roughly 43,000 hate crimes committed in the United States involved the use or threatened use of a gun. And since 2014, hate crime incidents have become more numerous and more vicious, both in California and across the United States, posing a serious threat to targeted groups and innocent lives.
WASHINGTON, DC–Today, attorneys from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, issued the below statements to encourage the California legislature to reauthorize funding for the California Gang Reduction, Intervention & Prevention (CalGRIP) program.
Mike McLively, Staff Attorney, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions:
“The gun violence intervention and prevention strategies supported by CalGRIP are an important part of California’s overall violence prevention portfolio. Now is certainly not the time to pull back on these strategies. Other leading states on the issue of gun violence prevention, like New York, are increasingly committing state dollars to programs like this. If California is going to stay on top of gun violence, then we need to find a way to restore this critical funding source.”
Ari Freilich, Director of California Legislative Affairs, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions:
“Commonsense gun policy reform has helped California cut its gun murder rate by a remarkable 60% in the last two decades. This state is a leader for public safety, but our work is not over. Particularly in underserved urban communities, a comprehensive preventive response is also required to address the root causes of violence and to interrupt entrenched cycles of shootings and retaliation. CalGRIP represents a critical, cost-effective investment in lifesaving counter-violence programs and works to ensure all Californians may live free from fear of violence. We’re proud to stand up for this important work today.”
About the California Gang Reduction, Intervention & Prevention (CalGRIP) Program
CalGRIP is one of the only sources of state-level funding for locally driven violence prevention strategies. In recent years, CalGRIP grantee cities across California, including Los Angeles, San Jose, and Oakland, have achieved lifesaving, cost-effective reductions in both violent crime and incarceration by implementing programs that provide focused outreach, counseling, and other services to youth identified as at-risk, and by developing coordinated agency responses to group-related retaliatory violence.
With its local matching requirement, CalGRIP has leveraged more than $18 million per year for violence intervention and prevention programs over the last decade. Eliminating this program could have dire consequences, particularly in under-resourced urban communities that need stronger and more targeted investment from the state to prevent gun violence.
About the Success of the CalGRIP Program
- CalGRIP has provided Los Angeles $3 million over the past 3 years to help fund its Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) program. Los Angeles has seen a 38% reduction in homicides and 46% reduction in aggravated assaults since launching GRYD in 2007.
- Over the past three years, CalGRIP has provided the City of Richmond $1.5 million to help fund the Office of Neighborhood Safety—a city agency dedicated exclusively to the prevention of violence. Richmond has seen a 53% drop in gun homicides and a 45% drop in non-fatal shootings since ONS launched the Operation Peacemaker Fellowship program in 2010.
- CalGRIP has provided $1.5 million to the City of Oakland to fund its Operation Ceasefire Project focused on reducing gun violence. Oakland has seen a 34% drop in gun homicides and a 39% reduction in non-fatal shootings since launching Operation Ceasefire in late 2012.
- In less than two years, between January 2015 and September 2016, CalGRIP-funded programs provided more than 511,000 hours of prevention or intervention services to 54,750 Californians at risk of perpetrating or being victimized by violence.
April 10, 2017—Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), and ARS’s partner organization, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, today responded to the tragic shooting at North Park Elementary in San Bernardino, CA, that left a teacher and student dead, and a second student in critical condition. The shooter, who had a history of domestic violence, targeted his estranged wife in her classroom, shooting her and two young schoolchildren before turning the gun on himself.
STATEMENT BY CONGRESSWOMAN GIFFORDS
“Elementary school classrooms should be safe places, full of kindness—never horror. My heart is breaking for San Bernardino, which like so many communities around the country has mourned far too many innocent lives because a violent person was able to get their hands on a gun. We can no longer call events like this ‘unimaginable’ because they happen with alarming frequency. It’s time that all Americans have the courage to truly fight this crisis by standing up and demanding the smart gun laws we know save lives.”
STATEMENT BY ROBYN THOMAS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LAW CENTER TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE
“Guns and domestic violence are a lethal mix. American women are 11 times more likely to be killed by a gun than women in other developed countries, 57 percent of mass shootings begin as domestic violence incidents, and domestic abuse situations are five times more likely to be fatal when an abuser has access to a gun. And we know that getting your hands on a gun in America is far, far too easy, even if you have a history of violence like the man who attacked North Park Elementary today. We owe it to our children and communities to do everything we can to prevent tragedies like the one in San Bernardino this morning before they happen, and that means seriously addressing the weaknesses in our gun laws that enable deadly domestic violence and attacks on schoolchildren.”
