Concealed carriers in Contra Costa County (CA) received an unexpected letter in the mail recently. Earlier this month, the county’s sheriff department sent a letter telling CCW permit holders that their personal information had been released to ABC7 as part of a public records request.
Although the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department complied with the public records request, they did reject part of the request which called for permit holders’ addresses.
“We try and balance the needs of the public and the people who want or need access to the information to ensure everyone’s safety,” said Lt. Nate McCormack told East County Today.
Below is a copy of the letter from a concealed carrier whose information was part of the request:
The Office of the Sheriff has received a California Public Records Request Act from ABC7 News for the disclosure of all CCW permit holders’ names and home addresses from January 1, 2011 to date. The provisions of statutory and decisional law mandates most information contained in CCW applications and permits are subject to public disclosure. The law specifically allows for limited exceptions to public disclosure include the home addresses of permit holders employed in certain occupations, including judges, court commissioners or magistrates, deputy district attorney’s and peace officers. Names of CCW permit holders are not except from public disclosure.
In compliance with the law, the Office of the Sheriff will soon be releasing your name and city of residence as a CCW permit holder in response to the ABC7 News request. CCW permit holders in the above occupations will not have their city of residence released. The office of the Sheriff has declined to release the home address of any permit holder, regardless of occupation, in accordance with our interpretation of statutory and decisional law. The Office of the Sheriff understands you may have well founded concerns about your privacy, including release of your home address, and the Office of the Sheriff intends to protect this privacy in balance with its obligation to comply with the law regarding public records. If, in the future, the Office of the Sheriff is in receipt of information which indicates our position on the non-disclosure of CCW holders addresses cannot be legally justified, we will be forced to release your address unless there is a qualifying statutory exception as described above.
David O. Livingston, Sheriff-Coroner
Peter Enea, Specialist
Professional Standards Division
Currently, the county has 317 CCW permits, 290 of which are non-law enforcement applicants. Their concealed carry application approval rate is a whopping 17 percent.