Monday, December 18, 2023

California DOJ Implements 'Emergency' CCW Regulations Limiting Firearms Instructors

California's Department of Justice has introduced an "emergency regulation" that seeks to significantly limit the number of firearms instructors eligible to provide training to concealed carry permit applicants. This new regulation notably excludes National Rifle Association certified instructors, a move that has been met with strong opposition from the California State Sheriff’s Association. As reported by KTXL/Fox 40 News, the association highlighted the potential impact of this regulation, stating, "A likely and obvious byproduct of reducing the number of trained and certified CCW instructors will be an increased difficulty in CCW applicants’ ability to access appropriate CCW training and certification…It can be argued that impeding access to sufficient numbers of adequate CCW instructors will jeopardize CCW applicants’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights lawfully."

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According to the emergency regulations, initial applicants must now present training certification from one of the following approved sources:

1. Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Department of Consumer Affairs, State of California-Firearm Training Instructor;

2. Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), State of California Firearms Instructor or Rangemaster;

3. Authorization from a State of California accredited school to teach a firearm training course.

The California Rifle & Pistol Association expressed its discontent, suggesting that these regulations seem designed to limit and slow the processing of concealed carry permits in California, especially in light of the significant increase in CCW applications following the Bruen decision.

In an editorial for the Los Angeles Daily News, Susan Shelley emphasized the U.S. Supreme Court's clear stance that American citizens, including those in California, have an individual right to keep and bear arms, a right the California government seems reluctant to acknowledge.

The implementation of Senate Bill 2, which is set to take effect on January 1, has been met with controversy, particularly due to the limited five-day window provided by the CalDOJ for public feedback.

The Sacramento Bee pointed out that Senate Bill 2 has also doubled the training requirements for both new applicants and renewals, a move that has been seen in various states as an attempt to discourage gun ownership. This trend is observed in states like Oregon, where a similar measure was recently deemed unconstitutional, and in Washington, where a new proposal includes a permit-to-purchase with a training requirement.

Delaware is also considering a similar bill (Senate Bill 2(S)), which mandates proof of completion of a firearms safety course. Democrat House Majority Leader Melissa Minor-Brown defended the bill, comparing the need for firearm training to other areas where training is required, such as driving and medical purposes.

These developments have sparked debate over the distinction between privileges and constitutionally protected rights, with critics arguing that such mandates demonstrate a misunderstanding of this crucial difference.

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