Sacto 9-1-1
October 25, 2010
Gun rights groups drop lawsuit against Sacramento County Sheriff's Department

By Kim Minugh

Two gun rights groups have dropped a lawsuit against the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff John McGinness after authorities clarified that "personal safety" is a sufficient reason to be issued a permit to carry a concealed weapon, according to a news release by the groups.

However, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Calguns Foundation are continuing forward with litigation against the Yolo County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Ed Prieto, whose agency's policy states that self protection without credible threats of violence are not sufficient reasons for a permit, according to the release.

That litigation began after Yolo County resident Brett Stewart argued he needed a concealed weapon permit for self defense and was denied a permit, the release states. Stewart, identified as a "Calguns supporter," seeks to join the litigation as a plaintiff, according to the release.

The Sacramento County case stems from efforts by Deanna Sykes - co-founder of the Sacramento chapter of Pink Pistols, an international group that advocates gun ownership by gays and lesbians - to gain a permit. She cited personal safety as her reason for her need, and she, too, was denied.

However, McGinness altered his agency's approach to concealed weapon permits about two years ago, when the department's budget faced severe cuts, said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran.

Those cuts meant fewer deputies on the street, and McGinness directed the permit review committee to accept "personal safety" as a legitimate reason for residents without criminal histories, according to Curran.

In the news release, issued Monday, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Calguns Foundation vowed to continue working toward gun owner rights in California - "until everyone's firearms civil rights are fully protected," SAF founder Alan Gottlieb was quoted as saying. "Together, we will see many more legal victories."

Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038.

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