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ZRX61
03-30-2009, 9:27 AM
Knight seeks gun rights expansion in new legislation
This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press
Monday, March 30, 2009.
By JAMES RUFUS KOREN
Valley Press Staff Writer



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SACRAMENTO - May or shall?
It might seem like an insignificant distinction, but the difference between these two brief words is at the heart of Assemblyman Steve Knight's attempt to expand gun rights in California.

Knight, R-Palmdale, has authored legislation that would require, rather than simply allow, county sheriffs and city police chiefs to issue concealed-carry weapon permits to qualified citizens - a move Knight said could help deter crime.

The bill's number? A.B. 357.

"We like to be transparent," Knight quipped from his Sacramento office.

The bill will get its first hearing April 14 before the Assembly Public Safety Committee, chaired by Assemblyman Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana.

State law says that county sheriff's and city police chiefs may issue a concealed weapon permit to any resident of their jurisdiction who has "good moral character," who has completed a training course and who has "good cause" to have carry a gun.

Knight's bill would change that may to shall and get rid of the "good cause" requirement, meaning law enforcement officials would have to issue concealed weapon permits to qualified applicants with clean criminal records.

"This one is pretty simple and right to the point," Knight said. "This is one of the only (firearms bills) that has tackled this issue from a pure equality issue."

The current law, because of the "good cause" clause and the permissive-but-not-instructive may, makes getting a concealed weapon permit, sometimes called a CCW, a vastly different process in different counties and jurisdictions.

"Some counties are pretty good about giving out CCWs," Knight said. "Some are very stingy about it."

Kern and Los Angeles counties, the two counties that make up the Antelope Valley, illustrate the opposite ends of that spectrum.

In 2005, Kern County issued 4,077 permits for a population of 757,000 - about 54 permits per 10,000 residents. Los Angeles County, meanwhile, issued just 1,358 for a population of more than 9.5 million - about 1.4 permits per 10,000 residents.

Knight said that's not fair - anyone qualified to get a concealed weapon permit should be able to get one, regardless of where they live, he said.

That's especially true, he said, because concealed weapon permits would be available only to responsible gun owners.

"Ninety-nine percent of people who own guns are very responsible with them and understand the problems that can occur when you're not responsible," Knight said. "Responsible gun ownership: that's all we're advocating. Responsible gun ownership and equality."

Knight's bill would not change the state's requirements that concealed weapons permits go to people with clean criminal records who have passed a firearm safety course. "There's still a training course, there's still a background check," he said. "We're not changing any of that."

He said 37 states have shall-issue laws for concealed weapon permits. And he said statistics from those states show his bill would make streets safer, not more dangerous.

"We're not doing something that there isn't a lot of data about," he said. "This is something that works and this is something that has been proven to work.

"The statistics are on our side. CCWs do not raise crime. If anything, they deter crime."

Knight's father, the late state Sen. William J. "Pete" Knight, proposed similar legislation during his time in the legislature, but the bill was unsuccessful.

Knight said he is hoping to convince some Democrats of the bill's merits, and is even looking for a Democrat to sign on as a co-author.

"I believe there are some people from the Democratic side who will look at this and who will believe this is a good idea," he said. "We're waiting for that dam to break."...

yellowfin
03-30-2009, 9:30 AM
Good! FINALLY an article on a pro gun issue that doesn't have the morons from the Bradys sabotaging it!!! Why is this so rare? "Fair and balanced" is having two hamburgers on your plate, one with an all beef patty and the other with a turd in it.

the_donald_
03-30-2009, 9:39 AM
I'm really glad to see this posted. Thanks to the Antelope Valley Press.

Mstrty
03-30-2009, 9:43 AM
+1 Im writing to the paper now to let them know Thank You.

ZRX61
03-30-2009, 9:49 AM
I'm really glad to see this posted. Thanks to the Antelope Valley Press.
For a California paper they're pretty much on the ball without the liberal/democrap slant. Just about all their daily editorials are good reading.

www.avpress.com if you want to read em

Last week someone mentioned to me that Palmdale may become "Palmdale PD" instead of LASD & then we wouldn't have to go thru Baca/Bratton etc to get CCW...

Racefiend
03-30-2009, 9:53 AM
What? An article about guns that actually states the facts? In California no less? I think we must be in bizarro world.

PatriotnMore
03-30-2009, 9:59 AM
I just sent the editor thank you for writing a non prejudicial article, in light of the main stream media's agenda of anti 2A, anti gun.

the_donald_
03-30-2009, 10:06 AM
For a California paper they're pretty much on the ball without the liberal/democrap slant. Just about all their daily editorials are good reading.

www.avpress.com if you want to read em

Last week someone mentioned to me that Palmdale may become "Palmdale PD" instead of LASD & then we wouldn't have to go thru Baca/Bratton etc to get CCW...

Thanks a lot:thumbsup:

nicki
03-30-2009, 11:55 AM
State law says that county sheriff's and city police chiefs may issue a concealed weapon permit to any resident of their jurisdiction who has "good moral character," who has completed a training course and who has "good cause" to have carry a gun.

Knight's bill would change that may to shall and get rid of the "good cause" requirement, meaning law enforcement officials would have to issue concealed weapon permits to qualified applicants with clean criminal records.

"This one is pretty simple and right to the point," Knight said. "This is one of the only (firearms bills) that has tackled this issue from a pure equality issue."

The current law, because of the "good cause" clause and the permissive-but-not-instructive may, makes getting a concealed weapon permit, sometimes called a CCW, a vastly different process in different counties and jurisdictions.

"Some counties are pretty good about giving out CCWs," Knight said. "Some are very stingy about it."

Kern and Los Angeles counties, the two counties that make up the Antelope Valley, illustrate the opposite ends of that spectrum.

In 2005, Kern County issued 4,077 permits for a population of 757,000 - about 54 permits per 10,000 residents. Los Angeles County, meanwhile, issued just 1,358 for a population of more than 9.5 million - about 1.4 permits per 10,000 residents.

Knight said that's not fair - anyone qualified to get a concealed weapon permit should be able to get one, regardless of where they live, he said.



Guys, this is the key, equal under the law. This is why I believe we got a balanced article because equality under the law is a value that most people support.

Nicki

CAL.BAR
03-30-2009, 1:41 PM
Nice to see, but frankly until it hits the LA Times or other paper with a larger distribution, (i.e. more voters) I'll reserve my applause.