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Thread: Requesting 626.9 exemption in San Francisco

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    I'm going the very ambiguous route. My letter reads:

    Superintendent Garcia,

    pursuant to California Penal Code 626.9, I hereby request your written permission which is granted to you by subsection b of the aforementioned code.

    Sincerely,
    <name>
    <address>

    Wish me luck!

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Good luck!

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    LOL opcorn:

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Still haven't received a response, so I called them today. The superintendent's office forwarded me to the legal department, who said they hadn't seen anything like that come in. She asked if I could send it in to her and she would make sure it would go through the proper channels.

    And yes, she asked what 626.9 was and I explained it had to do with bringing a concealable firearm within 1000' of a school. She didn't laugh or scoff, maybe that's progress.

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    Regular Member Gundude's Avatar
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    bigtoe416 wrote:
    I'm going the very ambiguous route. My letter reads:

    Superintendent Garcia,

    pursuant to California Penal Code 626.9, I hereby request your written permission which is granted to you by subsection b of the aforementioned code.

    Sincerely,
    <name>
    <address>

    Wish me luck!
    Maybe he/she is an NRA member.
    A citizen may not be required to offer a ―good and substantial reason-- why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs.

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    What's wrong with this picture? You're telling us that the School District Superintendent's Officeand its legal department were confused by the term, "California Penal Code 626.9?"

  7. #7
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Still haven't received a response. I called again today and they still have no idea what I'm talking about. Apparently the postal system in San Francisco is awful or the central office regularly loses mail or they are playing dumb with me.

    I'm going to hand deliver a hand written request today.

    ETA:

    Also filing this PRAR:

    Pursuant to California's Public Records Act Request, I hereby request to inspect all emails, memos, letters, records, and files in electronic form or otherwise with the phrases "open carry", "626.9", "<my name>", "GFSZ", "Gun Free School Zone".

    If access to the requested records is not granted immediately, please contact me via email when I can come inspect the records. I can be reached at <email>.

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    Certified mail, delivery receipt, etc.....

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    Regular Member coolusername2007's Avatar
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    opcorn:

    (we need more emoticons, that is one good thing about CGN).
    "Why should judicial precedent bind the nation if the Constitution itself does not?" -- Mark Levin

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    So I received a letter regarding my PRAR, hopefully pullnshoot25 or bad_ace or somebody with experience here can assist me with my next steps:

    On January 26, 2010 I received your letter to Superintendent Garcia requesting records pursuant to the California Public Records Act. Your request is very broad and general. You request to "inspect all emails, memos, letters, records, files in electronic form or otherwise with the phrases 'open carry', '626.9', '<my name>', 'GFSZ', or 'Gun Free School Zone.'"

    If you could give me some idea of your purpose or what you are hoping to find, then I could perhaps narrow my search. Please call me at your earliest convenience.

    ----

    I'd rather not reveal what I'm trying to find or my purpose, I don't think I have to. Was my request too broad? I was thinking of rephrasing it as "all emails, internal or cross-agency memos, internal or cross-agency letters with the phrases 'open carry', '626.9', '<my name>', 'GFSZ', or 'Gun Free School Zone.' I also request any records or files pertaining to 'open carry', '626.9', or 'gun free school zones.'" Thoughts?

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    I don't think it is too broad if you put a time restriction on it; like last year, six months, 3 months, etc.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Statkowski wrote:
    What's wrong with this picture? You're telling us that the School District Superintendent's Officeand its legal department were confused by the term, "California Penal Code 626.9?"
    Don't be to surprised, when I called a few lawyers about my detainment some didn't know what was legal or not on firearm laws. We need to start abolishing laws there are so many that lawyers have to "specialize". Just ridiculous.
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    In theory, California law is, or should be, somewhat similar in make-up and follow-through to the laws of other states (we know it isn't, but let's assume it is). The school district's response stated, in part: "If you could give me some idea of your purpose or what you are hoping to find, then I could perhaps narrow my search."

