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Sheriff calls attention to concealed gun permit forms

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POSTED March 4, 2014 2:38 a.m.

Are the times changing in San Joaquin County when it comes to the ease of obtaining a concealed weapons permit?

Or is it election time posturing?

On Monday the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office sent out a mass advisory to citizens via Nixle noting that concealed weapons permit application forms are now available on line at www.sjsheriff.org. That’s a big shift for an agency that just months ago took a position of not making it easy to advertise the fact you could apply for such permits.

Now the question is whether in the aftermath of the federal 9th District Court of Appeals ruling San Diego was being too restrictive in rejecting permit applications if the number of concealed weapons allowed in San Joaquin County will grow.

In 2013, there were 367 active concealed weapon permits in San Joaquin County. That contrasts with 893 in Calaveras County and 3,500 in Sacramento County. At the same time San Joaquin County was downright liberal in issuing the permits when compared to Los Angeles County with 220 and San Francisco with two active concealed weapons  permits in the entire city/county

During a three-month period in 2013, Sheriff Steve Moore’s department received 41 applications but approved only five.

Moore’s opponent Pat Withrow has long made the promise that he’d make it easier for law abiding citizens that wish to protect their family as one of the main issues of his campaign 

On his campaign website Withrow states, “Unfortunately I’m sure some law-abiding citizens will face situations where they will need to use a weapon to protect their family and neighbors. I’m certainly not going to keep one of our good citizens from having the ability to protect himself, his neighbors or our families in a time of crisis and violence.  . . . Until the day comes where we don’t have to worry about bad guys having guns then good people are going to have to step up and help protect one another until we in law enforcement have a chance to get there and take over. I believe that if you have no mental health problems, no criminal background which precludes you from owning a gun, and you have the physical and mental ability to operate a firearm safely, than everyone should have equal access to obtain a Concealed Weapon Permit.

When a citizen applies for a concealed weapons permit, agencies require applicants to pass a background check, a shooting proficiency test and a psychological evaluation. Applicants also must provide a sworn affidavit explaining why they need to carry a concealed gun.

In mid-2013, 55,000 Californians had active permits to carry concealed weapons.

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