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View Full Version : News article re. AB2053 ("Shall Issue") and Ventura County Sheriff's race


Paladin
05-07-2010, 6:37 PM
http://www.thecamarilloacorn.com/news/2010-05-07/Front_Page/Concealed_weapons_law_may_change.html

Concealed weapons law may change
Sheriff could lose discretionary power to decide who can carry a firearm
By Michelle Knight
knight@theacorn.com

Next month, voters will elect a new Ventura County sheriff. It will be the first time in 32 years the election for the county’s top cop has been contested.

Besides heading the county’s largest police force, the sheriff determines who can and cannot carry a concealed weapon. But legislation making its way through Sacramento seeks to limit the amount of control the sheriff has in authorizing the permits.

According to California law, the sheriff may issue a concealed weapons permit to persons of good moral character who prove to the sheriff that they have “good cause” for the permit.

Assembly Bill 2053 would define “good cause” to carry a concealed handgun to include self-defense, defending the life of another or preventing crime that threatens human life. Permit applicants who give one of these three reasons why they need the permit would not have to prove their claim.

Sheriff Bob Brooks said many people who apply for a concealed weapons permit are disqualified because they can’t show proof they need it.

Brooks said the broader the qualifications for the permit the less law enforcement can assure the public that concealed weapons are in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

Brooks said he won’t give a permit, for instance, to a security guard who works at night or a fearful teacher without a specific and necessary reason.

If AB 2053 passes, the teacher and security guard would have to satisfy other requirements but need only give self-defense as their reason to qualify for a concealed weapons permit. Schools and many employers do not allow weapons on their property even if the person can legally carry a concealed handgun.

The sheriff does issue permits, on the other hand, to those fearful of their safety who have been assaulted and must carry valuables or work in high-crime areas, such as a jeweler who transports large sums of money, a physician known to carry prescription medicine or a property manager who must respond to tenants of a housing unit at any hour of the day or night.

“We lean toward giving it unless there’s a tangible reason not to,” Brooks said of the permit.

The sheriff requires anyone applying for a concealed weapons permit to fill out a thick application, prove county residency, pass a criminal history check, be fingerprinted and take a firearm safety course approved by the sheriff’s department. The person meets later with a deputy to review their application and establish their need for the permit.

If Undersheriff Mark Ball approves the application, it goes to Brooks for the final authorization. Permits are good for two years. There are currently 700 active concealed weapons permits in Ventura County, a number Brooks said is low in comparison to other counties.

Brooks said his department verifies information in the application, calling employers and references. Those denied a concealed weapons permit can reapply in a couple of years, Brooks said.

Felons and those on probation or under a restraining order are not eligible for a permit. Brooks said he won’t issue permits to people who have committed minor offenses within the past five years or those with mental health, drug or drinking issues. And he’d think twice about someone who failed to show up to court. Brooks said he’s looking to issue permits to people who demonstrate responsible behavior.

“It’s common sense application,” Brooks said.

Chief Dep. Dennis Carpenter, one of two candidates running for sheriff, said he would not comment on the pending legislation, which would allow more people to carry a concealed weapon.

Carpenter did say that issuing concealed weapons permits is a “labor intensive” process for the sheriff’s department and that the waiting period for the permits, which could take up to six months, is too long.

Cmdr. Geoff Dean, who is also running for sheriff, did not return phone calls from the Camarillo Acorn before press time.

California is one of the few states that give county sheriffs and police chiefs discretion over who can and cannot have a concealed weapons permit, a so-called “may-issue” state.

Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., said that’s safer than “shall-issue” states, which use little or no discretion when granting concealed weapons licenses. States with “shall issue” laws must give concealed weapons permits to all citizens who meet background requirements regardless of the reason.

On April 29, Iowa became the 41st “shall-issue” state. Arizona recently became the third state to eliminate the requirement for a state license to carry a hidden gun.

Vickie Cieplak, spokesperson for the Virginia-based National Rifle Association, said her organization believes laws that expand a citizen’s right to carry a firearm enhance public safety. Stronger gun regulations affect law-abiding citizens because criminals, by definition, refuse to obey the law, she said.

“We believe concealed carry permits should not be given on a subjective basis,” she said.

N6ATF
05-07-2010, 6:47 PM
California is one of the few states that give county sheriffs and police chiefs discretion over who can and cannot have a concealed weapons permit, a so-called “may-issue” state.

Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., said that’s safer for criminals than “shall-issue” states, which use little or no discretion when granting concealed weapons licenses. States with “shall issue” laws must give concealed weapons permits to all citizens who meet background requirements regardless of the reason.

Fixed.

loather
05-07-2010, 6:52 PM
AB2053 died in committee two weeks ago :(

Scorpiusdeus
05-08-2010, 9:39 AM
I knew it sounded too good to be true.