The Second Amendment and CCW Permits

Homer's Got A Gun!There has been a bit of whining on the part of some right-wingers  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 §§ 12050 spells out the responsibility of the Sheriff regarding this issuance of such permits.

12050.  (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?* 

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.  Sorry it doesn’t work that way in California.  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.  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.

  28 comments for “The Second Amendment and CCW Permits

  1. Travis
    November 17, 2008 at 8:57 am

    It should be noted that many counties in California, including nearby San Bernardino County, consider a desire for personal protection to be sufficient good cause.

    Here is a map that shows how the various California counties comply with the law:

    http://www.calccw.com/Forums/county-faq/6054-ccw-issuance-map-california.html

  2. Thomas Anthony Gordon
    November 17, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    How about living in the middle of a war zone?

    I’ve had a gun pointed at me in front of my own home and can hear gunshots in the surrounding area.

    Chris, you said you didn’t want “wackos” walking around with guns.

    Problem is, the “wacko’s you forgot to think about already have guns, and have had neither adequate training or instruction and are not permitted either.

    As I told you, if we could open carry legally, I would.

    “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. Maybe their money would be better spent working to expand their rights to carry firearms rather than taking away rights from others”

    It makes little sense to ask people to support your rights, while at the same time calling us who would like rights, “wackos”

  3. Che
    November 17, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Too many more people carrying around guns would make the world less safe. Yes, some criminals have guns and hopefully law enforcement will catch them and put them away for awhile. Make no mistake about it, some of our so called “law abiding” citizens are indeed wackos. An incident of road rage could quickly become deadly as could someone getting ahead on a line or a heated sports event. We do not need more guns.
    One exception I would be open to is people over 65yo. The elderly are often victimized because their physical strength is diminished. A gun would be a great equalizer and make would be criminals think twice before victimizing the elderly.

  4. Che
    November 17, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Too many more people carrying around guns would make the world less safe. Yes, some criminals have guns and hopefully law enforcement will catch them and put them away for awhile. Make no mistake about it, some of our so called \”law abiding\” citizens are indeed wackos. An incident of road rage could quickly become deadly as could someone getting ahead on a line or a heated sports event. We do not need more guns.
    One exception I would be open to is people over 65yo. The elderly are often victimized because their physical strength is diminished. A gun would be a great equalizer and make would be criminals think twice before victimizing the elderly.

  5. Rob
    November 17, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Sheriff Hutchens is doing the correct thing!

    She is prudent in reining in the concealed weapons!

  6. Northcountystorm
    November 17, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Chris,

    1)The prop 8 reference is a red herring—there are people who want a more flexible concealed weapons permit process who were against 8 and some who were for 8 who like the CWP system we have now in the OC just fine. Let 8 (and this OC CWP policyone)rise and fall on its own merits(or demerits).

    2) I agree on your point that this is not a direct 2nd amendment issue. I haven’t heard people making that argument but if they do I think they are mistaken- it’s at best an indirect one.

    3) Your list of criteria to obtian a permit is only a representative list for example purposes. ” The examples are not intended to be all inclusive<’ as the SDSD notes. There are other circumstances that might justify a CWP.

    4) Extending on that point, one of the examples noted to justify a CWP was ” Where a business or occupation is of a high risk nature and requires the applicants presence in a dangerous environment.” Why would not Thomas Gordon have good cause for a CWP,he whose residence causes his presence in a dangerous environment? Thomas can keep a concealed weapon in his home but the dangerous environment is getting to and from his house for which Hutchens may be turning a deaf ear and a blind eye.

    5) To be fully informative, you should let your readers know that even if someone obtains a CWP, the Sheriff can regulate the time, place, and circumstances in which they may carry a concealed weapon so its not like you have a number of 007′s running around.

    6) The real concern is whether the Sheriff is absusing rather than exercising her discretion. Sheriff Pitchess in Los Angels County was found to abuse his discretion by arbitrarily including only judges and some electeds. Our sheriff has not done that but reviewing her actions certainly couldn’t hurt. The Board can not try to tell her how to exercise her discretion. If they wish to do that they need to follow your advice and seek legislative relief. Maybe “reach across the aisle” Chuck Devore could carry the bill.

