The Sheriff Gore Ban

Guest ColumnGuest Column 26 Comments


Guest Commentary
by Michael A. Schwartz

I spent last weekend representing our Gun Owners of California booth at two different locations; the Del Mar Gun show and the San Diego County Republican Party’s open house. The one topic that kept coming up over and over again from both groups of people was the issue of concealed weapon permits.

Background: A concealed weapon permit (commonly referred to as a CCW) is a state permit issued by the sheriff of each county. You must take a class, complete an application, pay a fee, pass a background check, and have “good cause” in order to receive a CCW.

Almost all sheriffs in California accept “personal protection” as acceptable for the good cause requirement. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore does not. His policy is to only issue to people who have a verifiable threat against their life or (as the NRA has stated) if they are a part of a fundraising club like the Honorary Deputy Sheriffs Association. So if you are being mugged or attacked, make sure to have your attacker take a minute to sign an affidavit agreeing that he is in fact attacking you so that you can pause the interaction long enough to file the right paperwork needed by Sheriff Gore in order to properly defend your life.

Peruta Recap: The case that everyone is curious about is Peruta vs. San Diego County Sheriff William Gore, in which Ed Peruta is suing Gore over his interpretation of California’s CCW laws. An important distinction to make is the lawsuit is not against the state of California, nor does it look to change California’s laws. The lawsuit is against Sheriff Gore and his internal policies when it comes to issuing concealed weapon permits.

Initially Peruta lost in court so the case was appealed. In February of 2014 a three judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Sheriff Gore’s policy for issuing a CCW is unconstitutional. This decision caused the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to issue CCWs for people stating their good cause as personal safety. Months later the 9th Circuit Court asked to for an 11 judge panel to hear the case and on June 16th of this year, oral arguments were heard again.

It is anyone’s guess how this will turn out. No matter which side wins, it is safe to say the other side will appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court. After stating publicly that he would follow the decision of the three judge panel, Sheriff Gore is still not issuing. He changed his position and is now waiting for the decision to be “final.”

Does It Matter? The lawsuit was the basis for all the questions over the weekend at the gun show and GOP event. An important point getting lost in the legal clutter is that Sheriff Gore is able to issue CCWs for people for their self-defense and he can do it today. There is no need to wait for a lawsuit to exhaust all possible legal avenues. There is no law limiting Sheriff Gore from interpreting the good cause requirement to include personal protection and self-defense. Sheriff Gore frequently points to state law for the reason for his polices, but the reality is he can follow state law while issuing permits to San Diegans wanting to be able to protect themselves.

The decision to ban San Diegans from carrying the firearms they legally own and have been trained to operate safely — that ban is not from Washington D.C., Sacramento, or the 9th Circuit Court. It is entirely because of Sheriff Gore.


Schwartz is the Volunteer Regional Coordinator for Gun Owners of California


Comments 26

  1. I never have understood Sheriff Gore’s reluctance to issue CCW permits. The process of getting a permits would seem to the until dream of gun control advocates: (1) registration of the weapon(s); (2) mandatory classroom training; (3) extensive background check; and (4) qualification and a law enforcement gun range to show you can safely operate the weapon.

    For those that actually complete the process and get a permit, they are spending $400 or more just for the privilege of carrying a weapon for self defense outside the home.

  2. Perhaps Sheriff Gore’s gonzo thinking goes like this: “Because we elites in California government try to make it as difficult as possible to get at CCW, it costs a LOT. Only the well-to-do can afford a San Diego County gun permit.

    “And that’s not fair. Why should only the people in the upper half of society be allowed to pack heat? So rather than making it easier and less costly to obtain a CCW, let’s ban EVERYONE from carrying a firearm. That’s only fair.

    Well, ban everyone but my buddies, my retired cops and my campaign contributors, of course.” After all, some of us are inherently more deserving than others.

  3. It is sad that our elected officials do not protect and defend our constitutional rights. I am very thankful for the men and women like Mr. Peruta and Mr. Schwartz for their time and efforts.

  4. Sheriff Gore needs to be thrown out in the next election. Gore stood in front of the Central Committee and said he would issue concealed carry weapon permits. Any law enforcement person like Gore who leaves citizens defenseless against armed criminals needs to go.

  5. Gore is a liar. He came calling for an endorsement and told us all to our faces that he will issue….HE LIED. We need to get him out of office with an organized approach… excellent candidate and all go 100% in behind him. This letting supervisors select can never happen again.
    We have been taken advantage of by Gore and he gloats about it.

  6. Carl, good points.
    His reluctance, as he explained it to me years ago when he was still undersheriff, is that he doesn’t believe or support the idea of civilians owning guns let along carrying them.
    This was at a lunch at the 94th Aerosquadron while we waited for Bob Watkins to arrive. When I asked what I should tell gun owners when they ask why they should vote for him, Gore said, “tell them that issuing CCWs isn’t all a Sheriff ddoes…there are other issues.”

  7. I went through the CCW process as a cash deposit carrying business owner. I won’t rant about the onerous repeated interviews and filing processes. Screening is a good idea. My take away is that I was issued for “business purposes only”, says to me protecting money is more important than my or my families lives outside of the banking trip. Go figure!

  8. “he doesn’t believe or support the idea of civilians owning guns let along carrying them….”

    While it is the Sheriff’s right to think that, it is entirely another thing to hold these thoughts publicly or influence or impact that notion via his office. It is in fact against the US Constitution, and he has a sworn obligation to uphold and defend that oath to the Constitution. To woefully and knowingly undermine the Constitution is treasonous. His alleged incredulous activity given he is the top law enforcement official in San Diego Co is especially unsettling.

