2 weeks, 4 days ago
California law generally bans the possession of a gun within a school zone. For many years, however, both retired peace officers and those with a license to carry concealed weapons were exempted from this ban. Then in 2015, a bill was proposed that would have eliminated both of these exceptions. But after extensive lobbying by interest groups aligned with federal workers and police officers, the bill was amended to remove only the exception for concealed-carry licensees.
Dr. Ulises Garcia is one such license holder, who obtained his license after receiving threats against himself from a former patient. After the change in the law, Garcia can no longer carry his weapon for protection when attending school events with his family. Garcia and a group of other plaintiffs have sued, arguing that the differing treatment afforded to retired peace officers and concealed-carry license holders violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of the equal protection of the laws. The federal district court rejected their claims, and they have now appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Cato has filed an amicus brief supporting Garcia and urging that the district court be reversed.
The guffaws normally get roared when one has the temerity to suggest that LEOs and gun owners get treated the same way. I recall a discussion I had with retired California LEOs over reddit/r/guns where they couldn’t believe I didn’t support the idea of changes to laws to allow former or retired California LEOs to purchase their weapons – including AR-15s – for personal use once they no longer work for law enforcement.
Not only that, I don’t even support the notion of LEOs having those weapons at all even in the line of duty unless civilians can also have them. What’s good for one is good for the other. Wearing a blue costume and wearing a badge doesn’t bestow rights not already recognized in the constitution.
As for the fact that LEOs has sworn an oath, so have I. I swore an oath to protect, defend and provide for my family when I said “I do.”