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Old May 11, 2012, 08:45 PM   #1
Al Norris
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,338
CGF/SAF sues CA DOJ, San Francisco and Oakland

So we have a new CA case to be added to the list!

Press Release

CGF Sues San Francisco, Oakland Police Departments and CA DOJ Over Seized Firearms

San Carlos, CA (May 9, 2012) – In an important step to secure the rights of California gun owners, The Calguns Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation, and two individual residents of California have filed a new federal lawsuit in San Francisco. The case, entitled Churchill, et. al. v. Harris, et al., alleges that the police departments of both San Francisco and Oakland are unlawfully refusing to return lawfully-owned firearms to individuals who have had charges dropped after police investigations proved that they had done nothing wrong.

The ongoing seizure of those firearms is a violation of the Second and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution. What’s more, the departments’ refusal to return property after all charges are dropped is theft.

"In California, the Evidence Code makes it clear that simple possession is proof of ownership of almost all types of common property, including firearms," said Don Kilmer, attorney for the plaintiffs. "The California Department of Justice is misleading police departments in such a way that they violate the rights of gun owners who were investigated and found to not have violated the law."

The Oakland and San Francisco Police departments appear to be relying on a Department of Justice document that is being attached to the required “Law Enforcement Gun Release”, or LEGR, reports indicating that the requester may lawfully own and possess firearms. The document claims that the requesting person has to provide proof of ownership for every firearm when they go to retrieve their seized property.

According to longstanding California law, every firearm seized during a police investigation must be inventoried; a copy of that list is given to the person from whom firearms are seized. Every law enforcement agency knows which person they took firearms from and what specific firearms were taken.

"It's hard enough for a law-abiding gun owner to live through the uncertainty and fear caused by a false allegation or arrest, but to have the very people who are trusted and sworn to serve them then steal their property after they've been exonerated is inexcusable," said Calguns Foundation chairman Gene Hoffman. "Law-abiding Californians should not be forced to seek out expensive legal representation just to get back what is rightfully theirs in the first place."

A copy of the complaint and case filings can be downloaded here. The full docket can be viewed at this link.

To support this and other important Second Amendment lawsuits, please make a tax-deductible donation by secure credit card, e-check, or PayPal at

The Calguns Foundation ( is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which serves its members by providing Second Amendment-related education, strategic litigation and the defense of innocent California gun owners from improper or malicious prosecution. The Calguns Foundation seeks to inform government and protect the rights of individuals to acquire, own, and lawfully use firearms in California.


Gene Hoffman
The actual claims are violations of the 2A (Right to Arms), 4A (Unreasonable Seizure), 5A (Taking without Compensation), 14A (Due Process), and Conversion (State Law = Theft of Property).

The docket is here:
The complaint is here:

If you are from CA, you owe it to yourself to support the work that the CalGuns Foundation is doing for your 2A rights.
Al Norris is offline  
Old May 12, 2012, 11:20 AM   #2
Junior member
Join Date: April 21, 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 4,555
There is a similar case in Milwaukee, Wisconsin:

Wisconsin Carry Inc v Milwaukee

In the Milwaukee case a citizen used a firearm to defend himself, the DA declared it a justified shooting, but the citizen never had his firearm returned to him by the Milwaukee PD.

In the case of the Milwaukee man though - I don't think charges were ever even brought. So that might be a difference between the CA and WI cases.
C0untZer0 is offline  
Old May 12, 2012, 11:15 PM   #3
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Join Date: March 24, 2011
Posts: 730
There were no charges ever brought against the guy in WI. That is correct. The guy shot a robber, in the process of an armed (shotgun) robbery. DA said it was justified.
hermannr is offline  
Old May 14, 2012, 08:48 PM   #4
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It's theft, plain and simple.
Jim's Rules of Carry: 1. Any gun is better than no gun. 2. A gun that is reliable is better than a gun that is not. 3. A hole in the right place is better than a hole in the wrong place. 4. A bigger hole is a better hole.

no guns = might makes right
KyJim is offline  
Old October 23, 2012, 11:51 PM   #5
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Join Date: February 1, 2011
Posts: 264
Any update? The MTD was set to be heard last week. The opposition was a pretty nifty piece, and of course it helps that both the City of Oakland and the City of San Francisoc have conceded that requiring a gun owner to provide proof of ownership prior to return of a seized firearm is not allowed or required under the Penal Code. The DOJ will probably keep fighting though, as Kamela Harris is vehemently anti-gun, and has put in place a number of administrative hurdles to the exercise of rights by citizens. In additiont o this nonsense (which appears to have no purpose other than dissuading gun owners against whom no charges are filed from attempting to retieve their property), she has instituted a policy to put "holds" on background clearances for purchases wheneever they are able to locate a prior criminal complaint filed against the purchaser whenever the resolution of the case does not appear in the court's record and/or the DOJ cannot ascertain whether the misdemeanor charges was a crime of violence. Both grounds are bogus--the code only allows the denial of the right to purchase to misdemeanants CONVICTED of a crime of violence--and if there is no record of conviction, then there was no conviction, right? Nonetheless, the DOJ is requiring people to go back decades to prove that charges were resolved in their favor, sometimes decades ago. Again, CalGuns is on the job.
62coltnavy is offline  

cgf , saf , second amendment

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