More on Hutchens Command Staff and CCW Permits

In addition to introducing her Command Staff (Org Chart) (Bio’s), Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens opened her presser today by addressing her draft policy on CCW permits. Initial reaction to her intention to review the existing 1,100 permits from Republican circles was swift and critical. Although Hutchens had made it clear that she was simply reviewing the issued permits to ensure they had been issued in accordance with state law and not as political favors, some have speculated that her decision was a sign of opposition to the Second Amendment.

Hutchens clarified again today that she is simply reviewing existing permits and establishing standards consistent with industry standards for the issuance of such permits. She intends to make sure that the issuance of permits in Orange County will be fair and equitable; based upon credible, significant, substantiated cause, and not political influence. Applicants will need to clear background checks and may be required to submit to psychological evaluation.

This is really nothing new in respect to law. It is the way it should always have been, and she just wants to make sure that is the case with every permit issued.

  23 comments for “More on Hutchens Command Staff and CCW Permits

  1. Just a guy
    July 24, 2008 at 10:03 am

    If Hutchens brings some of the LA wisdom to OC, we’ll all become disarmed victims soon enough.

    PS – If you live in the 909, you can get a permit with ease, and then bring that concealed weapon to Orange County 24/7/365. Doesn’t seem to cause any problems.

  2. Jim Jones
    July 24, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    correction, she is not reviewing the current 1100 CCW to see if they were issued according to State Law, she is reviewing them to see if they conform to her new standards; which BTW are more restrictive.

    Also her new CCW requirements do violate California State Law. She will be short lived if this is the battle she wants to fight.

  3. McCreary
    July 24, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Industry standards?? WHOSE industry standards? Forty-two states in this country are “shall issue” if an applicant passes the state and federal background checks. Must not be national standards, even though forty-two states with hundreds of millions of citizens seem to have agreed on SOME sort of standard. Here in California only eight counties out of, what, nearly sixty, burden their subjects with the kind of limitations she is implementing. Must not be state standards, even though all of those counties seem to line up with the forty-two states. So again I ask, WHOSE industry standards? And WHAT industry?? The industry of keeping wealthy politicians and celebrities protected so they don’t have to be afraid of us commoners??

  4. John
    July 24, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    The problem is that she has never said that the department will continue to issue permits. She was also very vague in her description of the new requirements to get a permit. What she said is *exactly* the same as Sheriff Baca’s policy in LA, where only the very rich and celebrities who raise over $100,000 for Baca are eligible for a permit.

    The issue here is that while she’s saying she’s simply “reviewing” permits, the fact of the matter is that she has suspended the issuance of any new permits, or any renewals. Right now permits are expiring and they are not being renewed because the program is now suspended.

    THAT alone constitutes “non-issue” and is the first sign of the new LA policy in OC.

    I’m sure LA gangs and crime will soon follow. Bad guys don’t go where citizens are armed, but they LOVE to victimize a disarmed citizenry.

  5. Gr8OCGuy
    July 24, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    I’ll simply comment on two aspects that highlight the carelessness our new sheriff is showing in her early days of being appointed. First, there are no ‘industry standards’ related to issuing CCW permits. There are ‘practices’ other agencies use to evaluate issuance of CCW permits (and almost all are much more liberal than what our newly appointed sheriff is considering). There are however, ‘legal standard’, which SHOULD be carefully reviewed and followed, prior to announcing what is ‘fair and equitable’. For example, the sheriff indicated not all applicants will be required to undergo a psych exam, that it is only a ‘may’ requirement under her policy. This is on it’s face, is inequitable and likely illegal. The law requires either ALL applicants undergo the same threshold of evaluation, including psych evaluations, or no evaluations should be done. The first time our new sheriff requires one applicant to undergo a psych eval, and does not require it of the next, Orange County will immediately face a VERY expensive and unnecessary lawsuit. Next, the sheriff indicates a medical evaluation ‘may’ be required as well. Again, is our sheriff familiar with the existing law?? I would ask her to document where she is authorized, in the Code, to require an applicant for a CCW to undergo a medical evaluation. Again, our new sheriff is simply inviting litigation. I really hope the sheriff spends more time in how she ultimately re-instates the program whereby law-abiding citizens of OC can obtain a CCW permit, than she apparently has in preparing this overly vague and poorly documented ‘policy’ statement.

