Despite pro-gun rights law enforcement officials, California lawmakers and bean counters appear willing to employ their version of the Deep State to thwart legal conceal carry permits.
In 2016, retired construction worker Steve Perkio filled out his paperwork at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for a permit to carry a firearm. The avid outdoorsman had plans to spend his retirement trekking through the California wilderness. Expecting to be in remote and dangerous areas, it made good sense to be prepared to defend himself if necessary.
Much to his dismay, a respectful officer placed his application on one of several stacks literally 2-feet tall. The deputy let him know that his would be processed in turn. The expected wait time was 24 to 28 months.
“It was a shock,” the 56-year-old Perkio reportedly said. “If something happens in the meantime, this is a Second Amendment opportunity to protect myself that I simply don’t have.”
Although the more than a 2-year wait time may sound outlandish, it has become par for the course in a state littered with left-wingers bent on ending lawful gun rights. Years ago, before the wave of mass shootings and escalating crime, the Riverside conceal carry process stood at only about two months. But, citizens have grown more concerned about self-defense and the local department has gotten overwhelmed.
The department issued an official statement via email about the problem, saying a “deluge” of applications has “continued non-stop since 2015.” Riverside Sheriff Stan Sniff pointed out that his officers suffer a constant workload of up to 500 applications since the San Bernardino incident. That number skyrocketed to about 600 following the Las Vegas mass killing and conceal carry licenses have jumped from 1,700 to more than 3,000 during the last two years.
Despite charging a fee for to meet the growing influx of Carry Concealed Weapon Licenses and renewals, local government has not provided adequate resources to support Second Amendment rights. Sheriff Sniff has been on the record saying this is just a “microcosm” of a struggle to properly fund basic services such as officer patrols, conduct new hires and provide essential services.
“I think it is important that we keep issuing CCWs, but the budget really limits my ability to throttle up and handle the increased workload,” Sheriff Sniff reportedly said. “Just holding our own, at this point, is about the best we can do.”
Although the application process differs across municipalities, the Riverside procedure is fairly streamlined. Forms are posted online and can be downloaded, filled out and dropped off. Following a background check, applicants schedule and interview. If all goes well, they get fingerprinted and must complete safety training and qualify on their firearm.
But, if anti-gun bureaucrats believe they are impeding gun owners by underfunding the sheriff’s department, they may want to check their powder.
Reports have surfaced that residents who are confident they could successfully complete the application process are not bothering. They recognize this is a broken system that undermines Second Amendment rights and they are looking for ways to sidestep the conceal carry license mess. Some are carrying a weapon and ammo separately in their vehicle to skirt the process.
In many ways, the failure of California officials to put the necessary resources behind the application process is having the opposite effect of reasonable gun control.
~ Firearm Daily