    7) And finally, Janet Nguyen shouldn’t squak about this. Hutchens was her candidate for sheriff. Did she think the CWLA-supported Hutchens was going to pass out the pistola permits as readily as the Little Sheriff had dispensed them? The time to have asked Hutchens her view of CWP was BEFORE Hutchens was appointed. Now its too late.

  7. Steve Perez
    November 17, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    It makes sense that Sheriff Hutchins would like to review and probably revoke all the CCW’s issued by Corona. However, I hope she relaxes the policy she’s portraying (very, very few CCW’s issued). As soon as I turn 21 I’m getting a handgun “I already own a rifle”, and I’m probably going to apply for a CCW permit. Honestly, it’s about safety, security, and 2nd amendment rights. What else are citizians that live in less then safe areas supposed to do when police respond over 30mns after a call? Bikes, Dogs, anything metal, and anything that’s not tied down is routinely stolen from front and backyards here in central and west Anaheim. I’ve apprehended bike thiefs on 2 different occasions, this is in my own front yard (which is surrounded by a brick fence and metal bar gate). Don’t we have a right to protect our own livelihood and property? I support background checks and waiting periods and all that, but geez.

  8. Travis
    November 17, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Looks like the NRA is involved now. Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens criticized over CCW

    Sorry if the link doesn’t work.

  9. Libertarian
    November 17, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    You’re mischaracterizing the issue as a second-amendment issue. It’s not. The real issue here is one of fairness.

    Sheriff Hutchens reviewing the CCW permits issued under Carona to make sure there was no favoritism makes sense. But what she’s done is to impose her OWN brand of favoritism on the process, in violation of state law.

    She’s revoked permits without cause for no better reason than she doesn’t like the good cause of those people. But then she’s ISSUED permits to other people who have exactly the same good cause, but happen to be judges, or prosecutors, or related to someone in the department.

    This is exactly the kind of cronyism that Carona was accused of, and now she’s doing it under the color of authority in an attempt to “clean up” the process.

    This will NOT stand in OC.

  10. Crassroots
    November 17, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    This is about individuals taking responsiblity for their own safety. The police have NO responsibility to protect the invidual (Warren v District of Columbia).

    I would love to live in a world where there was no need to carry a firearm. As soon as Obama’s shangrila dreams turn all criminals into upstanding members of society, I’ll stop carrying.

    Until then, it’s just me and my .45

  11. Heather
    November 17, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    This article is complete BS. Why don’t you look at the 40+ other counties that issue for “personal protection”. Are you going to say they are issuing illegally and Sheriff Hutchens is the only one folowing the law. Sheriff Hutchens doesn’t understand the law if you spelled it out to her. She is ruining Orange County.

    NOBAMA!

  12. OCCCWS
    November 17, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    “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; ”

    You listed the requirements for San Diego County. CCWUSA is not a training provider for Orange County, they do San Diego only.

    Please keep your facts correct.

  13. November 17, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Libertarian:

    “She’s revoked permits without cause for no better reason than she doesn’t like the good cause of those people. But then she’s ISSUED permits to other people who have exactly the same good cause, but happen to be judges, or prosecutors, or related to someone in the department.”

    I challenge you to cite an example of someone other than a judge or prosecutor, who I would say probably have good cause, who was issued a permit where another was denied for the same “good cause?”

  14. Libertarian
    November 17, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    First of all, California state law says you can’t assume Judges or Prosecutors have good cause. Sure, they might, but you can’t automatically issue a permit to them because of that assumption – it violates equal protection under law. Case law clearly states you have to look at each person individually, and NOT as a class. She hasn’t done that. She’s approved lawyers who work for the DA (with whom she wants to curry favor) and denied criminal defense attorneys who have the same good cause – threats against their life from convicted felons.

    There are others, too. I personally know two individuals with identical ‘good cause’ – carrying large amounts of cash and valuable property on a regular basis – one was issued, one was revoked. I’d be happy to share the details with you in person, but I’m not posting personal information on a public blog, and the reasons for that should be obvious.

  15. Libertarian
    November 17, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    PS: If she doesn’t agree to set a clear criteria for what she considers “good cause” and then abide by it, I’m sure you’ll get all the details and examples you want in the follow-up court cases.