    Doesn't California's Public Records Act prohibit them from asking such a question?

    And, for the school district, there's this:

    Dear Superintendent Garcia,

    California Penal Code, Section 626.9, otherwise known as the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995, generally prohibits a person from possessing a firearm within one thousand feet of the grounds of a public or private school. It does not matter if one is on foot or is driving from one place to another. Passing through a school zone as defined by the law while possessing a firearm is prohibited.

    Subsection (b) of the Act does permit a person to carry a firearm outside of one's home or business with the written permission of the school district superintendent, his or her designee, or equivalent school authority.

    I would like to be able to protect myself and my family while outside of my home, off school grounds, something that state law currently restricts without your written permission.

    I therefor respectfully request your written permission, per California Penal Code, Section 626.9(b), to lawfully possess a firearm while within the geographic confines of your school district.

    A copy of Section 626.9 is attached for your perusal and edification.

    Sincerely,

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    Founder's Club Member MudCamper's Avatar
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    bigtoe416 wrote:
    So I received a letter regarding my PRAR, hopefully pullnshoot25 or bad_ace or somebody with experience here can assist me with my next steps:

    On January 26, 2010 I received your letter to Superintendent Garcia requesting records pursuant to the California Public Records Act. Your request is very broad and general. You request to "inspect all emails, memos, letters, records, files in electronic form or otherwise with the phrases 'open carry', '626.9', '<my name>', 'GFSZ', or 'Gun Free School Zone.'"

    If you could give me some idea of your purpose or what you are hoping to find, then I could perhaps narrow my search. Please call me at your earliest convenience.

    ----

    I'd rather not reveal what I'm trying to find or my purpose, I don't think I have to. Was my request too broad? I was thinking of rephrasing it as "all emails, internal or cross-agency memos, internal or cross-agency letters with the phrases 'open carry', '626.9', '<my name>', 'GFSZ', or 'Gun Free School Zone.' I also request any records or files pertaining to 'open carry', '626.9', or 'gun free school zones.'" Thoughts?
    It's none of their damn business what your purpose is. They are attempting to stall you or get you to give up. They may even have some policy that allows them to destroy emails or other data after a certain time and are waiting for that.


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    State Pioneer ConditionThree's Avatar
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    MudCamper wrote:
    bigtoe416 wrote:
    So I received a letter regarding my PRAR, hopefully pullnshoot25 or bad_ace or somebody with experience here can assist me with my next steps:

    On January 26, 2010 I received your letter to Superintendent Garcia requesting records pursuant to the California Public Records Act. Your request is very broad and general. You request to "inspect all emails, memos, letters, records, files in electronic form or otherwise with the phrases 'open carry', '626.9', '<my name>', 'GFSZ', or 'Gun Free School Zone.'"

    If you could give me some idea of your purpose or what you are hoping to find, then I could perhaps narrow my search. Please call me at your earliest convenience.

    ----

    I'd rather not reveal what I'm trying to find or my purpose, I don't think I have to. Was my request too broad? I was thinking of rephrasing it as "all emails, internal or cross-agency memos, internal or cross-agency letters with the phrases 'open carry', '626.9', '<my name>', 'GFSZ', or 'Gun Free School Zone.' I also request any records or files pertaining to 'open carry', '626.9', or 'gun free school zones.'" Thoughts?
    It's none of their damn business what your purpose is. They are attempting to stall you or get you to give up. They may even have some policy that allows them to destroy emails or other data after a certain time and are waiting for that.
    Agreed. They only thing they really need to worry about is getting you a response in 10 days- not what the purpose of your PRAR is.
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    I think this may be an attempt to get you to modify your request, which would reset the 10-day timetable to respond, as it could be reasonably argued that you cancelled your old request and submitted a new one.

    It may also be an attempt to get you to narrow your request to exclude something they don't want to give you. (E.g. you narrow your search to only records "pertaining to my request for permission" and now they don't have to give you info about the people they've granted permission to in the past year.)

