The Los Angeles Police Department has moved to cancel most of the few remaining concealed weapons permits in civilian hands, according to new filings in a decades-old legal case.
Chief Michel Moore said in a sworn declaration he did not believe a group of people who obtained so-called CCWs as the result of a 1994 lawsuit were still entitled to the permits, because it was unlikely the individuals still faced extraordinary physical danger to their lives.
“I do not believe the continued wholesale allowance for each to possess a CCW license based on circumstances that may have existed 24 years ago is in the best interest of the public,” Moore said.
Permits to carry a concealed firearm are allowed under California law but it’s up to local police chiefs and sheriffs to decide if an applicant has a valid reason to obtain one. The plaintiffs in the 1994 case, called Assenza, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, et al., sued because the LAPD had a long-standing practice of simply denying every applicant.
“The City should keep its word,” said attorney Burt Jacobson, a former federal prosecutor and one of the plaintiffs in the case. “They wanted a settlement, and they wrote the settlement!” Jacobson said he’s faced recent threats as a result of court cases that ended many years ago.
The City and Moore have asked a judge to vacate, or undo, the settlement, arguing that the document the City agreed to decades ago is now restricting Moore’s ability to exercise his discretion in deciding who is entitled to a CCW license. Additionally, Moore said the crime rate is down and there are more police officers on the streets, so the level of danger to an average person has been reduced.