Sacramento sheriff on the defense over gun stances

Congressional candidate taken to task by Rep. Ami Bera, Supervisor Phil Serna

As he prepares for a winner-take-all election in November, Republican congressional candidate and Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones found himself hit on two fronts for his staunch support of permissive gun laws in the wake of the Orlando massacre.

Last week, Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna unsuccessfully attempted to stop the county from subsidizing Jones’ generous apportionment of conceal-carry permits, which have risen approximately 95 percent under his watch. Serna’s proposal to redirect the $240,000 into a family home-visitation program failed on a 3-2 vote, but revived the criticism that allowing nearly 8,000 county residents to walk around secretly strapped might be overkill.

Meanwhile, Rep. Ami Bera seized on the deadly June 12 mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando to go after his Republican rival in the suburban congressional race. Bera accused Jones of opposing legislation that would ban those on terror watch and no-fly lists from purchasing guns, calling the sheriff’s stance “radical.” Jones retorted that he doesn’t trust the federal government to “develop and maintain a sufficient vetting system,” and challenged Bera to a debate on national security.

The U.S. Senate on Monday rejected four gun-control measures, including the terror watch list ban and a weaker, Republican-authored version that Jones supported.