Citizens in Riverside County, California may be in danger if they need defense. The processing time to obtain a concealed carry permit has increased from several months to up to 24, with residents left with the options to either remain unarmed and vulnerable or to carry illegally. Under current California law, law-abiding citizens may only carry a firearm in public with a concealed carry permit; open carry without such a permit has been prohibited in the blue state since 2012, even for unloaded firearms.
However, California is clear that it does not respect the Second Amendment as a constitutional right, in that citizens must defend their need for protection in the concealed carry application. California residents must provide “good cause” for the need to bear arms.
Even after the recent reciprocity law passed, allowing concealed carry permits to be recognized across state lines, California is a “may issue state,” for which laws differ across counties. This is concerning for individuals deemed fit to carry a concealed firearm in another state, but are now in Riverside County with no way to protect themselves and remain within the law. Until then, some pending applicants have opted to carry a locked up, unloaded gun, which would likely be useless if faced with an actual threat.
California has always led the way in gun control efforts, especially considering the process one must go through to obtain a firearm. Residents must apply to purchase a gun, obtain a Handgun Safety Certificate, get fingerprinted, and then wait a mandated ten days, after which time, the purchaser must pick up the firearm within 30 days or restart the process. Handguns and “assault weapons” must also be registered. In May last year, the state passed a law limiting firearm collectors one gun purchase a month, stating “no need” for any more than that for the average person.
It appears that California does not see the need for the everyday citizen to be armed if he feels necessary. The State Auditor, Elaine Howle recently discovered that out of 10.2 million Los Angeles County residents, only 197 can legally carry a weapon, a highly disturbing statistic considering that more citizens preferred to be armed based on their “good cause” requests which appear to have been considered legitimate at random.
Riverside County claims that the excessive time is due to “budget restraints,” which would require more government workers to process the applications which are piling up faster than can be processed. The delays began after the 2015 San Bernardino shooting when a significant number of worried citizens all applied for concealed carry permits at the same time.
The CCW department has yet to catch up and the wait is now longer than ever, with new applicants finding a need to carry. Each shooting that receives national attention encourages increasingly more citizens to be protected, with the Las Vegas shooting causing another spike in applications. Yet the gun control laws which did nothing to prevent any of the concerning tragedies have now made it harder for those in fear for the safety of their lives and that of their families to be able to legally do anything about it.
Makes me grateful I don't live in California any longer. This is insane!https://t.co/rJGcBrq2TZ
— #MAGA WV #Deplorable (@ProudArmyMom_15) January 4, 2018
While this does increase costs for the departments responsible, it arguably would not be an issue if the state did not have so many requirements to legally obtain a gun when it can be safely assumed that criminals are buying them off the streets in undocumented exchanges. However, even Second Amendment proponent Sheriff Stan Sniff admits that the budget is the sole delayer in issuing CCW permits in a more timely manner, especially in Riverside County, where applicants must prove good cause and responsible character in an in-person interview.
The department which processes applications for concealed carry permits in Riverside County is comprised of a mere two individuals, an irresponsible budget constraint which is currently causing these California residents to pray that they do not encounter any situations which warrant defense before they can obtain a legal piece of paper qualifying them to defend their lives.
California did not have a productive year for gun rights, and it can expect an even worse one to come in 2018 with new laws taking effect. As of now, ammunition sales are restricted due to delays issuing licensing to sellers. Legal firearm owners must now go through additional red tape in the form of “authorized vendors” just to purchase ammo, or otherwise, have a useless unloaded gun.
The harder California makes it for citizens to legally obtain and use defense, the less appealing the state becomes to prospective visitors and residents. While that may sound ideal to have all the Republicans driven of the state, it would make California an extremely dangerous place to be without any law-abiding citizens armed against an attack.