Schwartz & Powell

Time To Decriminalize Carrying Concealed Weapons In California?

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law



It might be time to reconsider "decriminalizing" carrying concealed weapons in Ventura County and throughout California.  Many other states, such as Arizona, have far more liberal gun laws than California.

At the present time, it is a crime to carry a concealed weapon, for example, a handgun.  Only Peace Officers, military on base when required and those who have a Carrying Concealed Weapon or "CCW" Permit may do so.  And those permits are few and far between (although not impossible to get for really good reasons).

The problem is a generalized fear of the need to defend yourself won't get you a "CCW,” so if you are found possessing a concealed weapon or firearm in public to protect yourself and others, you're going to jail, making bail, hiring the best Ventura County Criminal Defense lawyer you can afford and going to court.  If convicted, you go to jail or prison.  The State will punish you. 

Now, here's the problem I see:  the "generalized fear" that won't get you a "CCW" is real - it's not imaginary.  From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Representative Giffords in Arizona and recently the attack in a Colorado movie theatre, one madman with a gun stands unopposed in crowds prohibited from carrying guns.  The only person precluded from carrying a weapon to protect himself or herself or others is the law abiding citizen.  Those with evil intent simply ignore the prohibition against carrying concealed weapons. 

The State of California and the Ventura County District Attorney's Office will prosecute violations of weapons laws.  These California criminal  laws  generally prohibit us from possessing the means to protect ourselves against violent assault in public.  Many police associations, for obviously valid reasons, support the law.  But in these days of budgetary constraints and police protection spread far too thin, we can’t depend on the police to protect us from violent crime.

I have no problems with the State requiring permits, registration, background checks, training requirements, range qualification and whatever else makes sense to minimize the danger of allowing those who are incapable of responsibly bearing arms from doing so.  But generally banning law abiding citizens from carrying concealed weapons in public is an important issue meriting further discussion and debate. 

Remember:  California law forbids carrying a concealed weapon in public.  California has a very complex body of statutory and case law regulating almost every aspect of the use, possession and transportation of weapons, especially firearms.   Obey these laws and contact your legislators if you believe they should be changed.

In thirty years of practice Schwartz & Powell has successfully defended many weapons related cases. The Ventura lawyers of Schwartz & Powell will represent you or your loved ones and bring our considerable experience to resolve your case. Remember that

Experience Matters.

Schwartz & Powell