The current temperature of the gun control debate in America right now is red hot. People on both sides of the argument are going full force trying to get their voices heard.

The law enforcement community in America has been seemingly caught in the middle. It seems like almost every time there is a mass shooting event in this country that the media deems worthy of covering, some agency head is trotted out in front of cameras. These agency heads serve the media’s purpose, as they will echo the calls for stricter restrictions on firearms. The same agency heads also usually have one thing in common; they are from a metropolitan area. The media uses them as props. Props to make Americans believe that the police in this country are for further restrictions against gun ownership. What the public never hears is the other thousands of department leaders, sheriffs and chiefs who actually are out in public on a daily basis, who are very pro Second Amendment. America never hears from the thousands and thousands of pro Second Amendment cops on their streets.

former marine

Sheriff Geoff Dean briefs the press. (Screenshot Fox News broadcast)

 

California is famous, or rather, infamous for many reasons. One of those reasons is their firearms laws. There are restrictions against standard capacity magazines. Semi-automatic rifles are heavily regulated just based on how they look. The pistol market is heavily limited due to state laws that put up red tape. Just recently, a new state law went into effect that requires background checks on ammunition purchases. There are even active police officers that have been prevented from buying ammunition.

What surprises a lot people from outside the state is their concealed weapons regulations. I am from Oklahoma, where a sheriff will issue a permit to any citizen that goes through the process. But California allows each individual county sheriff to determine their own policy regarding issuing concealed permits. It is well known that the sheriffs in the metropolitan areas are known to refuse to issue permits to anyone. Other sheriffs were known to issue permits to people who contributed to their campaigns. Years ago, I did business with a gun shop who wasn’t a fan of the county sheriff because even they could not get a permit.

flying armed

Permits to carry are determined by area law enforcement leaders. (marines.mil)

 

On the other hand, in most of the more rural areas of the state, county sheriffs are more than happy to issue permits to the residents. As long as they complete the process as designed, residents of these counties are allowed to exercise their self-defense rights.

Several of these California sheriffs are more than happy to tell the world that they are Second Amendment supporters. They use their example of issuing concealed carry permits to everyone legally allowed to carry as the basis of their point.

Now do not get me wrong, I applaud them. Just like how the media props up the two or three metropolitan agency heads to advance the gun control agenda to America, these California sheriffs are taking a stand.

But are they taking a hard enough stand against the gun control crowd?

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Anyone who spent more than a day or two on the job knows that crime statistics and arrest numbers can be used for moral or immoral purposes. The powers that be in California went public recently about how effective the ammunition background check law was. What they did not mention was how many decent, law abiding folks were prevented from enjoying the ability to exchange goods for money.

Where I am going with this is in regards to the Assault Weapons Ban that the state of California currently has on the books. California’s ban is based on “features” of a rifle. Stuff like pistol grips, expandable stocks and flash suppressors define what an assault weapon is in this state.

 

Some of those same sheriffs who openly support the Second Amendment also have people within their agency arresting people for possession of an “assault weapon.” I have read statements from other LEO’s in this state that “I support the Second Amendment, but if I find a dirtball carrying a weapon that is defined as an assault weapon by the state, I’m going to hook them.”

Guess what? Those assault weapons arrests become statistics. Those statistics can and will be used by the forces of anti-Second Amendment for their cause. When the Founding Fathers created this country, their vision of the government was one that worked to preserve liberty, not restrict it due to security. That vision included everyone within the borders of the country, no matter how much of a dirtball they were.

I am glad that these sheriffs are using their position to verbally show their support for the Second Amendment. I would jump up and joy if they were to band together just like the sheriffs in Colorado did and tell Sacramento that they were no longer going to enforce the AWB.

Written by Stanley Harper. Stanley is an Army veteran and a deputy sheriff in Oklahoma for 14 years. He relocated to California to take care of elderly family members. He now works to enlighten the public about the issues surrounding gun legislation and how it affects law enforcement.

 

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