Authorities: Prison realignment, Prop. 47 leading to increase in CCW applications
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials say prison realignment and lighter jail terms for some offenders have led to more county residents seeking concealed carry weapons permits.
Sheriff’s Lt. Frank Bell told the Daily Press this week that the department is “definitely seeing a recent increase” in applications for concealed carry weapons and said prison realignment and legislation such as Prop. 47 are the likely reasons. He said the county has “never been really stringent” on the reason why people feel they need a CCW permit, but “Prop. 47 and prison realignment is an overwhelming reason” people have listed in recent applications.
“If people are being released (from jail or prison), the assumption is they will return to the community they came from, which is everywhere,” Bell said. “It affects everybody.”
Bell said the county takes self-protection as reason enough for a permit, but applicants are asked why they feel they need to be protected.
“Sheriff (John) McMahon’s stand on the topic is that if the applicant meets the requirements set forth, is of good moral character, has no felonies and is a resident of the county, there’s no reason why they would be denied,” Bell said.
In 2013, which Bell said was most recent year with statistics available, the department had 733 applications and granted 720 permits.
According to Bell, there are currently 4,000 CCW permit holders in the county, less than one percent of the county’s roughly 2 million people.
ANNELI FOGTSTAFF WRITER