Marin County, California CCW Abuses
CCW in Marin County, California:
Government Employees Win 3 to 1.
November 26, 2001
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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
(Use these in any way you can to conduct similar "Information
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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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
ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY & PROCEDURE MANUAL
|CHAPTER - 01 - Administration
ADM - 01-01
Page 1 of 4
CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT
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
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
- 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
- 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.
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
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
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
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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 2 Page
3 Page 4 Page
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)
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
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
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"?
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
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
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.
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"
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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:
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.
(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.
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
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
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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Sheriff's Mission Statement
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
credibility within the law enforcement profession and communities we
and equitable treatment of all."
and our favorite...
"We are dedicated to...protecting
the rights of all individuals."
What is the best word to
describe someone who espouses principles and ideals but does the exact
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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
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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Marin County Sheriff
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
Marin County Sheriff, Robert T.
3501 Civic Center Drive Room #145
San Rafael, CA 94903
Phone: (415) 499-7250
Sheriff's Office: 499-4126
Contact Listed on Website: email@example.com
Feedback Page: http://www.co.marin.ca.us/sysApps/Feedback/feedback.asp
(Feedback form on site goes to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
...as found here:
HELP. WILL YOU?
This request for
assistance is solely from Angel Shamaya, Founder/Executive Director of
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
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.
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
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
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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