Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Orange County Sheriff to "revisit" CCWs

Gun permits a loaded issue

"I probably will tighten it up a bit, but probably not as drastically as some people might assume," Hutchens told me. But Hutchens also indicated that she envisions a higher threshold on the "good cause" necessary for a citizen to have a CCW.

"Good cause" is code for "whenever I feel like it." It was originally devised to keep black people from getting permits. Southern sheriffs couldn't stop black people from buying guns, so they fought to make it to the "discretion" of the local sheriff, so they could block whomever they wanted why ever they wanted, and still be within their allowable powers.

This kind of double standard is only now being challenged on constitutional protections of all citizens retaining the same rights. Other challenges include equal protection between the states (in that someone who has a ccw from one state, can't have another state ignore the permit).

Hutchens noted that before her appointment as sheriff, when she was a retired Los Angeles County law enforcement officer living in Dana Point, she had a legal right to carry a concealed weapon. But she added, "Did I carry a gun everywhere I went? No. I feel pretty safe in Orange County."

Well, so long as you feel pretty safe; we'll probably be ok. I wonder if she currently lives in Laguna Beach, or East Santa Ana... Meh, I'm sure her feeling will keep all of us safe from violent transients, meth-heads, and criminals.

Feeling safe in Orange County has nothing to do with issuance of CCWs. The only reason the local sheriff is involved is because the local sheriff is supposed to be more familiar with the resident. The CCWs she approves apply throughout California, not just in Orange County. She can feel that OC is made of pillows and foam padding, but that means nothing to those who live here, and work in LA, or other more violent counties. But I'm sure she already knew that...

But Carona did ease the restrictions to allow CCWs to be issued to people involved in "transportation of valuable equipment" – which could be anything from computers to other firearms. In fact, about half of the 1,100 current CCW holders in Orange County are in that category.

Whoops, the cat's out of the bag. This makes me wonder if she's getting any pressure on this. I know she wants to be elected next time around, and the author correctly notes that CCWs are basically the ONLY reason people would vote for sheriffs. With that, and Heller, I can't help but wonder if she'll change her mind.

Still, it seems to me that in light of the Supreme Court decision, public officials should be figuring out how to make firearms rules less restrictive rather than more restrictive for law-abiding citizens, especially those who have been thoroughly screened and trained.

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