As OC Deals with Flood of Concealed-Weapon Requests, Moms Group Seeks Ruling's Reversal

Categories: Court, Politics

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No sooner had Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens announced she had dropped the "good cause" standard for issuing conceal carry permits after the requirement was struck down in a state appeals court that moms are calling for the reversal of that ruling.

Specifically, it's the state chapter of Moms Demand Action that claims if the ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stands, "this will fundamentally change public life in California."

California law had left it up to the discretion of county sheriffs to decide whether applicants had good cause to carry concealed firearms before issuing permits to do so. Hutchens was among the sheriffs who adopted the good-cause standard.

But the requirement was struck down Feb. 13 by a 2-1 vote of a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, which found the Second Amendment bars such a requirement.

After Hutchens announced she would immediately abide by the ruling, her office was flooded with more than 500 requests for concealed-weapon permits, so many that the sheriff's department is now planning to hire retired deputies to process the applications.

Now comes Moms Demand Action contending that while other states may be able to safely deal with concealed-weapons holders, California has little experience with such a lifestyle.

"This will fundamentally change public life in California, where dining in restaurants, riding on a train, or standing in a checkout line next to someone carrying a loaded firearm is not customary," says Catherine Stephani, California chapter leader for Moms Demand Action, in a statement. "Other states live this reality, but this has not been our way of life in California."

If the ruling in Peruta v. County of San Diego stands, up to a half-million more guns may soon be in the streets of California, she warns.

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"We often say we are lucky to live in California because we have some of the strongest gun laws in the country," says Stephani. "Despite the size and complexity of our state, we have one of the lowest rates of gun-related mortalities in the nation. This is largely attributable to our tight gun laws that balance both Second Amendment rights and public safety."

She pointed to statistics that "show clearly" more guns do not make us safer.

"We must let our leaders know at every possible level of our government that we refuse to allow the reversal of the very laws that have helped prevent gun violence in California," Stephani says. "Our moms call on all Californians to speak up now, for the health and safety of our families and communities."

You can learn more about her group at www.momsdemandaction.org, www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction or via Twitter at @MomsDemand.

Keep in mind a Roseville-based group called Firearms Policy Coalition has posted a Change.org petition and open letter to Mark Zuckerberg calling Moms Demand Action a "hate group" that is hellbent on removing pro-gun content from Facebook.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



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