Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones is one of those very unique elected officials who has kept a campaign promise: he pledged to approve more concealed carry handgun permits than his predecessors.
And boy, has he delivered, raising the total number of permits held in Sacramento County from about 350 in 2010 to a current number that totals roughly 8,000.
But this has not been without controversy. He has been called irresponsible, and members of the legislature have gone so far as to say he dispenses CCW permits “like Halloween candy.”
Last year, political nemesis and fellow Sacramentan Assemblyman Kevin McCarty introduced a bill (AB 450/2016) to lift the cap on CCW fees because he alleged that some authorities (Sheriff Jones) were charging “inadequate fees” to cover the cost of issuing and overseeing the permits.
How many ways can we spell Big Fat LIE?
Even anti-gun Governor Brown saw through McCarty’s dishonesty and refused to sign the bill when it reached his desk, going so far to say in his veto message “This bill was spurred by a local dispute in one county. I am unaware of a larger problem that merits a statewide change at this time…”
GOC finds it almost amusing that McCarty was concerned with the fees charged for something he is devoted to eliminating – which is an individuals’ right to carry a concealed weapon. This was nothing more than a smoke-and-mirrors attempt to insert the state into decisions made by local law enforcement.
Now McCarty is going after Sheriff Jones and his CCW policies again – but is taking a different route.
Last week, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) approved an audit request by McCarty to “evaluate the negative fiscal impacts and public safety questions raised by Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) license programs in the state.”
Although the counties of San Diego and Los Angeles have been included in the audit request in order to give McCarty some sort of thinly-veiled political cover, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the bulls eye is centered firmly on Sheriff Jones’ back.
At the JLAC hearing, McCarty’s opening statement charged that CCW costs are being subsidized by county taxpayers, but the Sheriff responded that he “was by all media accounts a large part of his [McCarty’s] motivation, if not the only motivation…”
“While I understand and appreciate that reasonable minds can differ, on whether CCWs should be issued and under what standards, those things are very well laid out in the statute…Those statutes are intentionally left subjective so that the issuing authority in Sacramento County, that largely is myself can make appropriate determinations based on the people that they answer to, their constituency. That’s why you have some jurisdictions that are very restrictive in their issuance, and some jurisdictions that are very permissive in their jurisdictions.”
Sheriff Jones then pointed to McCarty’s comments regarding the supposed “shortfall” of county dollars, stating “he indicated that we in that department had a budget shortfall because of the CCW process…that simply isn’t true….It is a mandated process that I have to take and accept as many applications as I get. I have no control over who, or how many applications I get, but as far as the budget shortfall… at the end of last fiscal year I gave back to the county $500,000 to the general fund that I came in at, under budget, which more than doubled the amount of the so-called shortfall…my budget is almost $460 million. To suggest that $240,000 is justification to authorize the audit, especially when I gave back over double that at the end of the year… I think this is misplaced and an unwise use of state resources.
We agree. The audit request was approved by the Democrat majority in spite of fact-based and articulate testimony from the Sheriff as well as the 2nd Amendment community. To watch the full hearing, click here.
Help us stand up to the bullies in the Legislature. This is a politically motivated personal vendetta and it should make our blood boil. And guess what? At the end of the day, we taxpayers are going to foot the bill for the audit, which is expected to be completed in 6 months. We will keep you posted…