It’s Day Five of California’s latest experiment in infringing on the rights of lawful gun owners, and while the “gun-free zones” imposed by SB 2 that make it impossible for concealed carry holders to actually bear arms in the vast majority of publicly accessible places can be enforced for the time being, according to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a growing number of sheriffs and district attorneys say they have no plans to do so… or at least not in a way that violates the rights of their constituents.
The first cracks in the wall that Gavin Newsom and his fellow Democrats have erected around the right to carry appeared on Wednesday afternoon, when Sutter County Sheriff Brandon Barnes and Sutter County District Attorney Jennifer R. Dupré released a joint statement that encouraged “citizens to obey the law” while vowing to use their discretionary power to not criminalize “constitutionally protected behavior”.
As a Sheriff’s Office, we use discretionary decision making in our investigations and act in accordance with the spirit of the intended law.
As a District Attorney’s Office, we evaluate cases based on the totality of the circumstances and the ability to seek successful prosecution based on the evidence presented to us.
The Sutter County Sheriff’s Office and The Sutter County District Attorney’s Office will work collaboratively to evaluate circumstances on a case-by-case basis and do what is in the best interest of justice and our community.
We have no interest in criminalizing constitutionally protected behavior. We took an oath to uphold our Constitution and will work to protect the rights of our citizens. This issue is far from being resolved and we are hopeful the courts will rule in favor of our constitution. We will continue to keep our community informed on this important issue.
That same day Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, who’s also the head of the California State Sheriffs Association, released a statement declaring that his office “will NOT be out actively looking for Lawful CCW Permit holders who might be violating Senate Bill 2,” adding that the agency “has much more pressing issues to tackle and does not have the time, nor the resources, to invest in a law, where the specifics seem to change on a daily basis.”
I continue to strongly support the Second Amendment and the rights of those in Tulare County who choose to lawfully carry a gun. Our CCW Permit holders are statistically law-abiding citizens, who are rarely involved involved in crimes involving guns. I will continue to make sure the men and women of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office are focused on going after violent criminals instead of our law-abiding citizens.
I encourage everyone to carefully pay attention to what is going on with this legislation, as there will be likely be changes and updates in the days and weeks ahead. If you are applying for a new CCW permit or looking to renew a current CCW permit, please be patient with our staff. They are doing their very best during these trying times and are focused on ensuring that your CCW gets issued or renewed as soon as possible.
Also be aware that very few, if any, instructors are certified to teach the new CCW classes that are required under CA SB 2, as the California Department of Justice has been slow to start the application process for CCW instructors. The California State Sheriff’s Association (CSSA), of which I am the President of, has voiced concerns with these regulations. Specifically, how they would reduce the number of acceptable training and certification entities that can be used to certify CCW instructors and ignore or disregard the economic impact of that change.
On Thursday, Yuba County Sheriff Wendell Anderson and Yuba County District Attorney Clint Curry released a joint statement of their own calling SB 2 “repugnant to the United States Constitution” and reassuring their constituents that “until the legal challenges to SB 2 have been definitively settled by the courts, we will exercise our common sense and discretion to ensure the law is not enforced in a way that would violate the rights of our citizens.”
We acknowledge that gun violence is a major problem in our state and nation. We are reminded again, today, of the problem, as we pray for and mourn with the community of Perry, Iowa. As the chief law enforcement officers of our community, we are beyond frustrated with our state’s misdirected focus on depriving law-abiding citizens of their legal right to possess and carry firearms, rather than depriving violent criminals of their freedom.
Statistics show, over and over again, that law-abiding CCW holders are not the people committing gun violence. If the politicians who make the law truly want to address the problem, they need to bring back accountability for people who actually use firearms to commit crimes and address the mental health epidemic in our country. SB 2 does nothing to address those who commit violent crimes, and nothing to address the mental health issues that drive mass murderers. Instead, it is aimed solely at hindering the ability of our law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from violent criminals and mass murderers. SB 2 will not prevent a single act of gun violence. We pray that our legislature and governor will stop playing firearm politics and focus on policy solutions that will actually save lives.
In closing, if you own a local business and want to support law-abiding CCW holders’ right to self-defense, please post the appropriate sign, which is displayed on the Yuba County website, under the CCW permit page.
We’ll be talking with attorney Kostas Moros, who’s heavily involved in the litigation against SB 2, on Monday’s Bearing Arms Cam & Co, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more statements from other sheriffs and prosecutors to discuss by then.
This is a very welcome development. It doesn’t, however, change the fact that, as of right now, California concealed carry holders run the risk of committing a crime every time they try to lawfully bear arms in the state thanks to the sheer number and variety of “sensitive places” where concealed carry has been banned under SB 2. I’m glad to see a growing number of law enforcement officials say they’ll use their discretion when it comes to enforcing SB 2, but until the courts do their duty and declare the new law to be a gross violation of the Second Amendment, the rights of their constituents (and everyone else in California) will continue to be infringed and tread upon.