Don’t go rush out and buy that concealable handgun just yet.
At least not if you’re going to be applying for a permit in the City of Manteca based on the 9th circuit appellate court decision that has thrilled gun advocates and renewed interest in a process that has long been as varied as the state it calls home.
On Thursday Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion spent nearly an hour talking with residents at the Manteca TEA Party Patriots meeting at Chez Shari about the recent court decision that is challenging the “good cause” requirement for Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) permits. It effectively makes personal protection a justifiable reason to a carry a concealed handgun. The chief also talked how the decision will affect the outcome of applications that come across his desk from this point forward.
In a nutshell – nothing is going to going to change. At least not yet in Manteca.
In his second meeting with the local political organization – the first was also dominated with questions about CCW permits – the chief talked openly about how he’s going to apply the same standards that he always has when making decisions about whether somebody meets the legal justification to carry.
Clutching a cheat-sheet with the “good cause” passage as defined by the California Attorney General highlighted in yellow, Obligacion talked about how even though the San Diego County Sheriff will not be filling an “en banc” appeal to have the three-judge decision appealed by a larger, 11 justice panel, attorney general Kamala Harris will have an opportunity to do so.
Her office, Obligacion said, feels the same way that the California Police Officers Association and the California Police Chief’s Association does on the matter. Those two groups believe administrative law enforcement officials should be able to make jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction rulings to determine whether a legitimate need exists. The process isn’t blanket, but Obligacion explained it this way – somebody that lives in a rural area that doesn’t necessarily have police protection during the middle of the night might be more apt to get approval than somebody who lives in an area that has 14 officers patrolling the streets. The chief said it should be left to the individual with the authority to issue those permits to make those determinations based on the law.
That’s not to say that there isn’t confusion.
The San Joaquin County Sherriff’s Department announced that they would accept personal protection as “good cause” for people who meet the other requirements when applying. Hopefuls must still pass a background check, demonstrate good moral character – through a personal interview – and show that there is no mental instability. They must then pass a concealed carry class and qualify for the each of the weapons that they’re permitted to carry.
Obligacion said that he’s going to with the same guidelines that have been accepted as standard in California since the late 1970s. He will amend that process as required, checking with the City Attorney to make sure that Manteca is still compliant while the legal wrangling continues.
What qualifies as “good cause” in the eyes of Obligacion?
“I’ve got it right here, and I’m more than willing to sit down with anybody and talk about it – I was going to make copies tonight but I thought there was going to be 100 people here and I’d be standing at the copier all night,” he said. “And if you’ve ever been denied, I’m more than willing to talk with you about it. And if there’s more information that becomes available to me, then there’s more information that becomes available to me.
“I’m more than happy to reconsider.”