ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Since its 1987 inception in Florida, a "shall issue" policy regarding carrying concealed weapons has been passed in nearly 75 percent of states. California is not one of them.
Currently operating under the "may issue" policy, California is one of the most restrictive states relative to firearms laws. The issuance of CCW permits is at the sole discretion of the Sheriff of the county. This has led to a situation where some counties in California issue thousands of CCW permits annually, while others issue almost none at all.
Bill Hunt, one of Orange County's leading candidates for Sheriff in the upcoming June 8th election, believes that this policy is flawed. Hunt announced he believes that "personal protection" is a legitimate reason for approval of a CCW permit. If Bill Hunt is elected, Orange County will effectively become the first "shall issue" county in California.
"The current system in California does not protect residents' Constitutional rights," says Hunt. "Sheriffs can arbitrarily decide to whom a CCW should be issued and in many cases they have simply refused to issue a CCW under any circumstances – even when a citizen's life is in danger from an imminent threat."
According to Hunt the current CCW policy is arbitrary and ripe for abuse. "There have been numerous situations where Sheriffs have abused their discretion to issue CCWs to support an anti gun agenda or to influence campaign favors or political contributions. I'm just trying to level the playing field by establishing a clear written policy that describes what an applicant needs in order to qualify for a CCW in Orange County."
Hunt describes himself as candidate that believes in the "original intent" interpretation of the Constitution. He believes that the 2nd Amendment Constitutional right to keep and bear arms as it relates to CCW applicants, should not be left to the subjective whims of different Sheriffs across the state.
"It's really very simple," says Hunt. "By imposing arbitrary standards for the issuance of CCW permits, many individual Sheriffs are depriving our citizens of their basic Constitutional rights. That won't happen on my watch. As it is right now, if a woman's life is threatened by a stalker or a man with a lengthy history of domestic violence in many county's she could be denied the right to protect herself. This type of situation can affect anyone."
Hunt says that he will enact new written guidelines for Orange County that are uniform and fair, setting forth how an applicant may qualify for a CCW, and he will exclude the unfair categorization and stereotyping inherent in current permit practices. "My policy will not be based on the color of a person's skin. It will not be based on gender. It will not be based their economic status or whether an applicant is a campaign contributor," Hunt says. "It will be a simple matter of having a stringent written policy. If I am elected, those CCW applicants who meet all requirements will be issued a permit."
Hunt himself has long been a controversial figure in Orange County politics for challenging former Sheriff Mike Carona in 2006 on an anti-corruption platform. Carona has since been indicted and convicted of witness tampering and resigned from office. Recently Hunt has come under fire not for his views on the 2nd Amendment, but for his support of our 5th and 6th Amendment. Hunt has been criticized for working as a private investigator in two cases where the defendants are alleged to be gang members.
"I simply investigated the incidents and provided factual information to their attorneys," Hunt says. "My opponents in this election, and the journalists that support them, have attempted to twist this into something that it is not. This is perhaps the lowest point of journalistic ethics I have ever seen."
Hunt is in the process of demanding a retraction from the reporter involved. "The bottom line is that I don't care if my actions were unpopular," Hunt says. "I was simply standing up for our Constitutional rights and I ended up being vilified for it by my political opponents much as John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence and our nation's second President was for representing the British soldiers charged with shooting colonists in the incident now known as the Boston Massacre." An incident Adams considered to be "one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested Actions of my whole Life".
"I stand firmly behind my Constitutional principles," Hunt says. "In my role as Sheriff I will work to protect the rights of every citizen of Orange County."
Hunt stated that, in addition to adding "self defense" as a legitimate cause for the issuance of a CCW permit, Orange County residents will be eligible for a CCW if they pass a background check showing a history free of domestic violence, misdemeanors and felonies, complete an Orange County Sheriff's Department-approved CCW training class and pass a firearms safety and usage test. Hunt's policy will contain clear criteria for qualification and any Orange County resident who qualifies on all parts of the application process will be issued a CCW permit.
On the possibility of being the first Sheriff in California to adopt a model "shall issue" policy for approving CCW permits, Hunt says, "I am the People's candidate. In this country we are blessed to have laws made, not to infringe upon our freedoms, but to protect them. I am a great believer that for California to flourish, we must work vigorously to preserve not just our 2nd Amendment rights but ALL of our Constitutional rights. This means preserving the original intent of the Constitution and not rewriting it to serve the whims of the few at the price of the many."
Cr8 Global Public Relations
SOURCE Bill Hunt