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Marin County, California CCW Abuses

CCW in Marin County, California:
Government Employees Win 3 to 1.

Original Research, Concept
and First Draft:
Jim March

Edits, HTML Layout, and
Co-Author:
Angel Shamaya

November 26, 2001

Click here for the .pdf version
(3.5Megs due to graphic documentation)


KeepAndBearArms.com — This is to be the first in a series of exhaustive looks at the illegal and unscrupulous CCW practices of specific counties in California. Ironically, Marin County is first — compared to many other counties, they're actually pretty good; others are fighting the Public Records Act Requests tooth and nail.

Still, what we have here in Marin County are entrenched patterns of due process violation, abuse of equal protection under the law, and careless disregard for the plain text of California's CCW statutes. Some of the abuses you are about to review clearly violate Federal and state law and are blatant enough to warrant the immediate attention of a Federal Grand Jury.

It is recommended that you read this report from start to finish on your first reading. Thereafter, the bulleted links in this section will take you quickly to the sections below.


Section 1:
Intro To California CCW Law

In California, access to CCW ("Carry Concealed Weapons") permits are "discretionary" on the part of your county's Sheriff, or your PD Chief as a "second option," if you live inside a town's boundaries. The actual CCW issuance process is contained in Penal Code 12050-12054, linked here.

There have been a number of court cases brought by people who've been illegally denied equal access to CCW. A few key, binding court decisions have resulted, so far.

Salute vs. Pitchess
Refusing Good Cause is Abusive.

The first was Salute vs. Pitchess 61 Cal. App. 3d 557 (1976), in which a California appellate court absolutely condemned the practice of restricting CCW to government employees. In the brief, two-page ruling, the court found that

"It is the duty of the sheriff to make such an investigation and determination, on an individual basis, on every application under section 12050"

and found that

"to refuse to consider the existence of good cause on the part of citizens generally and is an abuse of, and not an exercise of, discretion".

As you will see, Marin leans toward "an abuse of" — as an obvious pattern.

Guillory vs. Gates
Equal Protection is Required.

The Federal 9th Circuit found in Guillory vs. Gates 731 F.2d 1379 (1984) that CCW issuance was subject to scrutiny on the basis of Federal equal protection law, and that people underneath the rank of the actual "top cop" who supported their boss's discrimination could be sued for aiding in the problems.

People vs. Rappard
Racial Discrimination is Prohibited.

California's CCW system was created in 1923, as part of a larger set of firearms restrictions, the rest of which were primarily aimed at alien residents. In People vs. Rappard, 28 Cal.App.3d 302 (Calif. Appellate Court, 1972), the restrictions on alien resident access to arms was gutted as unconstitutional and racist and in due course, the clause in the CCW penal codes restricting CCW to citizens was stripped.

CBS vs. Block
Public Access to Data Must Be Granted.

CCW records are subject to public review per the California Supreme Court in CBS vs. Block 230 Cal. Rptr. 362 (1986) wherein the court noted the extreme level of "unfettered discretion" given to law enforcement and made the records public specifically to allow scrutiny of various forms of abuse, including corruption and equal protection violations. This report is a direct result of that court decision — we are scrutinizing, finding various forms of abuse, and we have confirmed the court's worst fears.

The Importance of These Cases

We've established a racist history behind this whole concept of discriminatory issuance of concealed carry permits, yet there's a citizen-only clause in the Marin County Sheriff's policy manual that's illegal. And in Marin County, not only have we discovered that government employees receive preferential treatment in getting a CCW permit, we've also discovered that equal access to CCW by residents is denied for the same "good cause" reasons cited by government employees, as well. As for the "public review" case cited above, the next phase of exposing California's many CCW abuses involves suing the people who are refusing to release the data that will help us correct these problems.

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Section 2:
Methodology of Jim March's Investigative Groundwork

A "Public Records Act Request" was filed in Marin County to collect the data used in this report. Also known as a PRAR, this is California's version of the better-known Federal Freedom Of Information Act. California's PRAR law is patterned after the FOIA, and official requests for information are generally constructed in the same manner.