  6. Walt Lear
    July 24, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    The process in San Francisco is fair and equitable . They simply don’t issue to anyone, ever.

    The process that she used in Los Angeles was fair and equitable. They only issued to the ultrawealthy, judges, DAs and celebrities. They didn’t discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin. Just money, fame and power. She wants “quality” permits, that means they go to “quality” people. Not you or me, just the powerful and rich.

    The phrase she used – credible, significant, substantiated cause – is far beyond the California state standard of “good cause.” It’s the language from the LAPD policy on CCWs, and it’s even more restrictive than LASD. LAPD has 14 total permits issued, all to ultrawealthy people with big influence on the Mayor and City Council.

    Despite what she says, she’s completly shut down the OCSD CCW program. NO new permits are accepted, no changes are being made to existing permits, not even for a change of address. Permits that have expired have not been renewed, except for judges.

  7. RM
    July 24, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    This story failed to report that the new CCW requirements may include a polygraph in addition to a psychological evaluation. This requirement appears to be a violation of Penal Code 12050. It seems that soon the OC will be just like LA and only the rich, famous, or connected will be allowed a CCW.

    Just A Guy is right…people living in other counties will be able to carry concealed while working, shopping, or visiting the OC. Visitors will have more rights than OC residents.

  8. RTR
    July 24, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Sheriff Hutchens found OC with some of the lowest crime rates in America. As a Chief Law Enforcement Officer, that’s not acceptable.

    The only way for a law enforcement agency to grow is to have HIGH crime rates. That’s what drives governments to hire more officers, buy more squad cars, and intrude farther into personal lives.

    So she’s taking positive steps to make OC more attractive to the gangs she nurtured in LA. Disarm the sheeple. Reduce overtime to take deputies off the streets. End the PSR program so you don’t get free time from volunteers. Solve jail disaster by letting prisoners out early. Raise money and take deputies away from real crime with more traffic tickets, code enforcement and petty fines.

    Make sure you keep the Powers That Be safe and happy. Most of them are in gated communities anyway, but they’ll still get their gun permits, as long as they contribute.

    Response time in OCSD served areas is already up, we’ll see the crime stats in 8 months. How long until OC is LA south? She’s already hired her LA cronies to run the Department.

  9. S. Todd
    July 24, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    If all she was doing was reviewing, no one would care, because the only people effected would be those who obtained a CCW permit without meeting the already stringent requirements (FBI background check, required hours of training with an approved trainer, extensive questioning process, face to face interview with Professional Standards Division personal, weapon safety and function inspection, fingerprinting, etc…) which typically take several months and hundreds of dollars to complete. Note that this is far more restrictive than at least 40 other States and most California counties.

    It would be so nice if a public official would just be honest with the public. If Ms. H was being completely honest, she would come right out and say the following:
    • She does not want ordinary citizens to carry guns. Since she won’t admit this, we don’t know why this is. We can speculate, but what would the point be? There are many people who could articulate plausible reasons for this position, but she won’t even do us the courtesy of giving what might be credible reasons.
    • She intends to duplicate the LA policies which govern CCW. This is clear by the language she is using to define her policy. She is using words of art that have very specific meanings to those familiar with this subject. There is absolutely no doubt that she would be happy to reduce the CCW population of OC to single digits.
    There are many in OC who would agree with her intentions and her reasons for them, if she would just stand up and be honest.

    So why the doublespeak? Why pretend everything will stay the same when the opposite is true? Her reasoning is simple: A large percentage (70%+ based on previous elections) would have a negative reaction to her new policy if stated plainly, but only about 1,000 OC citizens will actually be impacted directly by it. Simple politics is to tell the lie which helps get you re-elected because the few who know the truth are too few to impact the next election. Think about it. Who are the only people who will ever know the truth? The 1,000 with current permits which will not get renewed over the next two years, and the several hundred a year who typically apply for a permit, but who will now be denied.

    Normally this would be a very savvy maneuver, but she has been so conditioned by her LA experience she has committed a fundamental error. The error is this – the 1,000 or so permit holders actually impacted will make very sure the 70% of OC citizens who support the right to CCW (but don’t care to exercise it themselves) are informed of what is actually happening. The 70%, some of whom might not have minded the policy changed, will be so upset at having been lied to they will make their feelings known at the next election.