    IMO, don't fall for it. I'd politely reply that you're not sure exactly what you're looking for, and then ask when you can inspect the records.

    Don't narrow the search at all. More info is better than less. It's the agency's responsibility to be able to facilitate these types of requests; not your fault they're inept.
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  17. #17
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Spoke to the Executive Directory of the Office of Equity Assurance a little bit ago. She was telling me that my public records request was extremely broad and that it could take her all year to get the requested items. She repeatedly asked me what I was looking for and I said I didn't know what I was looking for, hence the broad request. She also didn't understand why I would file a PRAR on information regarding GFSZ versus researching it on Google. I told twice that I was very well educated on the topics I was searching for, I wanted to find out what the school district knew, believed, or thought regarding these topics.

    She had said in the past that public records requests came in the form of, "Can I have the pg&e bill for july 2006?" I asked her how one would even find out that the district pays pg&e for their electricity, wouldn't somebody have to file a PRAR for "electricity bill" or something first? She said that it was common knowledge that the school district does business with pg&e.

    So then I asked, "What if I wanted to find out all the book purchases that the district does on an annual basis?" Wouldn't I first have to do a PRAR for "books" or "book purchases" or something? She said that would be an option but even that would take six months to complete.

    I also asked how an investigative reporter would go about researching a topic without having any specific knowledge if any evidence exists, wouldn't that reporter have to do a broad search for relevant phrases or terms? I don't recall exactly what she said here, but she didn't have a straightforward answer.

    She basically said her only way of fulfilling this request would be to send out an email to the departments and ask people if they had any information on any of the topics listed. If they said they didn't then she'd have to take their word for it. After much back and forth (obviously), I said if that's what she would normally do in this situation, then I guess that's what she should do.

    Right before the call ended she mentioned how each copy of any document would cost ten cents and I reminded her that's fine since I only requested to inspect the records, if I want copies of anything I inspect then I will let her know at that time. I view this as a last ditch attempt of trying to disuade me from allowing the PRAR to go through. I had underlined the word "inspect" in the request and everything. Maybe she just thinks I'm dumb, who knows.

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    Regular Member coolusername2007's Avatar
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    Imagine that...a government run institution that isn't helpful in the least...other than taking your tax dollars. It sounds like you'll either get a mountain of documents that will take you a year to sort through, or you'll get nothing at all.
    "Why should judicial precedent bind the nation if the Constitution itself does not?" -- Mark Levin

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    Founder's Club Member MudCamper's Avatar
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    bigtoe416 wrote:
    She basically said her only way of fulfilling this request would be to send out an email to the departments and ask people if they had any information on any of the topics listed. If they said they didn't then she'd have to take their word for it. After much back and forth (obviously), I said if that's what she would normally do in this situation, then I guess that's what she should do.
    This will not work. You will not get what you are looking for. They will exclude the exact kind of thing that is most damaging to them, which will be emails along the lines of, "there no way in hell we'd even ever consider giving this guy permission" and the like. I would ask that their IT person do a search of ALL email and databases for the keywords you suggested and to allow you to view all the hits.

    Then again, the recipient of your original 626.9 request could have just thrown it in the trash and there will be no records.



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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    MudCamper wrote:
    This will not work. You will not get what you are looking for. They will exclude the exact kind of thing that is most damaging to them, which will be emails along the lines of, "there no way in hell we'd even ever consider giving this guy permission" and the like. I would ask that their IT person do a search of ALL email and databases for the keywords you suggested and to allow you to view all the hits.

    Then again, the recipient of your original 626.9 request could have just thrown it in the trash and there will be no records.
    Yeah, I suspect everything you said here is true. I'll probably get nothing, the person conducting the search probably has no idea about the search capabilities of their email system, and they probably immediately discarded my previous two requests after seeing that it wasn't sent through registered mail.

