LA Sheriff Issuing More Carry Licenses As Murder Rises

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department via AP

Violent crime is soaring in Los Angeles County, with homicides 95% higher than they were this time last year according to Sheriff Alex Villanueva. In addition to the rising homicide rate, Villanueva reported this week that virtually all categories of major crimes are heading in the wrong direction.

Obviously California’s draconian gun control laws aren’t making much of a difference, at least as far as criminals are concerned. On the other hand, responsible gun owners and those hoping to exercise their Second Amendment rights are still forced to jump through all kinds of hoops before they can keep and bear arms; from a ten-day waiting period before they can purchase a gun to having to demonstrate some sort of special need before they can receive a license to carry.

To that end, Villanueva says his office is issuing more permits to carry, though the good cause requirement is still in effect.

“All huge numbers, all very, very troublesome,” he continued. As he started his next thought, he noted: “We have less cops on the street, more crooks, less consequences – you know, what could go wrong with that combination, right?”

The LASD recently increased its capacity to process permits for carrying a concealed weapon, or CCW, Villanueva said.

“We’re recognizing that the threat to the residents is increasing, so we’re responding accordingly,” he continued.

He said the department would ensure they were being responsible in ensuring that only those who meet and follow the necessary requirements be granted permits, and added that those people must establish good cause for why they believe they should be armed.

In other words, living in a county where the homicide rate has almost doubled over the past twelve months isn’t a good enough reason to carry a gun, as far as Villanueva is concerned. Neither is the fact that the Second Amendment protects a right to bear arms as well as keep them.

Yet Villanueva claims that he and his office “recognize the threat to the residents is increasing.” If that’s really the case, then why isn’t the sheriff changing his mind about what constitutes “good cause”?

Villanueva didn’t say that the threat to some specific residents was increasing. Everyone in Los Angeles County is at a greater risk of becoming the victim of a violent crime, and if the sheriff was serious about recognizing the threats that residents face, he’d declare that as far as he’s concerned, wanting to protect yourself from violent criminals is good cause to lawfully carry a firearm.

The sad thing is that I think the sheriff recognizes some of the major issues that are driving up L.A.’s crime rate, starting with fewer officers on the streets, which in turn leads to fewer arrests and prosecutions of violent crime. Additionally, the push by Democrats in the state to reduce the sentences for violent criminals themselves is helping to embolden the state’s criminal class, who are smart enough to see that those in charge are less interested in locking people up than in treating crime as a problem that can be solved by throwing money at various social programs.

It’s a recipe for disaster, and we’re seeing the results play out not only in Los Angeles but San Francisco, San Diego, and other big cities across the state. But even though Sheriff Alex Villanueva has correctly diagnosed the problem, he’s still not willing or able to recognize that every law-abiding resident of Los Angeles County should be able to legally carry a firearm for self-defense. Instead, even as his office is issuing more carry permits, he’s still restricting the right to carry to only those who can demonstrate that they’re special and deserving of the “privilege” of exercising a constitutional right.