A California rapper is suing Los Angeles and its police department over the city’s restrictive may-issue standard for concealed carry.
Rapper Dom Kennedy is joined by fellow plaintiff Gary Matthews in the class-action lawsuit that seeks damages for the plaintiffs and other victims affected by the law, court costs and attorney fees, and to have their related arrests for exercising 2A rights expunged.
“The City’s and the Board’s and LAPD’s unconstitutional ‘no-issue’ CCW policies (concealed weapons permit) and other unconstitutional gun control laws, which were officially adopted and promulgated by the City’s policymakers, caused [Dom Kennedy and Matthews] and the other members of the Arrest Class and the Nonresident Class to be arrested and detained merely for the permissible Second Amendment conduct of carrying a handgun for general self-defense outside the home or place of business,” the lawsuit reads.
Dom Kennedy’s song “Deep Thought.”
The attorney representing the duo told AllHipHop that the current may-issue standard is an effective no-issue standard that violates the 2A rights of law-abiding citizens.
“The two key, undisputed facts in this case are that there were no actions that the Plaintiffs or the other class members could have taken during the relevant time period that would have allowed them to carry a handgun for general self-defense in the City of Los Angeles. (1) the City’s Police Chief refuses to issue CCWs for the lawful Second Amendment purpose of general self-defense; and (2) the City’s Police Chief vigorously enforces laws criminalizing carrying a handgun outside the home without a CCW,” said Attorney Jovan Blacknell.
“By adopting and following a City policy of refusing to issue CCWs for general self-defense and then by adopting and following a City policy of strictly enforcing State laws prohibiting carrying a handgun outside the home without a CCW, the City violated their Second Amendment rights, and, in the case of Mr. Mathews and the Nonresident Class, the City violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights,” Blacknell added.
Under a may-issue scheme, there is a “proper cause” requirement that forces gun owners to provide the city with a specific reason on why they need to bear arms in public.
A judge or CLEO can arbitrarily deny a law-abiding citizen a permit on the grounds that their “proper cause” for bearing arms isn’t satisfactory. Simply stating it’s one’s right under the Constitution isn’t sufficient.
What this often leads to is a pay-to-play arrangement between authorities and those who are well-heeled and well-connected. The relatively small favored class is issued permits meanwhile the average citizen is left defenseless.
A pay-to-play system was uncovered in Santa Clara County, CA, in 2019, whereby the CEO of a high-profile security firm was scoring pistol permits for his employees after allegedly donating $45,000 to the sheriff’s reelection campaign. That executive left his position and in 2020 pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme.
As for the sheriff involved in the case, Sheriff Laurie Smith, a civil grand jury charged her with “corrupt and willful misconduct” back in December of 2021. Late last month she maintained her innocence during an appearance in court.
“I deny all counts,” she said, as The Mercury News reported.
May-issue schemes are unconstitutional and incentivize corruption. While it may be a while before Kennedy and Matthews make headway with their case, the good news is that the Supreme Court will, any day now, issue a decision on a case involving New York’s draconian, may-issue standard.
If the court rules in favor of the 2A, as early indications suggest, it could be the end of may-issue standards nationwide.