    Knowing his position on the 2nd Amendment, has anyone inquired as to the Sheriff’s positions on either the 1st or 4th Amendments?? That might be a pertinent factoid….

  9. I’m more interested in the next sheriff’s stance on the Constitution. I believe Gore is a lost cause. His extremism on the matter and his personal biases are set in stone.

    The important point I wanted to make is nobody has to sit around and wait for a decision in the lawsuit. He can issue CCWs right now and no matter what the Court says.

    Don’t let him mislead you.

  10. Who in their right mind voted for “Ruby Ridge”?
    His background is enough to disqualify him from holding office.
    I doubt he likes any part of the “Bill of Rights”.
    San Diego should learn to NEVER trust any federal employee.

  11. “San Diego should learn to NEVER trust any federal employee.”

    Perhaps we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water…many of those “federal employees” are also those that stand between you and ISIS/AQ bugger-eaters that would kill you, your family, and a thousand more Marines in strip mall recruiting centers if it weren’t for them.

    While I agree that many federal employees are listless faceless bureaucrats that lack any tangible measurables for their performance and thus pay, a select few dedicate their lives, away from hearth and home, sacrificing other more lucrative opportunities and other self interests to ensure their unique skills and backgrounds are available & focused on the defense of our nation…militias, regardless of how organized they may be, will never be able to accomplish that in the modern age.

    Gore is ostensibly one that has forgotten that and appears much more comfortable advancing his own personal and political agenda at the cost of safety and freedom for many San Diegans. He has been supported by many within the party apparatus and their sycophantic financiers and enablers. Last time I checked, they were all “locals.”

  12. FF, in case you have not noticed, ISAS/AQ is already doing what you said the federal employees were supposed to be stopping.
    I depend on myself and Ruger.
    Wonder if Gore ever goes out unarmed??????

  13. HS-

    That’s a specious argument; you and your Ruger won’t kill them were they sleep. Failed policy based on wrong headed thinking by ignorant and irresponsible elected officials doesn’t take away the ability of what many can and have been doing to protect this great nation…and it isn’t pudgy weekend warrior wanna-be militia types that will do that…It will be professional men of action with training and skills that are well worth your and my tax dollars to cultivate.

    What you fail to appreciate is the hundreds of plots and potential attacks thwarted…remember, the ISIS cowards just have to get one to make a point..that is why wrong headed Rand Paul supporters don’t understand that playing defense on the goal line at home is not going to win this game; we need to eradicate ISIS and their financial and recruiting streams at the source..take our tee-bar and crack their sternum with it where they stand…much of that will be by covert and clandestine means and some of that will be done by federal employees..some active duty, some retired, some from 3-Letter acronym organizations…their patriotism and dedication through sacrifice and their actions over words to our defense is think otherwise is just plain wrong.

    Even strict Paulian self proclaimed Constitutionalists must acknowledge that as a paramount duty of the federal government..and not environmental regulations or Gay Marriage…

    You “depending ” on yourself, My Good Man, won’t accomplish that.

  14. “ISAS/AQ is already doing what you said the federal employees were supposed to be stopping.”

    Kind of like seeing a growing number of ants around my yard, spraying the perimeter of my house with Raid, then upon finding a couple of ants in my house, blaming it on the spray.

    How many would have made it in without the poison? Thousands maybe.

    One of them might also have my Ruger by now.

  15. Nam taught me not to trust the government nor those who support the government.

    I place my trust in my skills, others I know, and Ruger, Kimber, Springfield, Remington, and all my other “friends”.

    When they come for you, and they will, who will you rely on to protect you? Gore?
    Good luck with that.

  16. Got it. Let’s get rid of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, CIA, FBI, et al. A well-armed militia will do just fine. After all, the Rugers, Kimbers, Springfields, and Remingtons are much cheaper than any high powered military hardware, ships, planes, tanks, etc.

    Carry on.

  17. “Even strict Paulian self proclaimed Constitutionalists must acknowledge that as a paramount duty of the federal government..and not environmental regulations or Gay Marriage…”

    Yep. “Self-proclaimed” or not, Article 1 Section 8 defines them and the Tenth Amendment excludes all else.. This is why both Harold Schwartz and FF are correct. We delegate national defense to the the Federal Government but still have a responsibility to be armed

  18. Thank you Brian. I’m glad to see some else knows and understands the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

  19. “We delegate national defense to the the Federal Government but still have a responsibility to be armed.”

    Brian, agreed. In my prior analogy, the ants that do make it by the Raid get my shoe. I don’t just assume the authorities can take care of everything. I have both a responsibility and a right to protect myself.

    One can’t abrogate their rights to the feds. Also, one can’t dismiss them as unnecessary, at least in the realm of matters related to this discussion.

  20. Wouldn’t you agree that we have a responsibility to protect our families, communities and Constitutional Rights? Freedom and security are not a “privilege.” They are ultimately maintained by us…bestowed on us by us…not some centralized overlord or all-pervasive government.

  21. I do have a responsibility to defend my family and I willingly offer it to you HQ and FF. Bring a Glock, a Benelli, a Louisville Slugger or a Craftsman.

    The bigger point is this– when bad guys KNOW Americans are armed and willing to defend themselves and each other, they stay away.

    Ask Admiral Hirohito

  22. “We don’t just not-issue ccws, there are other issues” what is the role of the Sherrif in modern day law enforcement beyond providing security to the court system? And why was the CCW decision left to the county level and not State or even City?
    If you are a law abiding citizen of San Diego it’s virtually impossible to get a CCW and legally carry unless you have been a victim.
    That seems crazy!

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