There has been a bit of whining on the part of some right-wingersÂ about Sheriff Sandra Hutchens policy regarding the issuance of Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permits. To clarify for those who seem to believe that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution somehow guarantees their right to carry a concealed firearm in California, it doesn’t.
California Penal Code Â§Â§ 12050 spells out the responsibility of the Sheriff regarding this issuance of such permits.
12050.Â (a) (1) (A) The sheriff of a county, upon proof that the person applying is of good moral character, that good cause exists for the issuance, and that the person applying satisfies any one of the conditions specified in subparagraph (D) and has completed a course of training as described in subparagraph (E), may issue to that person a license to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person…
What is Good Cause?*Â
California is NOT a “Shall Issue” or “Right to Carry” State. An applicant must establish “Good Cause” to support his or her request for a California Concealed Weapon License. The mere fact that a license has been issued in the past does not, in itself, justify the renewal of a California Concealed Weapons License.
Good Cause is subjective and may vary among several factors; degree or frequency of exposure to harm, employment, demographics and victimization or risk to the applicant averted by granting a CCW License. In making a determination as to reasonable cause, the Sheriff will consider all available information, and where there exists a sufficient connection between the approval of a CCW License and the avoidance of victimization, make the decision most beneficial to public good and safety.
The mere fear of victimization or the desire to carry a firearm is insufficient. The Sheriff must first rely on a set of objective standards, personal history, training and professional evaluations of the applicant, and secondly on subjective factors such as;
- Specific evidence that there has been or is likely to be an attempt by another to do great bodily harm to the applicant.
- The nature of the business or occupation of the applicant is such that it subjects the applicant to high personal risk or criminal attack greater than that of the general public.
- Business or occupation of the applicant requires frequent transportation of large sums of money or other valuables and alternative protective measures or security cannot reasonably be employed.
- Business or occupation is of a high-risk nature and requires the applicant’s presence in a dangerous environment or area.
- The occupation or business of the applicant is such that no means of protection, security or risk avoidance, other than carrying a concealed firearm, is practical.
- Personal protection is warranted to mitigate a threat that the applicant is able to substantiate.
* Source: CCWUSA.com
The standards that Sheriff Hutchens has instituted are reasonable. They provide for the opportunity for persons to apply for a permit and, provided they meet a set standard, receive a permit.
What is not reasonable is the argument being made by those opposing Sheriff Hutchens issuance policy. They believe that a permit should be issued simply because a person wants a permit and they are “law-abiding” citizens.Â Sorry it doesn’t work that way in California.Â If you do not like the laws on CCW’s take it up with the legislature, or fund a ballot initiative to change the law.
As it is, some of the same people who are annoyed with Sheriff Hutchens, backed and funded the initiative to take away the rights of same gender spouses to marry.Â Maybe their money would be better spent working to expand their rights to carry firearms rather than taking away rights from others.
If people can actually show that Sheriff Hutchens is somehow abusing her discretion in issuing CCW permits, I’m sure she is willing to hear them out. But my guess is that these individuals will not be happy unless everyone who applies for a permit, and meets all requirements other than good cause, is issued a permit.
This matter will be before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday as Agenda Item # 44. The meeting starts at 9:30 am at the Hall of Administration, 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana.