People in Los Angeles County will no longer have to explain why they need to be armed when applying for a permit to carry guns in public, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced Wednesday.
The change in the permitting process follows last week’s ruling by the US Supreme Court that such restrictions are unconstitutional.
As state legislatures scramble to rewrite California’s gun laws to conform to the Supreme Court’s decision while attempting to control the ability to be armed in public, Villanueva said the Sheriff’s Department is seeing an increase the so-called concealed carry permit sees applications. He speculated that eventually 50,000 people in LA County might be allowed to publicly arm themselves.
“We are converting our operations to a target issuance standard,” Villanueva said Wednesday during a live social media broadcast, referring to a lenient standard that requires law enforcement to issue a gun permit if the applicant meets some minimum requirements .
Villanueva said his estimate of how many people in LA County could apply for permits was based on the county’s population and the number of permits issued in other counties that already use the lax standard.
It would be an amazing increase. As of this week, there were 3,145 active permits issued by the sheriff’s department, Villanueva said.
California, with some of the toughest gun laws in the country, has long required gun owners to show “good reason” to be armed in public. To meet this criterion, an applicant had to show that there was a credible threat to their security, their job required them to be armed, or some other legitimate reason.
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said that the “good cause” standard following the Supreme Court ruling in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. likely to be unconstitutional. against Brno.
The Supreme Court ruling found that New York’s “just cause” limitation is unconstitutional because “it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary needs for self-defense from exercising their right to possess and bear arms.”
Long before the verdict, Villanueva was on a mission to drastically increase the number of people in the county who are allowed to carry concealed weapons.
In mid-2020, when the department had just 155 active permits, he announced plans to push through a fivefold increase. He said previous sheriffs had set the bar too high to receive and that more people with concealed handguns was an effective countermeasure to rising crime and efforts by the political left to reduce police funding.
“Because we have fewer cops on the street, more crooks, fewer consequences — you know what could go wrong with that combination, right?” Villanueva said last year. “We recognize that the threat to residents is increasing. So we react accordingly.”
Previously, residents of Los Angeles and other counties in the county could bypass their cities’ more restrictive guidelines and apply directly to the Sheriff’s Department for a permit. With the Supreme Court’s recent ruling and the easing of the application process, he said people need to contact their local police departments.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department said it is evaluating the Supreme Court’s ruling and awaiting possible changes to California’s statutes.
In California, applicants are still required to pass a background check, complete a gun safety course, and provide proof of residency, employment, or business in a local area.
Other agencies are also seeing an influx of applications. Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said his agency removed the “good cause” issue from its request on the day of the Supreme Court’s ruling. He said the department has issued nearly 18,500 permits and received about 1,800 applications since the ruling.
“My politics and the politics of the County of Riverside were more of a ‘must do’ anyway,” Bianco told the Times on Wednesday. “The verdict hasn’t really changed much in the way we do business.”
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-06-30/sheriff-villanueva-gun-permits With restrictions lifted, Sheriff Villanueva says gun permits will rise in L.A. County