A rapper in California is citing the Second Amendment and suing the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD over their restriction of concealed carry permits, which allow citizens to lawfully carry firearms in public.
As reported by hip-hop news website HNHH, rapper Dom Kennedy claims that he’s been arrested because the city’s “unconstitutional” gun laws made it illegal for him to lawfully carry a firearm. He claims the city’s policies are in violation of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Kennedy is joined in the lawsuit by Garry Matthews.
“The City’s… unconstitutional ‘no-issue’ CCW policies (concealed weapons permit) and other unconstitutional gun control laws… caused [Dom Kennedy and Matthews]… to be arrested and detained merely for the permissible Second Amendment conduct of carrying a handgun for general self-defense outside the home or place of business,” the lawsuit claims.
Now, I’m not a lawyer. I didn’t even play one on TV. So, I can’t really comment on the legal validity of Kennedy’s case or whether he’ll win. But, I do think there’s a real problem in Los Angeles.
California is one of several states with “may issue” laws governing who can and cannot get a concealed carry permit. Usually, such laws require the applicant to provide good cause as to why they should get a permit. (I have it on good authority that “just because” and “the Second Amendment” are not considered acceptable reasons, at least in many jurisdictions.)
The final authority for whether the reason is good enough falls on local law enforcement agencies, who issue the permits. This means that what is considered a good reason in one county may not be in another, creating an uneven application of the law.
Yet the lawsuit alleges the LAPD has a “no issue” policy, meaning they won’t issue a permit to anyone for virtually any reason.
And there’s the problem.
See, as bad as “may issue” laws can be, they do at least give an avenue for some people to get a concealed carry permit. Typical reasons that are accepted are people whose work involves transporting large sums of money, someone who received death threats, or women with potentially violent stalkers.
Even if you don’t support universally allowing concealed carry, you may consider that these people face extraordinary circumstances that should warrant them carrying a firearm. But the LAPD’s alleged policy—I’m unable to find any official policy—seemingly ignores all of that.
It appears as though there are no grounds for which someone can get a permit to carry a firearm. And the LAPD “vigorously” enforces the state’s gun control laws. So, there’s no way you can carry lawfully. If you do so, you will likely be arrested and prosecuted for carrying a firearm.
That’s a blatant violation of our Second Amendment rights. It’s not difficult to see why Kennedy and Matthews have filed suit.
Of course, the LAPD policy may soon be rendered moot. After all, with the Supreme Court set to rule on New York State Rifle and Pistol Club vs. Bruen, it’s entirely possible that “may issue” laws may go the way of the dodo.
Whether that will have any impact on this lawsuit or not remains to be seen. What it will do is likely make sure that people like Dom Kennedy and Matthews could have received permits in the first place, preventing at least some future lawsuits, and strengthening Second Amendment rights.
Clearly, that’s necessary.
Yet from my viewpoint, all of these problems could’ve been avoided by local governments just following the constraints placed on them by the Constitution in the first place.
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