CRPOA’s DOJ Lawsuit – Update and Request for Support

We continue to move forward with our lawsuit against the California DOJ in our attempts to establish via court action that the exemption in Penal Code Section 30630(b)(1) for authorized “sworn peace officers” to acquire patrol rifles in fact applies to reserve peace officers.  A copy of the lawsuit can be found on our website here. If you are unable to access it, please send me an email ( and I will send it to you directly.

The DOJ is fighting us, has not changed its position, claims that reserve peace officers are “less than” other peace officers and do not qualify for the exemption, and in essence is arguing that “sworn peace officers” as used in the exemption does not mean “reserve” peace officers.  We do not expect them to change their position any time soon.

We need the support of your Department, ideally your Chief or Sheriff, and would like your Department head or command staff member to send an email to me expressing his or her support for our position.  The effect of the DOJ policy is that only full-time officers, and not reserve officers, can acquire patrol rifles for on-duty use.  In many cases this means you will not be able to equip yourself properly in the field despite your agency’s desire to do so. 

The DOJ has cited no legal authority for their position. They simply say the term “sworn peace officers” does not mean “reserve peace officers.”

The form of an email from your agency head to me is below.  If they want to send an email in their own words expressing their support, that is fine too.

Please contact me at if your Department head (or other representative) would be willing to support our position and if I can help facilitate that support. 

The email could be written as follows:


Dear Mr. Rene:

I am the [Chief][Sheriff][Other Title] of [name of Department].   I am aware of the California Reserve Peace Officers Association’s lawsuit against the California DOJ seeking a court order that the exemption in Penal Code Section 30630(b)(1) for “sworn peace officers” to acquire patrol rifles for law enforcement purposes in fact applies not just to full-time peace officers but to reserve peace officers as well. The DOJ recently made the decision to change its prior views on this topic which previously recognized that reserve peace officers, as authorized “sworn peace officers,” are eligible to acquire patrol rifles.  

Our Department supports the CRPOA’s position.  I believe that my reserve peace officers are “sworn peace officers” within the meaning of Penal Code Section 30630(b)(1) and may acquire patrol rifles if I authorize them to do so in compliance with the Penal Code’s requirements.  My Department’s law enforcement officers require the use of these firearms to perform their duties, in particular in light of the increase in attacks on law enforcement officers nationwide.  Our Department authorizes, trains and supervises our sworn peace officers in the use, transportation and safe storage of these firearms.  The Penal Code could not be more clear that this exemption, which applies categorically to “sworn peace officers,” would include reserve law enforcement officers.

We urge the DOJ to change its current position and recognize that reserve peace officers are “sworn peace officers” within the meaning of PC Section 30630(b)(1).


[Name and Title]


Thank you,

Jim Rene

General Counsel, CRPOA