    Of course, two can play that game. If I get nothing I'll file another PRAR for their email system, version, their data retention policy, and the name of their email administrator. Then with that information I'll file another PRAR asking for them to specifically search their email system. Whatever...all I have to do is send a letter, they (theoretically) have to give me what I ask for. I can send letters all day long.

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    I too have been following this thread since it started, I actually live in a nice secluded court , but there happens to be a Junior high school that my daughter attends less than 250 yards from the school. I asked them about this in their office once and they said there is no way they will sign off on something like this. I am in the IT sector, most laws require IT to archive emails that pertain to legal questions or corospondence, I could be mistaken for them because they are a public school, and dont comminucate that much with legal questions, but most of the time if they have a legal department then those email have to be retained for a certain length of time. I can retirieve emails from 2 years ago even before i had to comply with this rule, but it could also be that the comany i work for deals in legal claims.

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    Asking the local school does no good. The statute requires that you ask the school district superintendent, or his/her designated representative.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Still no word about the 626.9 exemption, but I received this answer to my PRAR today:

    Per my phone conversation with you on February 3, I asked the department heads in Central Office to help me fulfill your records request under the California Public Records Act. Neither the department heads nor department memebers in Central Office are in possession of "emails, memos, letters, records, files in electronic form or otherwise with the phrases 'open carry', '626.9', '<my name>', 'GFSZ', or 'Gun Free School Zone.'"

    Sincerely,
    Susan Wong

    ---------

    I find this rather incredible considering there is a letter from me asking for the PRAR, and that she probably sent an email to the department heads with those words in it. To think that there is not a single instance of the phrase "gun free school zone" is simply too amazing to believe. Not sure what my next steps are...I'm going to give her a call tomorrow and see if I can get a status report on the 626.9 exemption and to see what email system they use and whether or not it supports text searches.

  24. #24
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    I called my contact Ms. Wong at SFUSD today and asked her about my 626.9 exception. She apparently hadn't forwarded my request to the superintendent, but she will do so and I will get a nice written response back saying that my request is denied (I'm sure).

    A couple of curious things about the conversation. She had taken my written request out and read it to me, except when she got to the 626.9 part, she said, "which is the Gun Free School Act of 1995." I didn't write that anywhere on my request, so clearly she is either independently aware of the penal code, or she has read something or talked to somebody regarding this law.

    She then said that they generally just go by the law, like the selling cigarettes thing. I said I understood, but the law allows for a person to be granted an exception by the superintendent. She then asked me why I wanted the exception, what was I going to do if I got it. I said I actually didn't expect to do anything with the exception (except taunt my fellow open carriers as to how I could open carry in SF somewhat freely!). I just may want to open carry sometime and I can't even walk outside my door without locking up my firearm.

    She asked me what school I lived near, and I said there was a school like 800 feet away, which I can't even see, but technically I'd be violating the law if I walked outside without having locked up my concealable firearm. Then she said that was really for the best, and having to lock up my firearm was for my protection.

    Quite surprised at this, I asked her what she meant, and she said how I didn't want to have kids near my exposed gun or asking me about it or bothering me about it. I explained how I was quite far from the school, and I never even see kids near my residence, and I had no intention of going anywhere near the school. I said if the law said I couldn't bring my firearm within 50' of the school, I could possibly understand the desire to protect kids, but being 800' away with a handgun doesn't do much for a child's protection.

    She understood and said she'd forward the request on to Superintendent Garcia. She asked if I wanted a written response, and I said I'd love that. I thanked her for her immense help.

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    bigtoe416 wrote:
    Then she said that was really for the best, and having to lock up my firearm was for my protection.

    Quite surprised at this, I asked her what she meant, and she said how I didn't want to have kids near my exposed gun or asking me about it or bothering me about it.
    Full of crap. Having to lock up firearms is for the CRIMINALS' protection, and harm for law-abiding citizens. That is what the law was written for.

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