  16. Pete
    November 17, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Chris, just like the no on Prop 8 people, those in Orange County who are law-abiding and desire a CCW should be granted one on the basis of equal protection. Other counties (San Bernardino, Kern, Fresno) that are shall issue, trust their residents with CCW’s, so should Sheriff Hutchens. It’s about equal protection. It’s about fairness. It’s about valuing my life as much as a celebrity or judge.

  17. Nightingale
    November 17, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    It’s unfair that residents of Orange County can’t carry concealed weapons for personal protection when residents of San Bernardino Can. It’s also unfair that some people can marry who they want to and others cannot.

    I’m one of those people who is quite annoyed at Sheriff Hutchens. I’m also one of those people who campaigned against Proposition 8. I’d like to extend equal rights to everyone, whether it’s the right to carry a concealed weapon or the right to marry the spouse of your choosing.

  18. November 18, 2008 at 12:52 am

    OCCCWS

    If you read the policy for Orange County and compare that to the San Diego Policy I think you will find that with the exception of a few words here and there, they are identical. The differences are not material.

  19. November 18, 2008 at 1:11 am

    If a person has good cause to have a permit, they should have one. But the standard for good cause cannot be simply because you want one. If that were the intent of the law, then it would have been written to say a permit shall be issued unless good cause can be presented for denial.

    The counties that have been identified as issuing for personal protection are primarily rural. I do not see how issuing a CCW permit to everyone who wants one for “personal protection” creates a safer society.

    Thomas earlier indicated that since he had a gun pointed at him he should have a CCW permit. We read all the time about bystanders who get caught in the crossfire of gang members shooting things out on the streets. Now imagine the “collateral damage” caused by thousands of people shooting it out in the streets of Santa Ana.

    We no longer live in the 1850′s and this isn’t the Wild West where we have shoot outs at the OK Corral. Our communities are not made safer by allowing every man and every woman to walk around town packing heat.

  20. Travis
    November 18, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Chris, please put away that tired old “Wild West” line. There are already millions of CCW holders in the United States but your feared shootouts between them have not materialized.

  21. November 18, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Okay Travis, I’ll bite.

    With the “millions” (if it is really that many) of CCW holders out there can you tell us how many crimes, assaults, robberies, etc., have been successfully prevented by these “millions” of ccw permit holders? Since it is a matter of “personal protection” what is the actual benefit of “millions” of people carrying guns? Has it reduced the crime rates in any of the communities with less “restrictive” policies?

  22. Travis
    November 18, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Chris, you will find reference to those stats in the proposed resolution that is being presented at the supes meeting today.

    Here is the text of the resolution.

  23. Travis
    November 18, 2008 at 8:30 am

    And yes, it is “millions”. There have been 1.4 million permits issued in Florida alone. (reference)

  24. November 18, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Travis,

    Wow, that’s a lot of guns on the streets of Florida. Is the violent crime rate in Florida significantly lower than in California?

  25. November 18, 2008 at 8:52 am

    2007 Violent Crime statistics (Florida vs. California)

    FL: Pop:18,251,243 Violent Crimes: 131,880 = 7.23/1000
    CA: Pop: 36,553,213 Violent Crimes: 191,025 = 5.23/1000

    Hmm?

  26. Travis
    November 18, 2008 at 9:00 am

    There are many factors that contribute to historical violent crime statistics in various states. I suggest you read the documents that I sent to you before you make overgeneralized statements. It’s obvious that you have never seen the data before. I think you will be surprised.

  27. Thomas Anthony Gordon
    November 18, 2008 at 10:52 am

    In 1997, there were about 440,000 violent crimes and 9,000 murders committed with guns. BUT, there was also over 2 million violent crimes prevented through the use of guns.

    States in the U.S. with the highest gun ownership rates have the lowest violent crime rate, and states with the biggest increases in gun ownership have had the biggest relative drops in violent crime.

    Read More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott

  28. keep da peace
    November 18, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Chris,

    A better guage would be how many crimes are committed by permit holders. with 38 shall issue states it is a fact that most permit holders are law abiding citizens. How does my being issued a permit make you any less safe?

Comments are closed.