Riverside, California Sheriff Stan Sniff Sued for “Discriminatory and Unconstitutional” Handgun Carry Policies in Federal Court

RIVERSIDE, CA (October 19, 2018) — Today, counsel for a Riverside County resident and five public interest litigation organizations filed a new federal lawsuit against the Sheriff Stanley Sniff and the County of Riverside over handgun carry license policies and practices that, the plaintiffs allege, are unconstitutional. A copy of the complaint for van Nieuwenhuyzen v. Sniff can be viewed at www.calgunsfoundation.org/sniff.

After purchasing a handgun with the intention of eventually lawfully carrying it for self-defense, plaintiff Arie van Nieuwenhuyzen asked the Riverside County Sherriff’s Department how he could apply for a “CCW” license to carry it in public. But the Sheriff’s Department told him that, because he was a legal U.S. resident and not a U.S. citizen, he could not even apply for a license under Sheriff Sniff’s handgun policies and practices. That, the plaintiffs say, is unconstitutional.

“Courts across the country have long held that legal United States residents are entitled to the same constitutional protections as everyone else,” explained lead attorney George M. Lee. “Sheriff Sniff’s discriminatory and unconstitutional policies and practices are denying people access to the right to keep and bear arms and violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s command that all people shall enjoy equal protection of our laws.”

Plaintiff van Nieuwenhuyzen has been a legal resident of the United States, living in Riverside, and since 1983, “has raised an American family, owned a successful business, been involved in his community, serves as a member of his church and Sunday school teacher, and has obeyed all laws and customs of his adopted country and state,” Lee wrote in the complaint

“Mr. van Nieuwenhuyzen has a fundamental human right to carry his gun outside his home for self-defense, but Sheriff Sniff’s policies and practices prevent him from doing so. Those customs are our first target in this case, and we look forward to forcing Sheriff Sniff to respect and follow the United States Constitution,” concluded Lee.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorney George M. Lee of San Francisco litigation firm Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate LLP. The lawsuit is backed by The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF), and Madison Society Foundation (MSF), also institutional plaintiffs in the case, whose Riverside County residents are affected.

Residents of Riverside County, California, who wish to apply for a handgun carry license but are prevented from doing so due to the sheriff’s policies, or have applied for and been denied a carry license, and who are legally eligible to possess firearms under state and federal laws, should contact the FPC/FPF Legal Action Hotline at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline or (855) 252-4510 (available 24/7/365) as soon as possible.

5 responses to Riverside, California Sheriff Stan Sniff Sued for “Discriminatory and Unconstitutional” Handgun Carry Policies in Federal Court

  1. Tionico October 23rd, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Hmmm.. Seems riverside County need to seriously revise their gun policies. They need to develop a different “Sniff Test”…..
    sorry folks, (not really) could not let THAT one sneak by unnoticed….)

    Glad this MAN (as in “human, made in God’s image and with all attendant rights) is standing his God-given ground and fighting tyranny, one small tinpot dictator at a time.


  2. MadMagyar October 22nd, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    Seems I remember a San Francisco Sheriff by the name of Hopkins doing the same kind of thing to Yick Wo, back in 1866. See Yick Wo v. Hopkins 118 U.S. 356
    That 14th Amendment and its “equal protection” clause sure gets ignored by a lot of LEO’s these days, even if they are considered “persons” instead of men or women. But as Henry points out, we MEN have unalienable rights. Well, the women do too, but the point is that the Declaration is a LEGAL document( the last one filed with the King and Parliament after a long series of other attempts to right many wrongs), and recognizes the rights of men, not mere “persons”. Look up and study about the differences. “Persons” may be subject to statutory laws, but men are not. Men have natural rights, persons do not (though a person may have many privileges, immunities and statutorily granted “civil rights”). The fact is Mr. van Nieuwenhuyzen has MORE rights than any statutorily defined “person” does.


  3. Henry October 22nd, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    The Declaration of Independence says that ALL MEN are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights — not just US citizens. If those men live somewhere (such as in a foreign country or Riverside County) where those rights aren’t respected, it’s not because they don’t have those rights there, but because their government violates basic human rights. When foreign people come to the US, we respect their rights as they belong to “all men.”


  4. William Sullivan October 22nd, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    I believe that the Second Amendment Foundation is suing North Carolina for the same reason.


  5. David van Nieuwenhuyzen October 21st, 2018 at 5:28 am

    I’m proud of my dad for the way he raised me and going through with this lawsuit. Stan Sniff has disgraced the sheriffs department, the county, and the badge for to long. Time to do something!


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