The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) today joined in a lawsuit to prevent the California Department of Justice (DoJ) from destroying critical data that may show many sheriffs and police agencies have practiced blatant discrimination in the way they issue concealed pistol licenses to California citizens.

SAF and CCRKBA filed for a temporary restraining order against Attorney General Bill Lockyer and DoJ Director Randy Rossi and their agencies. The two organizations want to prevent destruction of records under the guidelines of AB 1044, a new law that allows the state to destroy permit applications.

“Normally,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “we would fight to protect the privacy of gun owners, but this is not a normal situation. If those records are destroyed, it could prevent California gun owners from ever finding out whether they have been the victims of ethnic or gender discrimination in their attempts to secure concealed pistol licenses.

“This is an important issue,” he added, “because there have already been indications of racial and gender imbalances in the issuance of concealed carry licenses.”

CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron said his organization joined in the lawsuit after having opposed the legislation for the very reasons Gottlieb stated.

“California gun rights activists advised us months ago that there appears to be a pattern of discrimination against some permit applicants,” Waldron said, “There may be an even larger pattern of entire communities, with high minority populations, having been completely ‘red-lined’ by local sheriffs for blanket non-issue of permits to anyone living in those communities.

“We’re asking for a temporary restraining order to stop implementation of the law,” Waldron explained, “while the court has an opportunity to review our request for a permanent order. Ultimately, we would like to see this law overturned in favor of a law protecting the equal rights of all California gun permit applicants, regardless of race or gender.”

The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of Sacramento County.

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