DISAPPOINTMENT? YES. SURPRISE? NOPE.
CA Assembly Passes Wolk’s SB 707 to End CCW Carrying on School Campuses
It’s a big disappointment, but not a huge shock that the State Assembly passed SB 707 (Wolk), which amends the Gun-Free School Zone Act and outlines even further exceptions to the prohibition on carrying ammunition on school grounds.
Even though no CCW holder has ever committed a crime on California school grounds, the bill deletes the exemption that allows anyone holding a valid license to carry a concealed firearm to possess a firearm on a college campus. When the bill was presented before the Senate, the author was asked if she had evidence of any “dangerous” incidents and she stated that a school employee had become frightened when seeing a parent with a concealed weapon…which ultimately was determined to be carried legally.
One has to imagine what our state and country would look like if we responded to the more rational fear of being harmed by an actual criminal than being irrationally afraid of someone who respects the law.
Clearly, the author puts more faith in giving school administrators the responsibility of deciding who to allow on campus instead of the Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs who vet and certify CCW holders. In committee, Wolk testified her concerns that some Sheriffs were giving out CCWs like popcorn to any Tom, Dick and Harry, which presented a danger to our school children. Again, no gun crime has ever been committed on a California school by a CCW holder, which is also borne out by federal statistics (states that have “shall issue” laws allowing private citizens to carry concealed weapons have, on average, a 24 percent lower violent crime rate, a 19 percent lower murder rate and a 39 percent lower robbery rate than states that forbid concealed weapons).
It’s always a battle going up against our friends in blue on any issue, and this was no exception. Law enforcement piled on in support of this bill – once, of course, they were fully exempted from its provisions (by exempting retired law-enforcement officers who acquire a CCW, this now creates a clear pathway for legal challenge based on an equal protection lawsuit). Legislators faced an intense, full court press to support the bill from local police and educators, and we are sincerely appreciative of those who withstood the pressure.
The bill is now just a step away from landing on Jerry Brown’s desk, and although we anticipate a signature from our outrageously anti-gun Governor, GOC will won’t stop pushing for a VETO.