    Even if you don’t care much about the whole CCW thing, you have to wonder at the judgment of a new sheriff who would make it such a top priority to disarm a handful of law-abiding citizens. Even before she announced her command staff, she felt it necessary to tell the CCW ‘big lie’.

  10. July 24, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    In Orange County in 2008, is there a good reason ANYONE needs to carry a concealed weapon?
    I really can’t think of one.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
    [emphasis mine]
    The founders included the initial clause for a reason.
    Should any residents of OC be part of a militia (not just any militia, but one that is “WELL REGULATED”), they should be free to keep and carry arms.

  11. Jim Jones
    July 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Also, she is asking her legal counsel how she can revoke current CCW holders.

    She is trying to reduce the active 1,100 permits to the few hundred elite who pass HER standards. Seems the average person is out of luck, but the rich, and well connected are golden.

  12. Scalia
    July 24, 2008 at 10:18 pm


    You didn’t read my opinion in DC vs Heller. Let me read it for you:

    1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawfully purposes, such as self-defense with the the home.

    Also, the Second Amendment “guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” … “The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it ‘shall not be infringed'”.

    What this all means is that we have a right to possess and carry weapon to defend ourselves. Any laws, like PC 12031, that takes that right is unconstitutional. Also, PC 12050 as it is currently being applied stands a strong chance of violating the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

    Whether you feel there is no need to carry a firearm for self protection is irrelevant. The Bill of Rights guarantees our ability to do so.

  13. Jim Jones
    July 24, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    The Lovable Curmudgeon- you might want to brush up on the Second Amendment

    On June 26, the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment—”A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”— protects a purely individual right, as do the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments. “Nowhere else in the Constitution does a ‘right’ attributed to ‘the people’ refer to anything other than an individual right,” the court said.

    The court also declared that the Second Amendment protects “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” including “all instruments that constitute bearable arms.”

  14. July 24, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    I’ve read the ENTIRE 2nd Amendment, and I have to disagree with your interpretation – and that of Justice Scalia.
    I challenge you (or Scalia) to show me any other right in any part of the constitution that has a similar dependent clause associated with it.
    I will repeat my earlier point – The founders did not include the first 13 words (of 27) just for fun! Why do you suppose they included anything about well regulated militias?
    Mr Jones – you’ve been drinking the NRA’s FlavorAid!
    Please tell me which Militia you are a part of and where I can check their rules to make sure they are “well regulated.”

  15. Walt Lear
    July 25, 2008 at 12:22 am

    “In Orange County in 2008, is there a good reason ANYONE needs to carry a concealed weapon?”

    Sure. You’re a small business owner. Your business is in a bad part of Santa Ana – or Garden Grove, or Anaheim, Stanton, etc. Say, you own a laundromat.

    You close your business and take the day’s cash gross receipts (not NET, you have to pay your suppliers) home. A guy steps out with a baseball bat and says “give me the money.”

    You do. He looks at it, finds it’s only $1,000 or so, so he says “Where’s the rest of it!!”

    That’s when you need the concealed weapon. After you’ve given him the money, and before he’s caved in your skull.

    It’s happened to me twice. The first time I didn’t have a weapon, I got my skull caved in, and 18 other broken bones, and spent 3 weeks in the hospital and 2 years in physical therapy. The second time I drew my weapon. He and ran. He kept the money and the weapon (it was a knife the second time).

    You think just because our crime RATE is lower than Compton’s, we don’t need to protect ourselves. But even a low crime rate has real victims. When you’re on the wrong end of the baseball bat, the low rate isn’t a comfort.

  16. Cuban8
    July 25, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Sandra Hutchens is making a big mistake by unarming law-abiding residents who want to protect themselves and family.

  17. July 25, 2008 at 1:28 am

    I’m missing something here. How is reviewing the CCW permits unarming law abiding citizens. For all you know the review may not change anything at all. If permits were issued as political favors, then by extension, these so called law abiding citizens are not law abiding at all.