The text of the request used can be viewed here: http://www.KeepAndBearArms.com/equalccw/superprar.html. (Use these in any way you can to conduct similar "Information Collection" expeditions.)

Various Marin County RKBA activists were interviewed for this report, including Mr. Michael Harper, whose "good cause" for CCW was denied and whose assistance was invaluable. Mr. Harper's highly instructive situation and mistreatment are covered below — with his blessing and his pre-release review of this report.

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Section 3:
Marin's Policies

The first of several documents herein presented as evidence of Marin County, California's abusive and illegal policies regarding CCW permits is Marin County Sheriff's Department's Concealed Weapon Permit Policy. (Click here to view a scanned image of the actual page transcribed below, taken from Chapter 1, Page 1 of the Administrative Policy & Procedure Manual.) Below is a transcription of the exact text of Page 1 of the Marin County Sheriff's CCW Policy:

MARIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY & PROCEDURE MANUAL

CHAPTER - 01 - Administration
ADM - 01-01
Page 1 of 4

Date
8/2/00
Rev. 7/6/99


CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT


POLICY

The Sheriff of Marin County may issue a permit to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to Penal Code section 12050(a)(1). The Sheriff is not required to issue a concealed weapon permit nor does the applicant have a right to such a permit. California law has established criteria to be examined prior to the Sheriff issuing a concealed weapon's permit.

The Sheriff of Marin County may issue a concealed weapon's permit to residents of Marin County and with some restriction, business owners in Marin County. Upon proof from the person applying for a concealed weapon that he/she is of good moral character, that good cause exists for the issuance, and that the person applying is a resident of the Marin County, the Sheriff may issue a license to that person to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person. Not withstanding this provision and by agreement with the Marin County Police Chiefs' Association, it is preferred that each Chief of Police be the issuing entity for his/her jurisdiction.

The Sheriff's Department's responsibility to the public's safety dictates that good cause and compelling criteria be established prior to the Sheriff considering the issuance of a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Personal convenience, personal protection, position or job classification alone will not constitute good cause for the issuance of a permit. Upon the issuance of a permit there may be any reasonable restrictions or conditions that the Sheriff deems warranted, including restrictions as to time, place, manner and circumstances under which a person may carry a concealed weapon.

CRITERIA FOR APPROVAL OR DENIAL

The Sheriff may consider issuing a CCW permit to retired local or Federal law enforcement personnel or to U.S. citizens who can articulate a specific, compelling, and overwhelming need which can be verified.

The Sheriff will not issue CCW permits to any individual falling under Penal Code sections 12021, 12021.1, or Welfare and Institution Code section 8103. The following factors shall be considered as to why CCW permits would not be issued to an individual:

  • the applicant does not reside in the County of Marin (see business exception below)
  • the applicant is not a citizen of the United States
  • the applicant has a criminal history such as substance or alcohol abuse
  • the applicant has dishonorable discharge from military service
  • the applicant has a history of mental illness
  • the applicant was previously denied a license to carry a concealed weapon
  • the applicant has had a concealed weapon's permit revoked
  • the applicant has a history of violence or unstable personality
  • the applicant is physically unable to handle or qualify in handling the weapon or
  • if the applicant lies in any portion of the background.
01-01

1

First paragraph, note that California has already gone on record — Gov. Davis and AG Lockyer — as saying there is no individual right to keep and bear arms. Now the Sheriff is telling us that even if we jump through their hoops, we do not have a right to a permit. He is telling us it's a privilege, and that he is the Lord of Privileges. Who he deems worthy of this "privilege" indicates a pattern within Marin County Sheriff's Office that deserves legal reprimand.

Marin County Sheriff Robert T. Doyle

Sheriff Doyle says,

MCSO Slogan:
"In Partnership With Our Communities"

Second paragraph, starting with the sentence "Notwithstanding this provision...", what we have is collusion between the Police Chiefs in the county against residents of incorporated towns. First, this is conspiracy to violate equal protection. Second, it's a case of "legislation by cop", which they have no right to even contemplate — as the Sheriff freely admits, this is not a type of discrimination specified in the permit laws. Third, it's NOT applied equally, as you'll see.

