“Steven, every time it seems like we are getting a win, or at least making progress in the courts on Second Amendment related stuff, it seems like we end up taking two steps back and the State comes up with some bizarre legal theory.”
“Yes, it does seem that way. It is also not to be unexpected. I want you to imagine you are filling a bathtub with water. That bathtub, when it is full, is the Bruen decision. While you are filling that tub, sitting on your bathroom counter is a cat, a Siamese cat, an angry, aloof, tyrannical, Siamese cat. It believes it is better than you. You clean its litter box, you work to provide it food, it rarely, if ever, shows you gratitude and assumes you exist for its pleasure. As you fill that tub, it looks at you in the disinterested way tyrants view their subjects, not knowing, or really even caring, why you are filling a bathtub with water.
What it does not know is that you are going to drown the son of a bitch when the water reaches the top. You know when you grab the cat and it realizes what is about to take place, things are going to get ugly. Really ugly. The cat is going to scratch, teeth and claws are going to draw blood, and water is going to cover the entire bathroom. Having said that, the bathtub is deep, and you outweigh the cat by 160 pounds. You will ultimately win the battle, but you might need a shot of penicillin when you are done… this is exactly what is happening right now regarding the State (the cat) and its reaction to the Bruen decision is what the cat is going to do when it is drowned.”
Perhaps not the most delicate of metaphors… but visually pretty spot on.
The latest salvo involves the DOJ and its “emergency orders” as they relate to CCW trainers and SB2.
First, a little about SB2…
Many of you are painfully aware of SB2. In response to the Bruen decision, the California legislature attempted to pass SB 918… that measure failed and was resurrected in the current session as SB2. Essentially it exists in three parts:
An admonition that guns are bad and that they are being forced to do this in response to Bruen. That we are now “shall Issue”, that “good cause” and “good moral character” requirements are unconstitutional, and are thus removed from the California Penal Code.
What is required to get a CCW, and what to do if you are denied a CCW. More specifically, they call out for an increase in training to a 16-hour minimum class for an initial applicant and an eight-hour minimum class for a renewal applicant.
Inexplicably, they also call for one of those hours to be dedicated to “mental health”. They don’t require anyone with any training to provide that “mental heath” hour, nor does there need to be a nexus to firearms / suicide or homicide associated with that one hour. Literally someone with absolutely no connection to mental heath training or education could spend an hour opining about the emotional benefits of nymphomania and that would satisfy the statutory requirement. (It could also potentially increase the number of registered students in any particular class I suppose… but I digress.)
All of the places that are now “sensitive” and thus prohibited from firearm carriage even with a CCW. The State of California has taken an extremely broad swath of the State and deemed it a “sensitive location”. Essentially, they are saying “yes… we have to give you a permit, but we can make it impossible for you to actually carry a gun outside of your home.”
This last part is what people have focused on.
That is understandable. More importantly, the lawsuits that have sought a preliminary injunction against SB2 have focused entirely on Part 3. It was considered “problematic” by many of the litigators to go after the enhanced training requirements, because it would appear they were against training. A legitimate concern… but one that has now manifested in a consequence.
On December 8th the State announced an emergency regulation to go into effect on January 1st regarding CCW trainers.
Up to this point if you wanted to become a CCW trainer, you had to petition your IA (issuing agency) and show why you were uniquely qualified to be one. This usually requires providing a copy of the curriculum, requisite insurance coverage, and some form of certification of the instructor. The instructor certification usually was based on some form of recognized national training standards. Statutorily, the NRA Instructor Certification has served as one of the recognized pathways.
This NRA Instructor Certification also allows someone to become a DOJ Instructor. A DOJ Instructor has the ability to do a variety of things, most commonly administer the FSC (firearms safety card) test, as well as verify the safe handling of a firearm during a firearms transfer at an FFL.
DOJ’s new “emergency regulations” go beyond what is written in the statute and envisions the creation of a brand new type of DOJ Instructor: the DOJ CCW Instructor. This uniquely qualified individual will be branded as such if they come from one of three prerequisite categories: a) BSIS Firearms Trainer (the state agency that licenses security guards and, until recently, barber shops), b) POST Certified Firearms Trainer or c) authorization from a school accredited to teach firearms training.
Once a putative CCW Trainer has figured out what three she can attach herself to, (Note: The NRA has been kicked to the curb here.), then she can reach out to one of those “state accredited schools” and petition to take the CCW trainer firearms qualification shoot. (Also note: If she is a member of that school, or better yet, an owner of that school, it would appear that she can self-certify.)
Oh yeah… and this all has to be completed by January 1st.
What the State is trying to do is say, “Of course we recognize that we have to grant CCWs to the miscreants who want to carry a gun outside the home, but we can demand training prior to granting that permit; it’s not our fault that no one can actually provide that training. Oh well… guess you can’t get a permit.”
This is spectacularly egregious and, frankly, the State’s goal is patently obvious.
It also takes power away from the IAs.
An issuing agency (ie, OCSD, LASD, Placerville PD) would have no justification for not accepting a training certificate from any DOJ CCW Trainer. This means no overview of the curriculum, no deciding whom they want to accept as an approved trainer… nada. The power to make the decision of who gets to teach gets taken away from the locals and transferred to Sacramento.
That alone should have everyone up in arms.
Once they have secured who gets to be a trainer, the justification of having local agencies issue CCWs becomes more and more untenable.
The real goal is to have a centralized department in Sacramento that handles all aspects of the CCW, from application, to training, to issuance of the permit.
Local law enforcement be damned.