RESOURCES FROM ARS & THE LAW CENTER
WASHINGTON, DC — Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence today issued statements reacting to the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court:
Peter Ambler, Executive Director of Americans for Responsible Solutions:
“The United States Senate just voted to confirm a justice whose views do not reflect the values and priorities of the American people. Throughout the confirmation process, Judge Gorsuch avoided giving meaningful answers on a range of topics, including the Second Amendment. Despite persistent questioning, he refused to acknowledge that the Second Amendment, like all constitutional rights, was ‘not unlimited’—a point the landmark Heller decision made explicitly. This is serious cause for concern and suggests that he would be willing do the gun lobby’s bidding and prioritize his own political agenda over an open-minded, fair interpretation of the law. When a groundswell of opposition to Judge Gorsuch’s nomination surfaced, Senate Republicans changed rules—instead of the nominee—in order to make sure he was confirmed. Americans deserve better. We deserve justices on the Supreme Court who respect the Second Amendment while also recognizing that reasonable regulations that reduce gun violence do not violate anyone’s constitutional rights.”
Robyn Thomas, Executive Director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence:
“Anyone concerned about public safety in America should be concerned that today the Senate voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. More than once in his time on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch voted to weaken the federal law that has prohibited felons from possessing guns for the past 50 years, a law that has saved thousands of lives and enjoys near-unanimous support among Americans and elected officials on both sides of the aisle. Even Justice Scalia, arguably the most conservative Supreme Court justice in modern history, spoke out in favor of reasonable firearms regulation, including the prohibition on felons possessing guns. Gorsuch’s radical position on the Second Amendment is far outside the mainstream, and his presence on the Supreme Court demonstrates just how important it is that we stand up for the commonsense, proven solutions that we know save lives.”
- Gorsuch’s Gun Lobby Gesture (Published in US News & World Report)
Gun Lobby May Have Found Their Man in Neil Gorsuch (Published in Newsweek)
AB 785 Would Add Hate Crimes to the List of Misdemeanors Prohibiting Firearm Possession Within 10 Years of Conviction.
Washington, DC – Americans for Responsible Solutions, the national gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, and its partner organization, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, today applauded the California State Assembly Public Safety Committee for advancing AB 785, a bill that will help keep guns out of dangerous hands, with unanimous bipartisan support. Current California state law prohibits persons who have been convicted of certain misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms within 10 years of conviction. AB 785 will add convictions of hate crime misdemeanors to that list.
Ari Freilich, a staff attorney at Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, who testified at the California State House earlier today in support of AB 785, issued the following statement:
“Making our communities safer begins by making sure dangerous people are not able to get their hands on a gun. Strengthening our laws to make sure hate crime offenders are not able to own or acquire firearms within 10 years of their conviction is a common sense solution. Keeping lethal weapons out of the hands of those who have demonstrated a clear criminal danger toward others based on toxic bigotry will make our state safer and freer for all who call it home. I urge the Assembly to follow suit and pass this important bill in a bipartisan fashion.”
Between 2010 and 2014, roughly 43,000 hate crimes were committed in the United States involving the use or threatened use of a gun. AB 785 will help protect California residents from hate-motivated gun violence by:
· Keeping guns out of the hands of violent extremists and hate groups.
· Ensuring that individuals who have already demonstrated a propensity to escalate their bigotry into criminal conduct are temporarily prevented from possessing or acquiring firearms.
About Americans for Responsible Solutions
Founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS) is committed to advancing commonsense change that makes communities safer from gun violence and encouraging elected officials to advance responsible firearms policies. Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC is committed to helping elect candidates from both parties who support commonsense laws that make communities safer from gun violence. Learn more at responsiblesolutions.org and at @Resp_Solutions.
About the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Founded in the wake of the July 1, 1993, assault weapon massacre at 101 California Street in San Francisco that left eight dead and six wounded, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is now the premier resource for legal expertise and information regarding state and federal firearms laws. Made up of the foremost gun law attorneys in the nation, the Law Center tracks and analyzes firearms legislation in all 50 states, files amicus briefs in critical Second Amendment cases across the country, and works with lawmakers and advocates to craft and promote legislation that will reduce gun violence and save lives. Learn more at smartgunlaws.org and at @smartgunlaws.