Third paragraph, we learn that "personal protection, personal convenience, position or job classification alone" will not ensure CCW. What that really means is that the Sheriff refuses to see equal protection as a factor in how he applies his power. Despite how anybody else has been treated, he reserves the right to issue to anybody regardless of their circumstances — because every single CCW application is going to fall into one of those categories.

Under the various "criteria", two stand out as illegal:

• The citizenship requirement is not listed anywhere in Penal Codes 12050-54 — last time we checked, Sheriff Doyle wasn't a legislator. He's a law enforcement officer whose job is to uphold the constitutional rights of people in his jurisdiction — not to invent new criteria by which he can arbitrarily deny equal access to the right to self-defense. (See also People vs. Rappard.)

• The statement that "anyone previously denied" is unqualified is a horrendous insult. First, it means that per the Sheriff's policies, anyone who first tries to apply with a PD Chief and gets inevitably denied cannot then apply with the Sheriff. Most of the towns issue no permits at all (except for some PD reserves...which is illegal per Salute vs. Pitchess). So the Sheriff ends up supporting illegality among the towns — even if the original denial was in itself without merit, he uses it to further deny equal access under the law.

Pages 2 through 4 of the policy manual contain no significant problems, at least not where the Sheriff's handling of CCW is concerned. Those interested can view all four pages of the policy manual linked here: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4. The biggest shock is that he actually got the fee structure right — that's highly unusual among urban California counties.

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Section 4:
Equal Protection, And How Marin Mocks It

WHO GETS A PERMIT?

We're going to do something controversial here. We're going to show you a database printout of all permit holders, including (in some cases) a summary of their "good cause", accurate as of June 25th, 2001. We take this fairly extreme step because as the Michael Harper case and other evidence show, it's highly unlikely that any of this Sheriff's permit holders are "regular folks."

Roster of Approved & Denied Permits in Marin County, California (1996-2001):

Page 1  Page 2  Page 3  Page 4  Page 5

As you read these pages carefully, notice the following:

1) Of the 28 people who were either issued a permit at one time or had a permit renewed, 21 of them are former or current government employees. (75% — a 3 to 1 ratio)

2) Having your life threatened is a good enough reason to get a CCW permit in Marin County if you're a City Attorney, but not quite good enough if you're a Construction Contractor.

3) Being in fear for your safety from retaliation by people you come into contact with in your line of work is a good enough reason to get a CCW permit in Marin County if you are a Deputy D.A., a Superior Court Judge, an Administrative Judge, a Housing Authority employee, or a doctor — but not if you're just a "lowly citizen" like Albert Rindberg or Robert Wirth.

As you go through the printout, notice also how lots of people DO score permits from the incorporated towns of San Rafael, Mill Valley and even San Anselmo — even though the Sheriff stated that his agreement with the Police Chiefs was that they be the ones to issue permits in the incorporated areas. The Sheriff can send a "let's refuse this guy" applicant to the Chief to create a "previous refusal" once the Chief turns him down — but he can hand out permits to his buddies and fellow government employees, even in the Chiefs' jurisdictions, too.

Then compare the case of Richard Keith (Page 3) with that of Michael Harper (Page 2). Both lived in San Anselmo. Richard Keith was issued a permit, but Mr. Harper's application was denied. The reason given: "Did not reside in Sheriff's jurisdiction." (Is San Anselmo in San Anselmo?) At that time, permits were issued yearly (it's now every two years), so when Michael Harper's San Anselmo application was denied on 5/6/99 — based on being "outside the Sheriff's jurisdiction" — Mr. Keith of San Anselmo was happily packing heat on a Sheriff-issued CCW, and had been for five months.

Understand, this wasn't about Keith having better "good cause" than Harper. Mr. Harper shared his "good cause" reason for seeking a permit, and it was extremely compelling. So the Sheriff needed to come up with "some other excuse" to deny Mr. Harper, a "peon" — he just picked a rather incriminating "reason" now that we've got the database of CCW issuance and renewal in our hands.

What the HELL is going on here?

