LOS ANGELES (CN) – Gun buy back events in Los Angeles endanger lives and run “counter” to the Second Amendment right to bear arms, a man says in Federal Court.
Bruce Boyer of the Sons of Liberty LA wants an injunction against the city for refusing to allow gun activists to protest at events around the city.
Boyer was arrested for trespassing at a gun buy back event in Hollywood in 2010, according to his lawsuit. He says that other activists are now afraid to show up to voice their opposition for fear of arrest. The Sons of Liberty website describes Boyer as “chief instigator” of the group. It is not clear from the website or complaint how many members belong to the group.
Los Angeles invites people to come to several locations around the city where they surrender firearms, “no questions asked,” in return for a gift card to Ralphs grocery store, according to the complaint. The city offers a $100 gift card for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and a $200 gift card for assault weapons, Boyer says.
Though Los Angeles should check for lost or stolen firearms, and destroy all others, Boyer says some weapons are “neither returned to their rightful owners nor destroyed.”
The events are “unwise as a matter of public policy,” according to the complaint. “Encouraging citizens to disarm is counterproductive to the goal of heightening public safety,” it adds.
“Rather than destroying surrendered firearms the more prudent policy would be to see to it that those firearms are lawfully and safely transferred to citizens who can and will use them for their personal safety,” the complaint states.
Sons of Liberty LA says it attends the events and offers an alternative to people who wish to surrender their firearms, offering sums “substantially in excess of the nominal amounts being proffered via gift cards.”
Boyer claims he has reached out to city officials who refused to give the group permission to attend the events. In the past the city has allegedly characterized the activists as “solicitors.”
The next buy-back event will be held this Saturday, May 12, at six locations in Los Angeles.
Boyer, suing on behalf of Sons of Liberty LA, is represented by George Wallace with Wallace, Brown & Schwartz of Pasadena, Calif.
In an email to Courthouse News, Boyer said that the Sons of Liberty website documents the city’s “actions and abuses” in relation to the gun buy backs.
He added that the group was communicating with three churches about their participation in the upcoming event, and that he had persuaded churches to withdraw in past.
The city did not respond to a request for comment.