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Pro-Gun Groups Celebrate Legal Victory Over SoCal Sheriff For 'Discriminatory and Unconstitutional' CCW Policies

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The Second Amendment Foundation, Calguns Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition are celebrating a new legal victory. The groups challenged Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff's long-standing practice of "dissuading, discouraging, and preventing non-United States citizens from applying for a CCW license.” 

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The lawsuit was brought about on behalf of permanent resident alien Arie Van Nieuwenhuyzen. He's lived in Riverside since 1983 and is a business owner in the area. He is an active member of his church and teaches Sunday School. He "has obeyed all laws and customs of his adopted country and state." The Firearms Policy Foundation and Madison Society Foundation also joined the suit.

Senior United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson issued a permanent injunction against Riverside County. The Sheriff's Department is no longer allowed to have a policy and practice that prevents legal United States residents from exercising their right to apply for a concealed carry license. Under the order, the County has 30 days to change their CCW policy and eliminate “any and all U.S. Citizenship requirements” from the department website that describe the application process and from CCW application forms themselves.

“We’re delighted with the outcome of this case,” SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb said. “This isn’t our first experience with such a policy, and we’re happy to have had good partners in this challenge. Mr. Van Nieuwenhuyzen has been a productive, law-abiding member of his community for decades, and there is no good reason to discourage or deny someone of his background and standing the ability to apply for a carry license.”

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Sniff lost his reelection campaign last election cycle. The new Sheriff, Chad Bianco, campaigned on forming the CCW process. Sniff had a previous record being a "may issuer" while Bianco said he believed in "shall issue."

"Although California is a 'may' issue state, my position aligns more with 'shall.'  I believe that every person who desires a concealed weapons permit, otherwise not prevented by law or psychological concern, should be granted a permit," Bianco said on his campaign website. 

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