We don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Remember, this isn't about different standards for "good cause." This is a difference in application procedure — known in legal circles as a "due process violation," when a government agency doesn't follow the law in handling somebody's situation. By turning Michael down the way they did, they prevented anybody comparing his "good cause" details with the various elite and cronies who were successful. And by their own policy, Michael absolutely cannot be approved for a CCW permit in this county hereafter — no matter how misguided the original denial.

Also, notice that government-connected people DO NOT need a "good cause," or that their "good cause" is apparently better than non-government applicants with the same "good cause" reason for applying. Notice, as well, that their applications are judged totally independently of their town of residence — every single former and current government employee issued a permit or given a renewal shows their official title in the column entitled "City of Residence." (This is in violation of Salute vs. Pitchess.) While "regular" citizens' permit applications are denied based on their location "outside Sheriff's jurisdiction," we are left wondering where all of these government employees (successful applicants, all) reside. A question begs asking: How are we to determine which of them might live and work "outside the Sheriff's jurisdiction"?

YOU DON'T SAY.

The level of preference being shown to government employees, at least to a degree they're willing to admit to on paper, is unusual enough that clarification was needed and sought. Read the letter that came back if you'd like to see it. What you'll hear UnderSheriff Dennis M. Finnegan say is:

"In the past five years, seventeen Deputy District Attorneys and Judges have applied in Marin for concealed weapon permits. Twelve of these either have not been renewed or did not complete the process."

What he didn't tell you but you can see as you read through their database printout is this:

None of the D.A.s' or Judges' permit applications were denied outright. "Have not been renewed" means the permittee did not renew. A denial is quite a different creature.

Of those who "did not complete the process," nothing tells us that they'd have been denied if they had completed the process. (But from the Sheriff's database printout showing approvals and denials, we can fairly assume that they'd have been approved if they had completed the process — none of the people holding government positions mentioned by UnderSheriff Finnegan in his letter has been denied yet.)

A former D.A. who felt threatened during his employment had his permit approved — after retirement — while a currently employed citizen who works in a dangerous area of town and said so on his application was denied.

Equal protection under the law — if you're a government employee?

SUPPORTING KNOWN ABUSERS

Marin County isn't the only jurisdiction abusing equal protection in CCW permit handling. The abuses are widespread, which is one reason Marin's stated policy of "no issuance to anybody previously denied" is an evil joke.

For example, in 1994, a drunk in Sacramento County was arrested after threatening somebody with a gun. He turned out to have a CCW permit, and upon being questioned by deputies, freely admitted having purchased the permit through bribery, and named then Sheriff Glen Craig, UnderSheriff (and now Sheriff of that county) Lou Blanas and #3 man in the department Moe Bailey as being in on the scandal. (See Page 1, Page 2, Page 3 and Page 4 of the resulting police report.)

It is Sheriff Doyle's current written policy that anyone abused in CCW application processing by an outright corrupt Sheriff such as Blanas should also be automatically abused by Sheriff Doyle's department — "denied because of a previous denial." At present, we have no evidence Doyle is actually selling the permits for cold cash, which is why we said at the beginning that he's not actually the worst we know of in this area — but his strong support of corruption in other jurisdictions suggests it's possible.

ACCIDENTAL OMISSION?

Also noteworthy in considering the Sheriff's failure to provide "equal access under the law" for the CCW application process is the fact that the application form isn't on his website -- but many other forms are there for the taking. In fact, if you search for the terms "CCW," "conceal," or "weapon" on his website's search engine, here is what you will get back:

  • "No Information Found for Keyword: CCW"
  • "No Information Found for Keyword: conceal"
  • "No Information Found for Keyword: weapon"

Coincidence?

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Section 5:
When Top Cops Get Desperate

The newest PD Chief in San Anselmo gained an appreciation of how insane a snakepit this entire issue is. After replacing his predecessor and realizing the mess, he "declared G" — which means he backed completely out of the CCW processing system. (Click here to read Chief Charles L. Maynard's letter "declaring G.")

Penal Code 12050(G) allows a PD Chief to "exit the CCW business" and dump the whole process on the Sheriff:

(g) Nothing in this article shall preclude the chief or other head of a municipal police department of any city from entering an agreement with the sheriff of the county in which the city is located for the sheriff to process all applications for licenses, renewals of licenses, and amendments to licenses, pursuant to this article.

