As a marines-veteran, law enforcement official, and candidate for the San Bernardino County Sheriff – I stand firmly in the belief that the second amendment of the Constitution clearly allows for civilians to be armed if they so desire. With that being said, it is important for the population to understand just how much control a sheriff has under the issuance of CCW’s (Carry Conceal Weapons Licenses).
In California, the law regarding the distribution of CCW’s is termed “May-Issue”. A “May-Issue” state is one in which a license to carry is required, and the availability of that license is dependent on the discretion of the Sheriff’s department or police. The sheriff must base his or her decision on a specific criterion, in California this criterion involves interpreting whether the person applying for a CCW has a “good moral character” and “good cause” as to why their license is required. Of course these two terms are a broad generalization which allows for a large amount of freedom in the decision of the sheriff.
San Bernardino County is generally cited as gun-friendly County, and in comparison to other Californian counties it is. In California 14 counties will never, if rarely authorize any citizen to carry a concealed weapon. However, the sad reality is that even as one of the more receptive counties, San Bernardino County is failing to issue the amount of CCW’s consistent with a constitutional approach to gun rights.
These licenses are continually being denied by the Sheriff based on the interpretation of “good cause”. According to a female investigator with the county, whom I contacted “…Hoops does not want CCWs used in any manner with a business”. Throughout the county I have heard this same problem from many concerned business owners. From private individuals, I hear complaints that “self-protection” is no longer a justifiable reason for a CCW. In fact applicants are now required to elaborate and write an essay regarding why they wish to carry a weapon.
The numbers can show for themselves how lengthy and tedious the CCW process can be in San Bernardino County. According to a FoIA, San Bernardino County has issued approximately 400 licenses and revoked 150 from the time of Rod Hoop’s election; these figures are far from acceptable.
I have not spent 30 years of my life protecting the community to allow the system to prevent citizens from protecting themselves. As a strong proponent of the right to bear arms, I will streamline the CCW process; a license will be dependent only on the very basic requirements outlined by California law. Beyond these requirements as long as you wish to exercise your second amendment rights – as a sheriff I will encourage, not hinder your ability to do so.