California Sheriff Stan Sniff Sued for “Discriminatory & Unconstitutional” CCW Policy

Riverside, California Sheriff Stan Sniff Sued for “Discriminatory and Unconstitutional” Handgun Carry Policies in Federal Court.

RIVERSIDE, CA – -( Today, counsel for a Riverside County resident and five public interest litigation organizations filed a new federal lawsuit against the Sheriff Stanley Sniff and the County of Riverside over handgun carry license policies and practices that, the plaintiffs allege, are unconstitutional. A copy of the complaint for van Nieuwenhuyzen v. Sniff can be viewed at

After purchasing a handgun with the intention of eventually lawfully carrying it for self-defense, plaintiff Arie van Nieuwenhuyzen asked the Riverside County Sherriff’s Department how he could apply for a “CCW” license to carry it in public. But the Sheriff’s Department told him that, because he was a legal U.S. resident and not a U.S. citizen, he could not even apply for a license under Sheriff Sniff’s handgun policies and practices. That, the plaintiffs say, is unconstitutional.

“Courts across the country have long held that legal United States residents are entitled to the same constitutional protections as everyone else,” explained lead attorney George M. Lee. “Sheriff Sniff’s discriminatory and unconstitutional policies and practices are denying people access to the right to keep and bear arms and violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s command that all people shall enjoy equal protection of our laws.”

Plaintiff van Nieuwenhuyzen has been a legal resident of the United States, living in Riverside, and since 1983, “has raised an American family, owned a successful business, been involved in his community, serves as a member of his church and Sunday school teacher, and has obeyed all laws and customs of his adopted country and state,” Lee wrote in the complaint

“Mr. van Nieuwenhuyzen has a fundamental human right to carry his gun outside his home for self-defense, but Sheriff Sniff’s policies and practices prevent him from doing so. Those customs are our first target in this case, and we look forward to forcing Sheriff Sniff to respect and follow the United States Constitution,” concluded Lee.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorney George M. Lee of San Francisco litigation firm Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate LLP. The lawsuit is backed by The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF), and Madison Society Foundation (MSF), also institutional plaintiffs in the case, whose Riverside County residents are affected.

Calguns FoundationResidents of Riverside County, California, who wish to apply for a handgun carry license but are prevented from doing so due to the sheriff’s policies, or have applied for and been denied a carry license, and who are legally eligible to possess firearms under state and federal laws, should contact the FPC/FPF Legal Action Hotline at or (855) 252-4510 (available 24/7/365) as soon as possible.

  • 13 thoughts on “California Sheriff Stan Sniff Sued for “Discriminatory & Unconstitutional” CCW Policy

    1. I recently received my CCW from Sheriff Sniff. I found the process comprehensive and the people in the process EXTREMELY helpful. The ONLY complaint I have about the CCW process in Riverside County is that it took quite a few months. Other than the long wait, I have NO issues with Sheriff Sniff’s CCW policies…

      Instead of attacking Sheriff Sniff’s issuance or non issuance of CCWs, why not focus your energies on going after those Sheriffs that do NOT issue CCWs such as Sheriff Jim MCDonnell of Los Angeles County and other Sheriff’s in California who refuse to issue CCWs? I am living proof that Sheriff Sniff issues CCWs!!

    2. Well I’m sure if he was connected, he could go without a CCW all criminals do so why in California would he even want to try and get one??????????

    3. In many foreign countries, in order to own real estate, you must be a citizen of of that country.
      My neighbors are from Indonesia. He and his wife both inherited real property from their deceased parents.
      In order for them to be able to take title to the properties, they must maintain their Indonesian citizenship. Both are green card holders, work and pay taxes, but they are not US citizens.
      This may very well explain why the Plaintiff is not a US [email protected]

    4. If you have a California Driver’s License, and you are an ILLEGAL ALIEN, the liberals (Democraps) want you to vote. Totally Unconstitutional!!! Wake up California or we will be called Northern Baja California.

    5. Yeahhhh, I agree with the previous responder….If this guy has had to apply and receive inspections and licenses for a business AND register and enroll kids into local schools, why the heck didnt he just apply for citizenship? All of this could’ve been avoided and wouldnt have affected others accidentally in a negative manner.

      1. Many people have their reasons for not wanting to change the citizenship that they have. Does that matter as much as gross misuse of the law by a sheriff?

        1. How ironic that it may be a non-citizen that breaks the stranglehold of unconstitutional denials for ccw permits across the country.

      2. Rick, an in-law on my wife’s side has been in the USA since a child and has never bothered to become a citizen – it is not required. And federal law still guarantees his rights under our Constitution as a legal USA citizen, which includes firearm ownership – read the federal Form 4473, one must only be a legal resident of the USA, citizenship is not required.

    6. I’m wondering why, since he has been a legal resident since 1983, raised a family and was a business owner, hasn’t he applied for citizenship ?
      What then is the difference between legal resident and citizenship?

      1. That is HIS preference and he needn’t explain or justify it to anyone. When I had emigrated to Canada some years ago, I became a permanent resident. I met a few others, one who had lived in Canada as a lawful immigrant for some twenty five years, and had no intention of becoming a citizen.

        The FACT of law is that as a lwful permanent resident of the US, he IS entitled to all rights , privildeges, protections, specified under the US Constitutioin, and this sheirff is out of line denying him.

        Sure, he cannot vote (he is not a Mexican border jumper with a surname like that one) nor hold public office. I don’t think he can sit on a jury. He cannot get a US passport.

        Washington State used to require non-citizen residents to get a special permit to be able to even buy firearms. When someone applied for one and never got it he rattled some cages. They admitted there was no one designated to issue the permits, and that the agency theoretically tasked to do this had no means of conducting the NICS check, they not being FFL’s So that somebody sued the state……. at that time the government was reasonably intelligent and not rabid antigun, so the department responsible simply did away with the special non-citizen permit.

        Somehow, I rather doubt this sheriff will fold that easily. So sue him and win.He will eventually have to admit that thousands of non-citizen non-legal resident aliens in his state already carry handguns…… “heeeeey, man, WE doan need no steeeeeenkeeeeeng PERMIT”.

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