Gun Rights Lawsuit Claims Wrongful Arrest

handgunA Marine who says he saw combat duty in Iraq and was honorably discharged has sued Attorney General Kamala Harris and Sonoma County Sheriff for alleged violation of his constitutional right to carry guns.  He was joined by two gun rights groups, The Second Amendment Foundation and The Calguns Foundation Inc., according to a federal lawsuit filed this week.

Brendan J. Richards says that he was wrongfully arrested and spent six days in the Sonoma County jail in May 2010 on a charge of possession of an assault weapon.

Among the things he wants the federal court to do is declare California’s assault weapon statutes unconstitutional, according to the lawsuit.

The charges against Richards were later dropped when the district attorney determined that the two pistols and one rifle found in the trunk of his car by a sheriffs deputy were not assault weapons but legal semi-automatic weapons, according to the lawsuit.

The weapons were found while the officer investigated a disturbance on a sidewalk outside a Motel in Sonoma County that involved Richards.  He admitted having weapons in the trunk of his car, according to the suit, but they were not illegal weapons, he complained.

Richards claims violation of his constitutional rights to “bear arms” under the Second Amendment, as well as Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims.

He named not only Sonoma County Sheriff’s office and the deputy who arrested him but also Attorney General Kamala Harris and the state’s Dept. of Justice for alleged in adequate training on enforcement of state weapons laws.

Case:  Richards v. Harris, No.  C11-5580LB

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