SAN FRANCISCO — A group of concealed firearm permit holders and gun rights organizations lost an appeal on Aug. 3 over their opposition to a recent amendment of California’s 1994 Gun-Free School Zone Act.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District of California affirmed a lower court's decision dismissing the lawsuit brought by The Madison Society Foundation, The Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition and 10 individuals.
The lawsuit focused on Senate Bill 707, an amendment to the 1994 law that removed the concealed carry permit holders exemption to possession of firearms on school grounds while keeping the exemption for retired peace officers.
The plaintiffs argued the 2015 amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, because it treated concealed weapon holders differently from retired peace officers.
In 1994, California enacted the Gun-Free School Zone Act.
The court disagreed.
“Retired peace officers, as a class, are more skilled in the use of firearms due to the extensive training in the safe storage and operation of firearms that law enforcement personnel receive,” Judge John Owens wrote in the opinion.
In 1994, California enacted the Gun-Free School Zone Act, which banned firearms from school grounds and within 1,000 feet of school zones, save for two groups: licensed concealed firearm carriers and retired peace officers.
SB 707 amended the act to remove concealed carriers.
According to court documents, the plaintiffs also argued that the 2015 amendment was politically motivated, but the court rejected that claim.
“The panel held that plaintiffs failed to plausibly allege that the Legislature enacted Senate Bill 707 to harm concealed carry permit holders,” Owens wrote.