Buried in a Fresno Bee story about the number of active concealed carry permits in Fresno County, thanks to a female county sheriff who thinks bad guys should be kept guessing, is a revelation that the entire state of California, with many times the population of Washington, trails the Evergreen State when it comes to lawful concealed carry.
Sheriff Margaret Mims, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, has encouraged county residents to get carry permits since she was first elected in 2006. She is not a proponent of open carry, however. Currently, according to the newspaper article, there are “about 15,000 CCW licenses issued to residents.” The story then revealed the Fresno Police Department “has more than 2,400 licenses outstanding,” and more than 1,700 of those have been issued since 2012.
Then comes the bombshell. The entire state of California, according to data from the state Department of Justice, has more than 120,000 CCW licenses in circulation.
Two states to the north, Washington rights activists can chuckle and ask, “Is that all?”
California has more than 39.5 million residents, according to various estimates, while Washington has a paltry, by comparison, population estimated at more than 7.5 million.
“I’m not a proponent of open carry. I believe concealed carry is the best way to go. I believe that you need to keep the bad guys guessing.”—Sheriff Margaret Mims
But Washington, as of July 1, had more than 622,000 active concealed pistol licenses in circulation, a fact that probably makes two Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying groups cringe. The gun control crowd backed legislation earlier this year to make it far more difficult to obtain and renew a CPL in Washington, but the bill died. California has a training requirement, but there is a significant difference between the two states that may be at least partly responsible.
Washington’s state constitution has one of the strongest right-to-bear-arms provisions in the country. There is no such provision in the California state constitution, although the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment. McDonald was brought by the Second Amendment Foundation.
There seems little doubt among grassroots gun rights activists in Washington that anti-rights advocacy groups will try again to reduce the number of CPLs next year, either legislatively or perhaps as part of another multi-million-dollar gun control initiative.
It came as no surprise to rights activists that there has not been a peep from the gun prohibition lobby in the wake of a shooting incident in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood earlier this week in which a woman shot an alleged burglar with a rifle. When police arrived, they found the wounded suspect on the ground with a handgun close by. There were several bullet holes in the house, apparently fired by the suspect, and the armed female was on the roof and had to be coaxed down before aid crews could treat the alleged burglar.
That incident is still under investigation, but the pattern of silence is the same following any apparent self-defense shooting, anywhere on the map.
When an armed citizen fires in self-defense, or even just holds a criminal suspect at gunpoint for police, anti-gunners lose their shrill voices. Instead, such incidents are eventually considered “gun violence.”