Legal concealed weapons can help keep citizens safe

Three cheers for the three Riverside County supervisors who voted yes for resolution 2009-348, which urges Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff to allow “personal defense” as “good cause” in issuing carrying concealed weapon permits to law-abiding applicants who meet administrative qualifications.

This may cause some discomfort for people who are not familiar with firearms, so I’ve written this article in hopes of helping rational-thinking people understand how this makes our community more safe than dangerous.

California is a ‘may issue’ state

California is a “may issue” state, meaning state law provides that a county sheriff may issue a concealed weapon permits. This requires the applicant to provide “good cause” in order to be approved. However, the sheriff has wide discretion as to what defines “good cause.” In the Riverside County concealed weapon permits packet, it states that “the Riverside County sheriff does not issue permits to ‘provide a feeling of safety’ or to alleviate a ‘fear of victimization.’ For a reason of ‘personal protection,’ the applicant must have a current police report and/or other documentation supporting need.”

I know for fact that Sheriff Sniff inherited this policy and I’m hoping he will redress this policy with resolution 2009-348.

However, San Bernardino is a ‘shall issue’ county

In the U.S., 35 states have “shall issue” laws, meaning that as long as an applicant meets the administrative requirements, a concealed weapon permits permit shall be issued. Fortunately, there are counties in California whose sheriffs embrace this “shall issue” attitude, such as neighboring San Bernardino County.

As a firearms instructor I meet concealed weapon permits holders (usually from “shall issue” states) regularly. Where I instruct, we lecture on the moral and ethical decisions of using deadly force and the criminal and civil liability after using deadly force. The mind-set emphasized is that deadly force is a last resort, used to preserve life.

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