Court Filing Challenges Los Angeles’ 17 Years of Defiance on Carry Permits

California Permit Issue Process
Court Filing Challenges Los Angeles’ 17 Years of Defiance on Carry Permits

Charlotte, NC –-( For decades, the City of Los Angeles has denied carry permits to all but a tiny handful of residents. In March, a motion was filed on behalf of the NRA in a long-running case that seeks to change that.

The papers, filed in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, urge that the court find the city in contempt for failing to comply with a 1995 court ruling that requires the city to provide a more transparent and equitable procedure for those seeking concealed carry permits.

The filing follows a June 2011 judgment in favor of the NRA and California Pistol and Rifle Association, granting a motion brought by the groups that forced the city to meet the requirements of a 1995 ruling in the case of Assenza v. City of Los Angeles. The judgment in the Assenza case made clear that that the Los Angeles Police Department was legally obligated to process applications and issue permits to those who could show “good cause.”

The Assenza decision required the LAPD to make permit applications and procedure information available at station houses upon request and established a Citizen Advisory Review Panel for reviewing application denials and making recommendations to the LAPD on whether a denial should be reversed.

Since 1995, the LAPD has systematically ignored the court. As of 2011, there were only 24 active concealed carry permits in the city of nearly 4 million people. In preparation for the 2011 legal action, the NRA sought activists to navigate the city’s permit procedure and report back. The investigation found LAPD officers to be generally uninformed as to permit application procedures; in at least one case, an officer discouraged a resident from applying unless the person was a celebrity. Further flouting the law, LAPD had ignored the recommendations of the Citizen Advisory Review Panel. As part of the 2011 ruling, sworn declarations of compliance with Assenza were required of LAPD’s 21 station house commanding officers.

Unfortunately, the June 2011 judgment didn’t mark the end of Los Angeles’ discriminatory practices. A further investigation by NRA activists and a private investigator in September and November of 2011 revealed the same problems that have plagued residents since 1995, including a lack of available paperwork and information regarding the application process, as well as uncooperative officers. The investigator, who visited all 21 LAPD station houses, only received the paperwork required by the Assenza ruling at five. The findings were in stark contrast to the compliance promised in the sworn declarations that LAPD commanders were forced to sign.

The March 2012 motion sought to remedy the situation by urging the court to hold the city in contempt. In making the case for contempt, the motion cited an observed non-compliance rate of over 75 percent, as well as the dubious nature of the city’s past declarations of compliance. As a result, the court has ordered Police Chief Charlie Beck to appear and show cause why he should not personally be held in contempt for violating the orders. That hearing is set for Sept. 12 in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Additionally, in February the chief was forced to give deposition testimony on the department’s practices. The videotaped testimony contains information as to the chief’s biased personal views on gun control and his belief in denying law-abiding residents of the City access to permits.

Though progress against these entrenched policies may be slow, the most recent developments show that the NRA will continue to work towards a future in which all law-abiding residents of Los Angeles have the right to carry outside the home.


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

NRA - Institute for Legislative Action