I’m pretty sure that at this point, California is just trying to see how close they can get to a total gun ban before the Supreme Court smacks them down. In addition to the mountain of regulations on just what guns can and can’t be sold in the state–a list of handguns is shrinking by the day–the state is also trying to find other ways to make life difficult for people who want to take their protection seriously.
The latest plan? A statewide requirement for live-fire training before a concealed carry permit will be issued.
State Assemblymember Todd Gloria wants to require all municipalities in California to require live fire training to get a concealed carry permit.
“I think that when you create higher standards and greater safety around guns — I think that’s good for gun owners,” Gloria said.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday there are 1,704 active concealed carry permits in San Diego. The Sheriff’s department here already requires people to complete live-fire training before getting a permit.
“Yes we have strong rules here in San Diego County thanks to Sheriff Gore, but that isn’t true across California,” Gloria said.
Gloria’s office could only provide KPBS with the names of four counties in California that do not specifically require live fire training. A spokesman for Gloria said they include Glenn, Tehama, Ventura, and Solano counties.
San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott announced her support for the bill Wednesday.
“We see the barrage of bloodshed from gun violence in the news every day,” Elliot said. “Accidental shootings, kids shooting kids — enough is enough, it’s time for action. Simply put: AB 2103 keeps us all safe.”
Yet how many of these “accidental shootings” are the result of untrained concealed carriers misusing their firearms? My bet is that none of them do.
Accidental shootings happen for a number of reasons but rarely does it happen because someone failed to understand that a gun is dangerous. It happens because someone was either being stupid or because someone got careless. While training may mitigate that, what you’ll find is that the people willing to go through the hassle of getting a concealed carry permit in California are people who already know how to be safe with guns.
That’s not to say they can’t be negligent either. No group is immune to that. It seems like those who are most comfortable with firearms, those who are around them every day, are the ones who seem most likely to have that kind of a brain fart and have a negligent discharge.
But they’re still blessedly rare.
And training rarely mitigates that. Those who are around them that often are usually highly trained and know what they’re supposed to be doing. They just get complacent. More training isn’t likely to change that.
Further, “kids shooting kids” isn’t as common as Elliot would like you to believe unless you’re counting gang activity as kids shooting kids. While a child does occasionally get their hands on Mommy or Daddy’s gun and shoots a friend while playing with it, it’s not nearly as common as it’s implied. Gang violence, however, often does involve youth killing youth.
However, only a moron would think requiring live-fire training would change that in any way.
Look, I think everyone should get training. Live-fire training, even. But I don’t want to see it mandated. Once that happens, it becomes far too easy to tighten the standards until absolutely no one can pass. Then they’ve effectively banned concealed carry without actually banning it.
And let’s be realistic here. If any state tries that, it’ll be California.