A 53-year-old man from San Bernardino County was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison on Monday for repeatedly firing BB guns at a Planned Parenthood facility in Pasadena and illegally possessing firearms and ammunition, the United States Department of Justice announced early this week.
Richard Royden Chamberlin began his BB gun assault on the Pasadena Planned Parenthood health center in June 2020, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The attacks involved the 53-year-old firing BB gun pellets out the window of his vehicle, causing shattered windows at the clinic and scaring the staff at the facility.
In a March 2021 attack, Chamberlin again drove by the facility firing a BB gun, peppering the banners of the facility while it was open and receiving patients. A person seated on the front porch was nearly hit by the BBs.
Just two months later, in May, officers with the Pasadena Police Department stopped Chamberlin after another attack on the clinic. A search of his vehicle revealed eight BB guns, including ones designed to look like assault rifles. Police also searched a backpack that was on the front passenger seat of the vehicle, which contained a .22-caliber pistol loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition.
“Following his May 7, 2021, arrest, Chamberlin attempted to dispose of his remaining firearms by selling four firearms to a local consignment store and transferring ownership of eight additional firearms to a neighbor. During a subsequent search of his home, authorities recovered thousands of rounds of ammunition, gun powder, a dozen additional BB guns, a black cylinder resembling a suppressor, a Polymer 80 gun-making kit, various gun parts and multiple documents identifying and referring to Planned Parenthood,” the news release stated.
The 53-year-old, who resided in Ontario but also kept a residence in Altadena, claimed responsibility for at least 11 attacks on the Planned Parenthood facility between June 2020 and May 2021. Fortunately, no one was physically injured during the shootings.
“Chamberlin admitted that he intentionally conducted the attacks to intimidate and interfere with the clinic, its doctors, staff, and patients specifically because the clinic was providing reproductive health services, including services related to the termination of pregnancies,” the DOJ said.
In December 2022, Chamberlin pleaded guilty to one count of violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
At his sentencing, United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald said the 53-year-old’s year-long series of BB gun attacks were a “reign of terror” and that he had acted in a “cruel and calculated way” against the health center, its staff and patients. Along with two and a half years in prison, the judge ordered Chamberlin to pay more than $42,000 in restitution.
In statement provided to KTLA, Sheri Bonner, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley said the following:
“We asked that the Court fully hold the Chamberlin responsible for his actions, and today the judge did just that by sentencing him to 30 months in prison and three years of supervision upon his release. For nearly a year, he repeatedly and unpredictably shot at our Pasadena health center. Our staff worked in fear of when he’d strike next and what might happen during his next attack.
“Today’s sentencing sends a clear message to people like the defendant that there are consequences for their actions. Inflicting violence and terror on abortion providers and patients is a punishable offense under federal law. We are pleased that the Federal Government and Court stood for justice today.”
Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with detectives from the Pasadena Police Department investigated the case.