OC Grand Jury Report backs Sheriff on CCW Policy even if the Sups Don’t

The OC Register doesn’t like the work of Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, so I guess that means she’s doing something right especially when it comes to the CCW Policy that was used to reward political supporters of disgraced convicted felon ex-Sheriff Mike Carona.

This story in the Register about the OC Board of Supervisors reaction to a Grand Jury report is almost over the top. From the story:

“In a 4-1 vote, with Supervisor John Moorlach dissenting, supervisors also said grand jurors were off base in their Feb. 23 critique of the board for getting in the middle of the gun permit debate and siding with gun activists against Hutchens.

In their response to the grand jury, supervisors aggressively defended their right to criticize Hutchens’ handling of concealed weapons policy revisions. While Moorlach didn’t disagree with supervisors’ public statements, he said he had legal concerns and said the issue should be discussed in closed session.

“I want the sheriff to be able to do her job,” said board Chairwoman Pat Bates. “But I want the people of this county to know that this board stands for their constitutional rights.”

What Supervisor Bates fails to realize is no one’s second amendment rights are being violated.  And the Sheriff does have the authority to decide who should be permitted to carry a concealed firearm and who should not.  CCW permits were given out to cronies of convicted felon ex-sheriff Mike Carona; now these holders must demonstrate why they are entitled to the privilege of carrying a concealed firearm.

From the Grand Jury Report:

“The newly appointed Sheriff has come under criticism for revoking Concealed Weapons Permits issued by the previous administration, believed in many cases to be political favors, to non-law-enforcement persons.  The protest has come from certain elected officials, a number of permit holders, and the media as a violation of Second Amendment Rights.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Actions by the new Sheriff’s administration are part of a comprehensive effort to adopt a policy for the issuance of permits and the establishment of a proper legal process to be followed by applicants.  Those who are deserving and qualified will get their permits. Those who are not will be denied.”   

Back to the Register story:

“Under state law, a local sheriff decides whether applicants have “good cause” for carrying a concealed weapon in public. Hutchens has said that many of the “good cause” statements under Carona were questionable, pointing to categories such as “avid shooter” and saying that doesn’t meet her threshold.

Of the 1,133 gun permits reviewed, Anderson said, a total of 423 had triggered concern letters warning of revocation last fall. Of those, 290 remained by the spring. Since the department review began, Anderson added later, only 93 out of the original 423 permits questioned have been revoked, which represents 8 percent of the total permits.

A department spokesman confirmed that the total number of permits in Orange County now hovers around 900, a 20 percent drop since Hutchens took office. Anderson said the lower number represents expirations such as people moving out of the county or situations that change such as threats that no longer exist.

Later Tuesday, Hutchens e-mailed The Register a statement in response to the supervisors’ comments. “It is my responsibility as Sheriff to uphold the law and the public should expect nothing less. Last year I requested an internal audit and the development of a clear and transparent Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) policy to erase public perception that guns were given away to supporters and friends of Mike Carona.

“All active Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) files were reviewed to ensure their issuance was within the guidelines of the new CCW policy and that the supporting documentation of the ‘good cause’ tenet was contained within the files.”

But the supervisors were unmoved by either the grand jury or the responses from the sheriff’s office.

Supervisor Bill Campbell said the grand jury should stay focused on good government, and not enter the political arena.”

Excuse me Supervisor Campbell, but restricting people from carrying a concealed firearm when its not necessary IS good government.  How many of these CCW carriers who are going to have their permits revoked drive around in Hummers or Fast Sports Cars?  Are we compensating for something that’s lacking by having the big car and the gun?

Adam Probolsky, one of the individuals who had his CCW permit revoked, retaliated against the Sheriff with a couple of columns (one here and another here) that could be described as a directive to Republicans — don’t give her money, she’s a lousy candidate. This is merely a tantrum on the part of someone who can’t carry a concealed weapon legally any longer. 

BTW, since Adam is leading the charge against contributions to the Sheriff, I’m ready to cut her a check.  If someone can post the name of her fundraising committee, please post it in the comments.  Law enforcement shouldn’t be a partisan affair as it clearly was under Mike Carona (do I have to post the “re-elect Mike Carona Flash Report screed from Jon Fleischman again?).

The Register’s Steven Greenhut also came after the Sheriff in this column blasting the findings of the first report from the Sheriff’s Office of Independent Review.  The report may not have been to Greenhut’s likings, but Sheriff Hutchens is still weeding out some of the bad influencers still left over from the Carona regime. 

When the LiberalOC interviewed then acting Sheriff Jack Anderson last summer, we got the impression that there are a number of small incidents that happen on a daily and weekly basis that need to be handled by management.  And we were impressed with Mr. Anderson’s level headed management approach to dealing with these issues which wasn’t unlike how managers in business deal with them too.  I believe Sheriff Hutchens is and will continue to develop new policies as they arise towards her massive job of reforming the OCSD.  People in OC, like Probolsky, forget what a mess Mike Carona made and how much work is required to clean up the mess. 

We agree with the Grand Jury report in this case.  And the title is apt: Let the Sheriff Do Her Job.