And then there were five…
You might remember a few weeks back, we discussed the variants between Sheriffs in California regarding the number of firearms that a CCW can put on their certificates. There are no State mandated amounts, and there is wide disparity throughout the State. Some jurisdictions limit the number of weapons a CCW holder can have on their permit to three, while others use five or six, and some jurisdictions put the number so high, that a CCW holder can virtually put their entire armory on their permit.
Some jurisdictions even allow for the CCW holder to put rifles and shotguns on their permit, but this is usually only in rural jurisdictions where ranchers use long guns for varmint control and leave their long guns easily accessible in their trucks.
Up until last week, residents of Orange County were allowed to have three firearms on their CCW. Now, to be fair, the process for adding or replacing guns has been streamlined over the years, making it pretty darn convenient for a CCW holder to put an additional weapon on their permit. Unfortunately, with the limited space for weapons, this often caused a high degree of consternation on the part of the CCW holder.
“I really want to put this new Mega Blaster 3000 on my card… but what should I give up?”
A couple of years back, OCSD had made the decision to expand the number of allowed guns to five, then at the last minute tabled the idea. We have always wondered what sort of calculation went into the decision to remain with three guns since there is clearly no dispositive evidence to suggest that five guns creates any degree of potential liability on the part of the CCW holder or the issuing department.
Well… the gears of justice may turn slowly, but they do turn.
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Towards the end of last week, we began receiving calls and emails from clients that had read on blog posts that OCSD was changing their position on the three gun policy. On Friday, we received official news from the CCW licensing unit that as of Monday they would be changing the number of firearms that a CCW holder could list.
So now… OFFICIALLY… a CCW holder with a license from Orange County Sheriff can list up to five (5) guns.
This is a major step in the right direction.
Make no mistake, the rational behind limiting the number of firearms a CCW holder can list is inherently flawed. States like Arizona, Utah and Nevada license the individual… not the weapon. Some states require that a CCW holder show proficiency with the “type” of weapon that they are going to carry… not necessarily the specific serialized pistol. As such, a CCW holder can qualify on a revolver… and carry anything that is designated as a revolver. Likewise, they can qualify on a semi-automatic, and carry any semi-automatic. (Typically most CCW holders that live in these jurisdictions will qualify on both, thus allowing them to carry pretty much anything that is available.)
This scheme is clearly superior to the arbitrariness of three (3), five (5), six (6), or 19 that currently exists in California.
That being said, whenever freedom leaks out through the cracks of the Iron Door, we must both acknowledge the advancement, and take pleasure in the fact that those that would restrict our rights, lost at least one battle… if not the war itself.
We must also give credit to OCSD for changing its policy.
Frankly, they did not have to do anything.
Most people are quite content with a maximum of three guns, and there are a great many CCW holders who only have one or two registered on their card.
As members of Class 62 went through their CCW training this last weekend, a couple of them stated that they did have additional pistols at home, but that they were completely inappropriate for CCW carry, so they had little interest in qualifying them and putting them in the additional “slots” on their permit.
To counter this thinking, I explained that one of the first things that I was going to do was to put my Ruger Vaquero on my permit.
I went to my office and retrieved my Cowboy gun from my safe.
The students laughed when they saw it.
“You are going to put that on your CCW? How in the world would you conceal that?!”
“In my range bag.”
You see, I have no interest in actually “carrying” this weapon. To be sure, it is pretty sweet looking, and I’ve seen people conceal shotguns before, (usually bad guys unfortunately), so I know that from a literal standpoint it could be done… but why?
Especially when I could just as easily carry my 1911, my Sig, or my .38 revolver.
Yet, a weapon that is on my permit creates a legal exemption for me.
The only way that I can transport a weapon from my home (or in my case my office), to the range is unloaded in a locked container, outside of my control.
Weapons that are listed on my permit are exempted from the California Penal Codes specified methods of transportation. I can have my range bag on the passenger seat, unlocked and stuffed full of my CCW guns and be completely compliant with California laws. Not so, if they are not listed on my permit.
With the Ruger now available to be listed on my card, the chances of running afoul of the law has just been reduced. That is a good thing.
So is it a good idea to have your guns listed… absolutely.
Does it make that much of a difference that for some of your firearms that you may choose to list, you have no intention of actually carrying?… nope.
While this new change may give us a practical benefit, we must acknowledge a victory… albeit a small one… but a victory none-the-less.
This week our measure of freedom expanded.
That expansion might have only been limited to two firearms… but it is an expansion regardless.