Friday, November 15, 2013
S.C. Declines to Hear Challenge to Gun Possession Restrictions
Ruling Allowing Ban on Firearms in Parks Allowed to Stand
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
The California Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge by a gun owner’s group to local ordinances prohibiting possession of guns and other dangerous weapons in public parks and recreational areas.
The justices, at their weekly conference in San Francisco Wednesday, voted 6-1 to leave standing the First District Court of Appeal ruling in Calguns Foundation, Inc. v. County of San Mateo (2013) 218 Cal. App. 4th 661. The court rejected a challenge by Calguns Foundations and its amicus, the National Rifle Association, to a San Mateo County ordinance, which the panel noted was similar to ordinances in other localities, including Los Angeles County.
Only Justice Marvin Baxter voted to hear the case. The high court also denied Calguns’ request for depublication.
San Mateo Superior Court Judge Raymond Swope dismissed Calguns’ declaratory action, holding that the ordinance does not—to the extent it does not exempt concealed carry permit holders—conflict with the state’s concealed carry law.
Justice Paul Haerle, writing for the Court of Appeal’s Div. Two, agreed, citing Great Western Shows, Inc. v. County of Los Angeles (2002) 27 Cal.4th 853 and Nordyke v. King (2002) 27 Cal.4th 875. Those cases rejected preemption attacks on ordinances banning gun sales on county property.
He also noted that the concealed-carry law makes the issuance of permits by the sheriff discretionary, and allows the sheriff to impose restrictions and conditions on the permit holders.
“That being the case,” he wrote, “it logically follows that the employer and supervisor of the sheriff, i.e., the County Board of Supervisors, also has the authority to provide, via its legislative process, for exceptions and conditions to when and where an issued ‘Carry License’ may be validly used.”
Haerle distinguished Fiscal v. City and County of San Francisco (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 895, which struck down an attempt to impose a total ban on handguns within the city. Ordinances banning guns from parks, he said, lack the “extreme breadth” of what San Francisco chose to do in the wake of a mass shooting in that city.
The Fiscal court recognized the distinction by citing Nordyke and King and explaining why those cases did not apply to the facts before the panel, Haerle said, noting that other appellate courts have recognized the same distinction.
In other conference action, the justices:
Agreed to consider two issues arising in an eminent domain proceeding, including whether a jury should have been allowed to determine the validity of a condition that any development plan for a certain property include the dedication of that property to the city.
The City of Perris condemned the property in question, appraising it as undevelopable agricultural land on the theory that it would not have allowed development without requiring the dedication; the trial judge upheld the validity of the dedication requirement as a matter of law, prior to allowing the jury to decide the valuation issues. The Court of Appeal reversed, saying the validity of the dedication requirement was a jury question.
The case is City of Perris v. Stamper (2013) 218 Cal. App. 4th 1104.
Copyright 2013, Metropolitan News Company