Paul Schrader announced his candidacy for San Bernardino County Sheriff in February of this year. It will be his second attempt to become the county’s top cop.
Schrader, who was a complete unknown at the time, ran for the office in 2010 and garnered 38,551 or 21.51 percent of the vote. His “constitutional sheriff” approach resonated with voters, especially Tea Party activists.
Paul has agreed to a series of interviews with Examiner so that he can better explain his views on what being a “constitutional sheriff” means to him and would mean to the residents of San Bernardino County if they should elect him as the county’s next Sheriff.
This is the second article in the series and we thought we would address another subject very near and dear to the hearts of San Bernardino County residents. For years now, obtaining a concealed weapons permit in this county has more to do with campaign contributions and political connections. We asked Paul if that would change under his watch.
Q: How do you feel about concealed weapons permits and what criteria would your department use to issue such permits if you are elected sheriff of San Bernardino County.
Scharader: “As a marine-veteran, law enforcement official, and candidate for the San Bernardino County Sheriff – I stand firmly in the belief that the second amendment of the Constitution clearly allows for civilians to be armed if they so desire. With that being said, it is important for the population to understand just how much control a sheriff has under the issuance of CCW’s (Carry Conceal Weapons Licenses).
“In California, the law regarding the distribution of CCW’s is termed ‘May-Issue.’ A ‘May-Issue’ state is one in which a license to carry is required, and the availability of that license is dependent on the discretion of the sheriff’s department or police. The sheriff must base his or her decision on a specific criterion. In California this criterion involves interpreting whether the person applying for a CCW has a ‘good moral character’ and ‘good cause’ as to why their license is required. Of course these two terms are a broad generalization which allows for a large amount of freedom in the decision of the sheriff.
“San Bernardino County is generally cited as gun-friendly County, and in comparison to other Californian counties it is. In California 14 counties will never, if rarely, authorize any citizen to carry a concealed weapon. However, the sad reality is that even as one of the more receptive counties, San Bernardino County is failing to issue the amount of CCW’s consistent with a constitutional approach to gun rights.
“These licenses are continually being denied by the sheriff based on the interpretation of ‘good cause.’ According to a female investigator with the county whom I contacted ‘. . . Hoops does not want CCWs used in any manner with a business.’ Throughout the county I have heard this same problem from many concerned business owners. From private individuals, I hear complaints that ‘self-protection’ is no longer a justifiable reason for a CCW. In fact applicants are now required to elaborate and write an essay regarding why they wish to carry a weapon.
“The numbers can show for themselves how lengthy and tedious the CCW process can be in San Bernardino County. According to a FoIA, San Bernardino County has issued approximately 400 licenses and revoked 150 from the time of Rod Hoop’s election. These figures are far from acceptable.
“I have not spent 30 years of my life protecting the community to allow the system to prevent citizens from protecting themselves. As a strong proponent of the right to bear arms, I will streamline the CCW process; a license will be dependent only on the very basic requirements outlined by California law. Beyond these requirements, as long as you wish to exercise your second amendment rights – by all means go ahead! “
To learn more about Paul, check out the following media:
This series will continue through June 2014. We will be discussing issues as diverse as dealing with the homeless population to enforcement of medical cannabis laws. If you have a question you would like posed to Schrader, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like:
- Focus on Sheriff 2014: Paul Schrader on sobriety checkpoints
- Politicos and Pets: A conversation with SBCo. Sheriff candidate Paul Schrader