Georgia Firearm Forums - Georgia Packing banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

Super Moderator
69,784 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · ... news02.txt

Sheriff's gun policy assailed
By Chuck Schultz/Senior Staff Writer

To some local residents' dismay, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown doesn't believe the public is made safer by permitting more people to carry loaded and concealed weapons.

And he cites a 2005 handgun murder that climaxed a road-rage incident in Buellton as evidence of why he feels that way.

“Philosophically, I probably tend to be more conservative in issuing concealed-weapons permits†than were his recent predecessors, said the first-term sheriff who took office in January. That's “based on my experiences and my career†of 30 years in law enforcement, half as police chief for the cities of Lompoc and Moscow, Idaho.
“I don't subscribe to the theory that it's safer in public if you have large numbers of armed people running around,†Brown added during an interview at his Sheriff's Department office near Goleta.

Gun advocates such as Larry Rankin of Santa Barbara hotly disagree.

In letters to the editors of the Santa Maria Times and other local newspapers, Rankin accuses Brown of violating the Second Amendment's right to bear arms by refusing to reissue some longstanding permits for concealed weapons, including one Rankin had for 10 years.

The sheriff's policy for reviewing applications for new and renewed concealed-weapon permits is “based on the model of a sovereign who knows what is best for his subjects, not a public servant elected to protect the rights of citizens,†wrote Rankin, who could not be reached for further comment. “A policy,†he added, “reminiscent of King George's government that was rejected by our founding fathers - not the constitutional model of the government they bequeathed us.â€

Brown counters that he is only adhering to a policy adopted by his department in 2005 - nearly two years before he was sworn in as sheriff - that is also widely used by other law enforcement agencies in California, including the Santa Barbara Police Department.

During the past five months, he's approved 10 requests for concealed-weapons permits, denied 10 others and is still considering two other applications, according to sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Erik Raney.

Brown said his denials have been mostly because those applicants didn't prove a specific need for carrying a loaded gun hidden from view.

About 160 such permits exist countywide, more than half of those issued to law enforcement and judicial officers and the rest to private citizens, Raney said.

The concealed-gun policy, which may have been more laxly enforced previously, “requires review of the reasons for someone to renew a permit,†he explained. Either a new request or renewal application “must restate the reasons a firearm is required to be carried†by the person - and it can't be a general reason like “I want one for self-defense,†the sheriff added. “I won't issue a renewal license for those general reasons.â€

In Rankin's case, he claimed he needed a concealed weapon to defend himself because he worked at night, Brown said, declining to be more specific about the details of that application.

“There has to be a reason other than ‘I want to protect myself.'†Brown remarked. “Were that the standard, arguably we'd be issuing thousands of concealed-weapons licenses, and I don't believe that would be a good public-safety policy.â€

In another instance that garnered public criticism from the denied applicant, Brown refused to reissue a permit for a Santa Barbara woman who is a starter for track meets and for years used a handgun as her starter pistol instead of one that fired blanks.

Brown said a concealed-weapons permit, had he reissued one for her, wouldn't have allowed her to shoot live ammunition within city limits anyway, because that's illegal. There was also no good reason why she needed a permit to hide a loaded weapon, he added.

Although countless people own guns, the special permits are required only to carry loaded and concealed firearms - not, for instance, to transport unloaded guns in plain view in the trunk or interior of a vehicle.

Generally, there has to be a clear need for a concealed weapon before a permit will be granted, such as the applicant's occupation or specific threats to his or his family's safety, Brown said.

As support for his belief that issuing too many permits is dangerous, he cited the March 2005 handgun murder of Wayne Shaw by Louis Calvin in a Buellton parking lot, moments after a road-rage incident between the two men. Although Calvin, formerly of Las Vegas, had a Nevada concealed-weapons permit for his pistol, he hadn't obtained one in this county after moving to Solvang.

“If that (loaded) gun wasn't immediately at hand,†the sheriff believes, “you would have one man, who was a father, still alive†and the other not serving a 33-years-to-life sentence for murder.

“It just illustrates why, in my mind, it's not a good idea to have large numbers of people with guns in public. I'm not anti-gun - to the contrary, actuallyŠI just don't believe that society, and particularly our county, would be any safer with a more liberal policy†on issuing concealed-weapons permits.

Brown has received some public backlash for his strict scrutiny of permit applications, even though he made it clear during his election campaign that “my policy would be to issue licenses sparingly,†he said. “I've had a few letters from people who were pro-guns and were disappointed in my position.â€

But not from representatives of the citizens group Coalition Against Gun Violence, who insist there must be a clear need for concealed weapons before such permits are issued.

“In the past, these permits were automatically renewed,†coalition spokeswomen Toni Wellen and Ilene Pritikin wrote in response to Rankin's letters. “We are grateful that Sheriff Brown is doing his job in renewing concealed weapons only in those cases where necessary requirements are met Å Restricting the issuance of concealed-eapons permits makes sense, despite Mr. Rankin's assertions to the contrary.â€

Premium Member
8,460 Posts
Axeman said:
Gunstar1 said:
I think the NRA gave him an A if I am not mistaken.
Maybe they are grading on the curve, it being Kalifornia and all. :?
Sorry, he got an A rating AND got endorced.

As for a curve...
Bill Brown said to me when I interviewed him on the phone, that he does not believe any citizen living in the city should have the right to carry a gun. He does believe that people out in the rural areas that really need one should have one...if they can REALLY prove to him it is needed. He has only allowed one and that was a federal trapper that could not carry a loaded weapon while traveling in is vehicle.
The Incumbent Sheriff was issuing plenty of permits that the NRA A rated and endorsed sheriff will not renew. ... ament.html

Super Moderator
69,784 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · ... d-weapons/

ever since Sheriff Bill Brown was elected in 2006, he’s focused on bringing that number down. Today, there are only 52 active concealed carry weapon permits issued countywide, with three actively pending, which is considerably less than any neighboring county
“Licenses have gone down under my watch, and they should never be easily attainable,†said Brown . . .

“Most of us are safer if there is not a proliferation of guns beings carried, particularly in the more urbanized parts of our community.â€

Toni Wellen, of the Coalition Against Gun Violence, which is the region’s top watchdog, praised Brown’s stance on the issue, explaining, “He’s a wise and very good sheriff in that regard.â€
1 - 8 of 8 Posts