Apparently a recent policy change has some alarmed:
A miscommunication on an Orange County Sheriff’s Department web page sparked a small panic in one of the county’s fastest-growing clubs — people who hold concealed weapons permits.
The web page, entitled “CCW License Holder’s Guide,” advised readers that safety-conscious deputies would treat permit holders they happen to pull over as they would any “subject with a gun.”
Still, Sheriff’s Commander Jeff Hallock said the message on the web site wasn’t as clear as he’d like, and was meant only to convey the dangers of carrying concealed weapons to deputies and the public. He said the guideline will be rewritten.
“We’re not going to prone anybody,” he said.
The miscommunication came at the end the biggest year ever for concealed weapons in Orange County. In 2017, the Sheriff’s Department issued 7,274 concealed weapon permits, nearly doubling the number of permit holders in just 12 months, to 12,290.
The number of new permits issued this year is more than all the permits issued in Orange County since Sheriff Sandra Hutchens took office in 2008. The department said there are another 6,000 permit applications in the pipeline.
He said deputies will treat holders of concealed weapons permits the same way they treat a fellow deputy or a police officer who they happen to pull over. The driver will be asked to keep his or her hands on the steering wheel, and then to slowly either produce the gun permit or tell the deputy where it is kept, Hallock said.
If a permit holder has a gun in his or her possession but isn’t carrying their permit at the time, the person can be held until the deputy can verify the paperwork.
As an OCSD-authorized CCW trainer (see www.guntrust.org for my free class) and longtime activist, I’m not at all concerned. Bottom line, as long as we entrust our safety to officers rather than each other, officer safety remains paramount and we should plan on “assuming the position” as they paramount us as “subject” with a gun. This is true everywhere — California, Utah, everywhere.
Only open carry can change attitudes enough that merely carrying a gun is no longer perceived as a threat. Only open carry provides the accountability necessary to ensure we actually carry and do so properly, and that idiots either receive correction or stop carrying. (As I’ve often said, “Open carry is ultrasound for the Second Amendment.”)
But expansion of concealed carry is, pragmatically in some areas, perhaps a step toward that Open Carry Society we really need.
Fact is the current sheriff has, overall, dramatically improved her stance on issuing permits. You can question the motives: politics? genuine change of heart? Tough to say really. But she has definitely increased issuance and i think this new policy statement is not really a change in policy so much as a warning to the carrying public because the last thing anyone at OCSD wants is for an innocent CCW-holder to be shot during a traffic stop, as has happened elsewhere.
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