  18. Scalia
    July 25, 2008 at 7:49 am


    It is irrelevant what you think the 2nd Amendment means. This is a democracy governed by laws and when that law requires interpretation, it is up to the courts to make the determination. The highest court of the land has made its decision and it is now the proper interpretation of that Amendment.

    You have been brainwashed by the anti-gun (so called) legal scholar. If you bother to read some of the latest research on the subject, you will find much history that contradicts you understanding and much proof that the collective rights view being propagated is intellectually and academically dishonest.

    One important attribute that sets us right wing nuts apart from you liberals is that we believe in individual rights. We believe in your right not to own firearms. We would appreciate that you respect our right to posses and carry arms. Who knows, some day, some right wing nut may come to your aid with their gun to save you.

  19. Howard
    July 25, 2008 at 7:52 am

    What do you expect from a woman that never had children but has many cats! She and her second hubby are both retired law-enforcement types that are allowed to carry concealed. After all, they have cats to protect.

    According to the Los Angeles Times article her first hubby was her patrol partner with whom she shot up a couple kids and an older man. That cost the County of Los Angeles 1.4 million and an innocent man his life. Of course the LAT made it an example of her being a tough street-wise cop.

    The last thing Orange County wants is to become more like Los Angeles County. I think Hutchens knows this but won’t admit it. Why else would she live as far away from LA as she could and still be in OC, namely Dana Point?

  20. Jim Jones
    July 25, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Curmudgeon— I respect your view to disagree with the Supreme Court and Justice Scalia.

    I to disagree with the Supreme Court and Justice Blackmun on Roe v Wade. But I accept it as law.

    And the last 14 words of the 2nd Amendment were not added just for fun either…..

    “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”

  21. Jim Jones
    July 25, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Chris Prevatt – She as already put out her requirements for CCW, now she is going back to see what CCWs do not meet HER new requirements.

    She has already publicly stated she is asking her legal counsel if she can pull or revoke CCWs. She can’t if they were issued legally. Now she will just not renew CCWs as they expire.

    It has nothing to do with CCWs issued as political favors. She is just using that title to distance herself from Mike Carona.

    And why is this her number one issue at her press conference? Are the streets of Orange County filled with shoot outs by CCW holders? Are the nightly newscasts filled with stories about CCW holders gone wild? The rest of the United States is virtually “shall issue” and there is no town or city where CCW holders have been a problem.

  22. S. Todd
    July 25, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Chris, you are definitely missing something here. See my earlier post. This is not just a ‘review’, she is adding several new requirements and additional cost to the process. Note that the draft policy refers to “new issuance policies”. You are one of many, many people who do not have the background and understanding of this issue to be able to see through her smokescreen. This is no disrespect to you. You are obviously an articulate and intelligent person. That is why you will understand the truth when it comes out. In the mean time, those of us who do understand are sounding the alarm, and trying to educate others. Then, when you do a follow-up article in six or nine months, when you call the Sheriffs office and ask for the current number of permits, you will know why the number has dropped by such a huge percentage. Then you will be able to ask some very insightful questions such as:
    • What percentage of applicants were required to take a polygraph test? (this is a NEW requirement just announced) How many passed? Isn’t the requirement of a polygraph in conflict with state law?
    • How many applicants were required to undergo a medical exam? (another NEW requirement) (ask how many passed, and the state law question again)
    Yes, it does say some new requirements “may” apply. I suppose this means she is waiting for a legal opinion, because the new requirements obviously seem to violate state law.

    Chris, you may not be interested in carrying, or even owning, a gun. But I think you are interested in not being played for a sucker by a disingenuous politician willing to have you and many others carry her ‘big lie’ water. Please don’t let her use you that way.

  23. mikemi
    July 26, 2008 at 10:45 am

    I must agree with Jim Jones. She is suspect when her fist course of action is in this area and not the major issues in the OCSD. Permit holders across America have about a 1% rate of misuse of their weapons. I wonder what percentage of cops have ‘issues’ with their guns or other problems? I live in LA County and when I heard the OCSD didn’t have one qualified person to take the helm and you had to go to this crime ridden county for help I was shocked! She is a dyed in the wool clone of Sheriff Baca so expect his type of policies and higher crime rates. As to CCW holders remember to vote when the time comes. And remember your Board of Supervisors hired her…you might want to allow them to find new employment with your vote.

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