Limitations are necessary

Law enforcement agencies should have discretion on CCW applications

More guns and more gun violence: That’s California’s future if recent court decisions striking down local law enforcement’s discretion over concealed-weapons permits are allowed to stand.

In the latest blow to common-sense gun regulation, a federal court struck down Yolo County’s policy requiring citizens to show “good cause” before receiving a concealed-carry weapon (CCW) permit. The decision followed a federal court ruling in a San Diego County case that essentially requires law enforcement to adopt “shall issue” policies in which an applicant’s desire to carry a gun is considered reason enough to issue a permit.

As a result, CCW applications are surging across the state, and law-enforcement agencies have little alternative except to approve them and put more guns on the streets. The problem with this should be obvious: Firearms have a disturbing tendency to escalate routine disagreements into deadly violence. Studies have shown that shall-issue laws correlate with increases in aggravated assault, and requiring law enforcement to issue CCW permits in the absence of any demonstrated need is a prescription for increased gun violence.

It’s true that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, but like all rights, this must be subject to reasonable limitations. It is reasonable and necessary to give law enforcement some discretion over CCW permits. We support Attorney General Kamala Harris’ challenge to the shall-issue ruling and hope to work for sensible limitations on concealed weapons following her successful appeal.