FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 3, 2013
Merced County, CA Sheriff Pays CGF $9,250 in Handgun Carry Case Settlement
SAN CARLOS, CA – As part of a settlement reached in the handgun carry case of Michelle Rossow, et al. v. County of Merced and Merced Sheriff Mark Pazin, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department has agreed to pay The Calguns Foundation $9,250.47 for attorney fees in the matter.
The lawsuit, filed in July 2011, sought to correct problems in the Sheriff’s policy for applications for and licenses to carry concealed handguns as part of the Foundation’s ongoing Carry License Sunshine and Compliance Initiative.
In addition to the fee recovery, The Calguns Foundation’s action against the Sheriff resulted in a number of changes to the Sheriff’s carry license policies, which was based on a boilerplate document produced by Lexipol, a law enforcement policy management outsourcer, and modified with local rules.
The Foundation first contacted Merced in October of 2010, when it discovered that the Sheriff had established an unlawful moratorium on the acceptance of new carry license applications. The Sheriff subsequently lifted the moratorium but refused to modify parts of his policy that CGF identified as unlawful. When talks broke down, the Foundation filed the lawsuit in Merced County Superior Court.
“It’s great to see a successful outcome in this case, as Merced’s policy on licenses to carry handguns was substantially revised to address the most grievous concerns, and the Court retained jurisdiction to address future compliance issues,” said attorney for plaintiffs Jason Davis of Mission Viejo.
“This case is an important next step in our Carry Initiative,” explained Brandon Combs, executive director for The Calguns Foundation. “The County chose to address our concerns rather than face a possible court order, and we applaud them for that. Now it’s up to the other California sheriffs to follow suit or be sued themselves.”
“Ultimately, this case is about making carry license policies consistent with California law,” said Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman. “We hope that we can accomplish this without suing every California county, but if that’s what it requires, that’s what we are prepared to do.”
The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which serves its members and the public 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. Supporters may visit http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/donate to join or donate to CGF.