California, the quaint little republic in which I resided until I moved to the United States for political asylum, is one of only eight* “capricious issue” states, where every citizen’s right – or lack thereof – to carry a weapon for personal defense is up to the whim of law enforcement. Gun rights supporters frequenlty complain of the arbitrariness of this system, and the possibility that concealed carry rights may be doled out as political favors, while gun-grabbers lamely argue that the police should be trusted to use their “discretion.” Now, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has removed all doubt by revoking retired Capt. Ken Masse’s concealed carry permit for running against Baca.
The good news is that the Sheriff’s office has a sense of humor. While delivering the news of Masse’s loss of his self-defense privileges, Baca undersecretary Larry Waldie alleged that Masse’s campaign against Baca “may have damaged the public’s confidence in this agency.” Seeing Masse’s permit yanked for such a transparently political reason should do wonders to restore it, though. ‘Hat tip: Uncle.
*Eleven states – Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island – have discretionary issue concealed carry laws. However, according to Dave Kopel, three of those states – Alabama, Connecticut and Iowa, which Kopel dubs “do issue” states – generally issue permits on terms similar to those of shall-issue states.