Foundation sues city over its ban on concealed carry on public property

(Image courtesy Pexels)
(Image courtesy Pexels)

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Charging that city officials in Glendale California, actually are working to make the Second Amendment a “strictly regulated government privilege,” a gun organization has sued the city and its officials.

The action is by the Second Amendment Foundation and several partners and is in federal court seeking relief against the city, its police chief and city clerk.

“The city of Glendale’s municipal code generally bans possession of firearms and ammunition on any city property, with no exception for citizens with concealed carry permits,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “This ban applies not just to city property, but also publicly-controlled property or public-affiliated private property, with the only exceptions being streets, roads and sidewalks. Such restrictions relegate the right to keep and bear arms to the status of a strictly-regulated government privilege.”

The case is being brought on behalf of the Gun Owners of California and the California Rifle & Pistol Association.

Lawyers Chuck Michel, Joshua Robert Dale and Konstadinos T. Moros of Long Beach, and Donald Kilmer of Caldwell, Idaho, are working on the case.

Defendants are the city, Police Chief Carl Povilaitis and City Clerk Suzie Abajian, in their official capacities. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division.

“Our lawsuit is blunt,” Gottlieb continued. “The Glendale ordinance is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has made it clear that the right to keep and bear arms for personal protection extends outside the home. As we note in our complaint, the burden is on the city to prove that all areas falling within the definition of ‘city property’ are so-called ‘sensitive places,’ and they cannot do it.”

The complaint says the city has 47 parks and recreation facilities (including four community centers, one golf course, three soccer fields, and sixteen ball fields), playgrounds, eight public libraries, three downtown parking structures and other city-owned or operated parking lots, the Glendale Civic Auditorium and civic center complex, a youth center, an emergency center, undefined “open spaces” and “plazas,” and an unknowable amount of properties in the possession of private companies under contract with the city.

“That broad definition essentially turns much if not most of the city into a gun-free zone where Second Amendment rights do not exist, and that simply doesn’t pass the smell test,” Gottlieb stated. “We are hopeful the court quickly recognizes this and grants our request.”

The foundation has long experience in fighting numerous state and local rules that impose unconstitutional burdens on the Second Amendment.

The complaint cites a number of situations in which armed bystanders were able to stop – or prevent – a shooting planned by a criminal.

One case was in 2018, when an armed bystander who was legally carrying was able to shoot down a gunman who had opened fire on a festival involving about 150 children.

“There are countless more examples,” SAF explained. “Our database has recorded over 550 defensive gun uses incidents so far in 2022 alone.”

Laws like Glendale’s “do not stop criminals and mass killers who are not troubled by violating rules related to carrying firearms.”

In fact, they actually like “soft targets” where people are unlikely to be armed to resist them,” the complaint explains.

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