Sheriff Gore is willingly refusing to obey the law

Guest Column Guest Column 13 Comments


Guest Commentary
by Hon. Rob McNelis

An injustice is happening in San Diego County. And, the person causing the injustice is the county’s top law enforcement officer, Sheriff Bill Gore.

Sheriff Gore is denying the Second Amendment rights of San Diego County residents who want to carry concealed firearms outside of the home. Gore has set-up secret, undisclosed internal policies that result in denial of application after application from law-abiding, trained county residents who qualify under the state’s requirements for a CCW (concealed carry weapon) permit. His restrictive policies make it nearly impossible for most trained, law-abiding applicants with good character to obtain a CCW.

State law gives clear requirements for those seeking a CCW. Applicants are required to pass a criminal background check, complete a state-mandated curriculum on firearms safety and law, pay a fee, and state a reason on the “good cause” portion of the permit application. Sheriffs and Police Chiefs throughout California’s 58 counties have unfettered discretion in determining a “good cause” policy when issuing CCWs. Most California sheriffs accept “self-defense” or “personal protection” as “good cause.” But not Sheriff Gore.

Sheriff Gore has been misleading the public and elected officials by saying he is restrained by state law or court decisions. This is false, even after the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision when the justices declined to review an appeal filed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Pistol and Rifle Association (CPRA) in the case of Peruta vs. San Diego. The SCOTUS decision means that the Court will not force Sheriff Gore to issue permits. The Court left the authority to define California’s requirement of “good cause” in the hands of each issuing county sheriff or chief of police.

There is no law or court case preventing Sheriff Gore from changing his internal policies to allow for “self defense” and “personal protection” to fulfill California’s requirement of “good cause.” Yet, he still refuses.

In July, the Santee City Council voted 5-0 to authorize Mayor John Minto to send an official letter from the council to Sheriff Bill Gore requesting a change in his internal policy regarding the issuance of CCWs. We asked the Sheriff to accept self-defense or personal protection to fulfill California’s requirement of “good cause.” In addition, we asked the Sheriff to specifically define the minimum requirements that constitute sufficient “good cause” so that our citizens can review the requirements and immediately determine whether or not they meet the minimum standards. Having totally subjective, vague requirements to obtain a permit is bad government.

Despite response times on calls regarding serious felonies in process such as homicide, kidnapping, rape, armed robbery and residential burglary occurring approximately every 9.5 minutes in San Diego County, Sheriff Gore’s refusal to issue CCW permits eliminates people’s ability to protect their lives and dignity outside the home.

Sheriff Gore, who is running for reelection, willingly ignores the needs of San Diego County residents who want to defend their lives outside the home. The need to protect oneself is never confined to the perimeters of one’s home. Sheriff Gore’s refusal to issue CCW permits is endangering the safety of every citizen and is making the county less safe. Clearly, Sheriff Gore does not take seriously your Second Amendment rights or safety and it is time more elected officials speak out.

Tens of thousands of times per year around the country, armed civilians defend their lives using our most effective tool: a firearm. Homicides are typically about 10 percent higher in states with restrictive CCW laws. Crime rates involving CCW holders are statistically lower than crime rates of non-CCW holders. Deaths and injuries from mass shootings fall dramatically after CCW policies are expanded. Law-abiding people in San Diego deserve the ability to protect their lives and their dignity outside the home.

Nothing is preventing Sheriff Gore from changing his policies to accept “self-defense” or “personal protection” as “good cause,” except Sheriff Gore.

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McNelis serves as a member of the City Council in the City of Santee.


Comments 13

  1. Well done councilman, well done. and thank you for your unwavering support of our second amendment rights or lack of in the case of sheriff Gore..

  2. So if he is violating California law, plus the rights of the citizens, why is he still the sheriff?

  3. Larry Cook…
    Try again. No name calling here and no unsubstantiated accusations. Gore was indeed an agent in charge at Ruby Ridge. There is no proof he ordered what you claim, however.

    From UPI in 1995…
    “The bureau’s Hostage Rescue Team commander Dick Rogers, on a plane from Washington to northern Idaho, worked out the rules of engagement for the siege by telephone with his superior, assistant FBI director Larry Potts. Potts told the panel this month he authorized rules of engagement in which snipers ‘could’ shoot an armed male but that the wording was changed to ‘could and should’ shoot when Rogers briefed other officers at the scene.”

  4. I’d like to say it’s time to kick this matter ‘upstairs’ — however, I doubt our Governor would or could do anything to effectively change this violation of our Second Amendment Rights.
    Maybe it’s time to request some Federal assistance? DOJ ?
    Anyone got any good ideas how we might obtain a change in policy by our Sheriff?

  5. Time to contact the DOJ. We will be heard. An oath of office usually includes a promise to uphold the laws of the land. Sheriff Gore might be winning battles but the war is not over. Vote him out, write your representative, make your voice heard. Individually, we can do little; unified, there is much we can accomplish.
    Sheriff Gore works for you and me. We pay his salary.
    Non-performance of job requirements is grounds for termination or removal from office.

  6. “Equal Justice Under Law” is engraved on our Supreme Court Building and is a precept of our nation, yet we in California do not enjoy this justice when it comes to the Second Amendment. In California no one would think of not honoring a marriage license from another County or State (not to mention a driver’s license) but it’s OK for each County to determine the limits of our Second Amendment rights. The key, at this point, is the Conceal Carry National Reciprocity recently introduced in Congress.

  7. Time to really consider David Meyers for Sheriff in next year’s election.
    He has categorically stated he will approve “Self defense/Protection ” as good cause to issue CCW’s.

  8. Lest we forget that Gore was involved in the killing of an unarmed woman holding a baby at Ruby Ridge.

    (He) refuses to acknowledge his part in … the shooter … kill (ing) an unarmed woman holding a child.

    NOTE FROM ADMIN: This comment has been edited for violating our rules about name calling and making unsubstantiated charges. We will continue to monitor the best we can and edit or delete comments as may be necessary.

  9. Thank you councilman McNelis. If sheriff Gore does win reelection and still refuses to abide by the wishes of the citizens of Santee who have contracted his services, would it be too much to ask that you look into the feasibility of forming our own police department? If he won’t do as you’ve asked him, please fire him.

  10. It’s just time for a new Sheriff in town. He was never wanted anyway, an outsider, he has never served on the streets of this county.

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