Injunction Sought in Fed Lawsuit Over California Sheriff’s Handgun License Policies

Injunction Sought in Federal Lawsuit Over Riverside, California Sheriff Stan Sniff’s “Discriminatory and Unconstitutional” Handgun License Policies
Injunction Sought in Federal Lawsuit Over Riverside, California Sheriff Stan Sniff’s “Discriminatory and Unconstitutional” Handgun License Policies

RIVERSIDE, CA-( Counsel for a Riverside County resident and five public interest litigation organizations filed a new motion to seek an injunction against Riverside, California Sheriff Stanley Sniff and the County of Riverside over a “discriminatory and unconstitutional” policy that prohibits legal U.S. residents from applying for a handgun carry license. A copy of the court filings for van Nieuwenhuyzen v. Sniff can be viewed at

The lawsuit, filed last week, seeks a “judgment . . . that the defendants’ CCW Policy, and all other County of Riverside laws, customs, practices, or policies which restrict lawfully admitted aliens’ firearms rights and privileges based on United States citizenship, are null and void because they (i) violate the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United State Constitution; and (ii) infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms in violation of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution” and other related relief.

Plaintiff Arie van Nieuwenhuyzen recently asked the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department how to apply for a “CCW” license to carry his handgun in public for self-defense and other lawful purposes. The Sheriff’s Department told him that Sheriff Sniff and the Department requires that all applicants be U.S. citizens, and that legal U.S. residents could not apply.

“This case is about eliminating discriminatory and unconstitutional policies and practices,” said lead attorney George M. Lee. “This Sheriff’s Department’s policies are violating the Constitution, and thus, we were compelled to take action.”

“Unless they are prohibited from possessing firearms under the laws, the Second Amendment means that people have a fundamental, individual right to carry loaded firearms outside their homes for lawful purposes,” explained Lee. “And the Fourteenth Amendment ensures that those human rights are protected not just for those individuals the government favors, but for all people legally residing in our nation.”

“If we all agree that the right to self-defense is a basic, fundamental human right, not one ‘granted’ by the Second Amendment, but guaranteed by it, there is no reason why that right should be denied to people living lawfully and peacefully in this country,” he added.

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.

Anyone who is prevented from applying for a carry license or who has been denied a carry license because they are not a U.S. citizen, no matter where they live, should contact the FPC/FPF Legal Action Hotline at or (855) 252-4510 (available 24/7/365) as soon as possible.


About The Calguns Foundation:Calguns Foundation

The Calguns Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves its members, supporters, and the public through educational, cultural, and judicial efforts to advance Second Amendment and related civil rights.

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Mark Baird

Once again, one of the gun orgs goes to bat for concealed carry. If Californians regained the inalienable, God given Liberty to defense of self, and family, we would not have to get our hats handed to us time after time after time. Concealed carry is NOT a protected Right!! Heller v D.C. , Peruta V San Diego. OPEN CARRY OF A LOADED WEAPON IS THE CORE RIGHT PROTECTED BY THE SECOND AMENDMENT…..Heller v D.C., Mc Donald V Chicago, The Government cannot van a citizen from carrying a weapon for self defense, Caetano v Mass, the Right to self defense… Read more »


Constitutional rights should apply only to Citizens, much as all the rights to your house do not apply to your guests, unless you the authority in charge chooses to grant them. In CA CCWs are granted by the law enforcement agency with authority for the area you live in. Try and get a CCW in San Francisco or Los Angeles Counties even if you are a citizen with no marks for non legal actions the local law enforcement agency will deny or make it so onerous that it is not worth the effort.

Wild Bill

, Congress, the authority in charge, did chose to grant Constitutional Civil Rights to all persons. Please see the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. And you are quite correct, a lot would change if we changed the word “persons” to “citizens” in the equal protection clause.


Rights are not granted by any authority. They are fundamental human rights. That is why they are called rights. The Bill of Rights recognizes them, codifies them, and protects them; it does not grant you any rights.

Listing places where rights are denied or restricted does not prove anything other than that oppression exists in the world.


If what you say is true, and it is NOT, then any foreign visitor lawfully present here (as opposed to junping the border and just marching on in) then subject to f search and seizure without a warrant; to arrest for any cause or none at all, at any time and in any place; to have his residence, whether a home he has bought or rentd, or even a motel room, invaded, his stuff searched, taken, destroyed; to be denied the due process of law you and I have; to be denied the use of legal counsel if he is… Read more »