San Jose Woman Sues City, Police for Access to Her Guns

A San Jose woman is suing the city and police department for access to her guns.

Lori Rodriguez is free to buy a firearm, but her husband isn’t allowed to own any weapons for another two years following a psychiatric hold. Even though they live in the same house, her lawyers argue she should be allowed access to her guns if she follows the required safety precautions.

The city says the case is really a safety issue and is about protecting people. But Rodriguez, the owner of 12 guns, says she has followed the law and wants her guns back.

Rodriguez and her lawyer, Don Kilmer, are suing the city and the San Jose Police Department to get the guns back following a 2013 incident in which her husband was held for psychiatric evaluation.

Because of that incident, he is not legally allowed access to weapons. “That doesn’t mean she gives up her right to have a gun, as long as she follows California’s law that is to use a gun safe,” Kilmer said.

But City Attorney Rick Doyle disagrees. Last year, a superior court judge ruled in the city's favor, and Doyle is confident a federal judge will do the same.

“Are we acting with an abundance of caution? Yeah,” Doyle said. “We’re concerned about someone having access to firearms that shouldn’t.”

Doyle said that storing the guns in a locked safe doesn’t prevent Mr. Rodriguez from gaining access.

“We don’t want to turn the guns over and we don’t have to turn the guns over, the courts have agreed with us,” Doyle said.

Lori Rodriguez says she will continue to fight for her property and Second Amendment right.

“Every situation is different," she said, "so every situation should be treated differently."

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