Declarations of this type from a City PD are extremely rare. Most likely, it was Michael Harper's pressure that caused it — when Michael was denied, the Sheriff wrote letters to Michael with the San Anselmo PD CCed that spelled out exactly how Michael was discriminated against. (They basically duplicate what you've seen above, so they aren't included here.) It's possible that Chief Maynard reviewed the file for some reason and realized this was documentation of a conspiracy, and he grabbed at the "G clause" above as a valid escape route.

Now, this wasn't a legal problem on San Anselmo's part. On the contrary, the Chief just ensured that the Sheriff would have a more difficult time discriminating against his town's residents. This also had the effect of insulating the city of San Anselmo from any possible lawsuit on the CCW malpractice at the Sheriff's office, or Federal scrutiny of equal protection problems countywide.

Sheriff Doyle didn't like that one bit. Check out his response by clicking here. Spot it yet? The problem is in the paragraph starting with "Additionally...". The Sheriff doesn't want to hand out the application forms to San Anselmo residents without doing a check with the Chief first.

But that's not how PC12050(G) (quoted previously) works. Note the use of the word "all" — once the PD Chief dumps it, that's the last decision on CCW he makes.

But the Sheriff wants to use the San Anselmo Chief as one additional barrier between a citizen and a CCW permit, which is how most of the other towns' elitist law enforcement officers misbehave.

The Sheriff has the authority to completely take over, but his letter indicates an unwillingness to bear sole responsibility. With all of the documented violations of law, this comes as no surprise.

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Section 6:
Sheriff's Mission Statement

If you do visit the Sheriff's website, be sure to read his Mission Statement: http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/SO/main/mission_statement.cfm, where you'll see things like:

  • "We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of service to protect the citizens of Marin."

  • "We recognize that honesty, integrity, and truthfulness are the foundations of our profession."

  • "We are dedicated to building a department based on a foundation of fairness, respect, and equal opportunity..."

  • "...upholding our credibility within the law enforcement profession and communities we serve."

  • "We will...ensure...fair and equitable treatment of all."

    and our favorite...

  • "We are dedicated to...protecting the rights of all individuals."

POP QUIZ

Question:

What is the best word to describe someone who espouses principles and ideals but does the exact opposite?

Choose:

Door #1 Door #2 Door #3

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Conclusions

A Federal Grand Jury must take a closer look at this disaster. They can do so purely on the basis of equal protection, due process and "rule of law" issues that aren't in the least bit controversial. We could see reforms without even getting into controversial areas of Second Amendment law that would be contrary to current incorrect holdings on that subject in the 9th Circuit court.

Law-abiding gun owners in Marin County are expected to disarm when denied access to CCW permits, yet we now have solid evidence that the entire criminal justice system in the county (Law Enforcement, D.A.s, Judges, etc.) is engaged in an illegal conspiracy against local residents, discriminating against the people they are paid to serve, to a degree unimaginable if carried out against any other population. Such discrimination based on race, gender or other hot social buttons would not fly, and it's time to clip these people's wings by stopping their concerted effort to discriminate against lawful, decent gun owners who simply desire the ability and means of defending their own precious lives.

If law-abiding gun owners who could otherwise qualify for CCW were actually the sort of violent threat that corrupt politicians masquerading as law enforcement describe us as, it would be dangerous to abuse us to this degree.

However, we are absolutely determined to see the rule of law restored in the area of self defense, and we are peacefully operating within the law and within our rights to do just that.

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Contact Marin County Sheriff

If you are like us, you would like to say a thing or two to the Sheriff. And it's probably a good idea that he hear from people who support law enforcement but oppose elitists within law enforcement who violate laws and abuse their positions. Have fun, and feel free to let him know how you found out about his ways.

Marin County Sheriff, Robert T. Doyle

Address:
3501 Civic Center Drive Room #145
San Rafael, CA 94903
Phone: (415) 499-7250
Faxes:
Sheriff's Office: 499-4126
Administration: 499-4126
Communications: 499-3636

Website: http://www.marinsheriff.org/

Email Contact Listed on Website: jcarroll@co.marin.ca.us

Website Feedback Page: http://www.co.marin.ca.us/sysApps/Feedback/feedback.asp
(Feedback form on site goes to webmaster@co.marin.ca.us.)

