ABOUT THE INTERVIEWThe Californian
According to SDCGO executive director Michael Schwartz, existing state law gives clear requirements for those seeking a CCW. Applicants are required to pass a criminal background check, complete a state-mandated curriculum on firearms safety and law, pay a fee and state a reason on the “good cause” portion of the permit application. Schwartz, a Santee resident, said sheriffs in California counties have unfettered discretion in determining a “good cause” policy and the majority of California sheriffs accept “self-defense” or “personal protection” to fulfill their “good cause” requirement.
“But not Sheriff Gore,” said Schwartz. “Bill Gore has been misleading the public to believe that he is restrained by state law or court decisions, but the fact is that it’s his personal decision to establish his highly restrictive internal policy that makes it impossible for most trained, law-abiding applicants with good character to obtain a CCW. The gun industry already is highly regulated, but Mr. Gore willingly ignores the needs of San Diego County residents who want to defend their life and dignity outside the home.”
Schwartz said a growing number of law enforcement agencies in California will accept self-defense as “good cause” when issuing CCWs. “There is no law or court case preventing Mr. Gore from changing his policies to allow for `self defense’ to be accepted as `good cause,’” Schwartz said. “The Second Amendment is not only about the right to bear arms, but about protection of yourself, your family, and your dignity. Clearly, Mr. Gore does not take seriously a citizen’s ability to protect themselves.”
SDCGO’s announcement follows the recent endorsement of Gore by the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County, the labor union representing local sheriff’s deputies. “We know many deputies on the front lines who are outraged with the DSA endorsement, as well as Gore’s refusal to issue CCWs,” Schwartz said. “We view the endorsement by the DSA as deplorable.”
Gore, 69, has been sheriff since 2009, when the San Diego County Board of Supervisors appointed him to replace retiring Sheriff William Kolender. Gore was elected in 2010 and ran unopposed in 2014. He is planning to seek a second four-year term.
Founded in 2015, SDCGO is a registered political action committee (FPPC ID #1379388) and advocacy organization focused on protecting the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms. While every U.S. state has a Second Amendment PAC, along with several nationwide gun rights PACs, SDCGO is America’s only local, countywide Second Amendment advocacy organization. The PAC provides news and information on new gun laws and Second Amendment advocacy. Its sponsored events include gun safety classes, small gun shows, sporting clay shoots, social gatherings and pistol, rifle and shotgun experiences taught by professional instructors. For more information, visit www.sandiegocountygunowners.com.