This past Saturday the OC GOP Resolutions Committee held a meeting to discuss and debate a resolution submitted by Central Committee member Bruce Whitaker dealing with Sheriff Hutchens CCW Policy. The end result was that the committee voted 7 to 0 to recommend that the full body adopt this resolution of "no confidence" in the Sheriff's concealed carry weapons policy. We also added language that we support AB 357 that would make CA the 41st state to become a "shall issue" state.
How did we get to this point? The hearing lasted well over three hours. I'm not sure what the previous precedents have been for Resolution Committee meetings, but I'm guessing this was one of the longest ones. The committee heard from the maker of the resolution, Bruce Whitaker. We then heard from Sheriff Hutchens herself. I had said at the outset of the meeting that I wanted the speakers to try to limit their time to ten minutes. I ended up giving the Sheriff all the time she needed to make her case and answer questions from committee members and members of the full body that attended. I believe I was more than fair. She was asked twice what she thought about AB 357. It's a very simple bill to understand. She dodged the questions both times with answers of..."I would have to take a look at the specific language of the bill". Tim Whitacre asked her the second time after she declined to answer the first time if "she as a Republican, would conceptually support the bill not having read it". Again she took a pass from answering this. I believe this sheds a lot of light why she has implemented her restrictive CCW policy. She is the one person in the county who has sole discretion over one of our most sacred constitutional rights(2nd Amendment) in the area of CCWs and it is my belief that the burden should be on the government why someone should not get a CCW permit, not the other way around. I'm interested in our party taking the most freedom friendly stance possible.
The next speaker was Mr William Prentice from Ordinary California Citizens Concerned With Safety
or OCCCWS. Bill gave a great presentation on the statistics behind the success of the states that have become shall issue. He cited the research that John Lott Jr has done on this issue...more guns equal less crime overall.
Our next speaker was Assistant Sheriff Jack Anderson. Jack gave all committee members a nice booklet that covered the Sheriff's policy and papers to back her position up. Included in the booklet was the infamous 1977 Attorney General letter by Evelle Younger or "Evil Younger" as committee member Marcia Gilchrist referred to him as regarding what his opinion was of what constituted "good cause". We all had a good laugh about Marcia's reference. This letter is not a legal published opinion and is basically a private letter that has no force of law.
The next speaker was Mr Richard Gilbert also of OCCCWS. I'll let his post over at Cal CCW forum
speak for itself.
Lastly we had former CRP Chairman Mike Schroeder as a speaker. Mike spoke about the Sheriff's CCW permit revocations. He thinks they are illegal and gave evidence to back up his claim.
Overall it was a great meeting. It was my first time chairing it. We gave every invited speaker a chance to make their best case for their position on the resolution. As I stated in the beginning of the post, we voted 7 to 0 for no confidence in the Sheriff's CCW policy. I will post the language of the resolution hopefully later today. It is still being typed up as I write.