Assistant Managers, Communication Division:

...as found here:
http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/SO/main//contact_us.cfm

Rich Brothers
(415) 507-2989
rbrothers@co.marin.ca.us

Cokie Lepinski
(415) 507-4123
clepinski@co.marin.ca.us

YOU CAN HELP. WILL YOU?

This request for assistance is solely from Angel Shamaya, Founder/Executive Director of KeepAndBearArms.com.

Jim March and Nadja Adolf did the groundwork that led to the Million Mom March getting kicked out of their San Francisco facilities. (See Fraudulent Gun Control Politics At The Million Mom March and MMM Fraud Followup -- Gun Control Inauthenticity Runs Even Deeper to see how effective these freedom fighters are. Take a look at Jim's Equal Rights for CCW Home Page, as well. He plays for keeps.) I've been personally helping Jim and Nadja with their reports because I see how deep their investigations run, and at this point in the war being waged against our rights, we need to produce results.

The next major step in exposing the dark underbelly of California's corrupt CCW practices is a Public Records Act lawsuit against Santa Clara County. As you can imagine, corrupt politicians who fear being exposed will go to great lengths to steer clear of the spotlight — even if they have to violate laws to keep from getting busted. Santa Clara County's officials are in violation of California's Public Records Act — they've absolutely stymied Nadja Adolf's PRAR request for CCW data, including the "good cause details" they're trying desperately to hide. That and several other clues lead us to believe it's one of the worst CCW misconduct cases in the state — ripe for a victory.

It's going to take $3,000 to litigate the PRAR lawsuit — Nadja is ready and waiting, the attorney is on board, and all of the evidence needed for victory has been gathered. Personally, I'd like to see Santa Clara County get a bloody nose over violating the Public Records Act — and even more exciting will be the exposure of what they are trying to hide. We'd fund this lawsuit ourselves, but we're looking to raise money just to pay December's bills. So I'm asking you to contribute to this worthwhile effort. Stay with me to hear why I believe it's important that you do so.

First, understand this: We have over 10,000 individuals coming to KeepAndBearArms.com on a slow day. If averages from the past tell us anything, this report will be read by at least 20,000 individuals the first few days it's on this website. One dollar from each would put this lawsuit over the top and give Jim and Nadja financial ammunition to direct toward another couple of California counties, and then some. Now, some people never give a dime to support us, or any other gun rights group, but they keep on coming back for more, and that'll never change. But others, our core family of liberty advocates who've been with us since the beginning, know that when we ask for cash, we mean it — and we're asking you to pony up to tackle these elitist jerks and lay them low. Here's why:

When we win in Santa Clara and publish the data we extract from them per the Public Record Act — forced compliance, with a judge's signature — we'll get all attorney's fees and costs back. The next target after that will probably be Sacramento County, where investigation is already underway.

There are 58 counties in the state of California, a socialistic state from which much of our nation's unconstitutional gun control originates. At least 40 of these counties handle CCW in a bigoted, biased, illegal and/or corrupt manner. We'll hit them one by one with reports at least as detailed as the above, recycling the PRAR lawsuit money with the winnings each time for the next target, until U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft finally takes notice. And that needs to happen well before the next Presidential election comes up, just in case Bush loses and Ashcroft gets replaced by the next version of Janet Reno. We all know that Mr. Ashcroft has taken a strong public stand —verbally— for the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Along with the Petition we've been working on for some time (with our partners at Citizens of America), these county-by-county exposures of the crimes being committed by California's elitist law enforcement agents will eventually wake Mr. Ashcroft up to the fact that he is not doing his job when it comes to our Second Amendment rights. And, quite frankly, we need to know if Mr. Ashcroft is all talk or not. He may be able to ignore one County — but can he ignore five, ten or twenty?

So please drop Jim March a line in EMail and make arrangements to send him a few bucks — make an email pledge you will keep. He will gather pledges and arrange funds to be sent directly to the attorney involved, the law office of David Beauvais in Berkeley.

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