When you live in a “may issue” jurisdiction you may exercise one of your civil rights if and when government functionaries and bureaucrats deign to allow it. In the case of your right to armed self defense, you have to apply, on bended knee, and demonstrate that you have a need to protect yourself using the most reasonable, convenient and effective tool for the job.
The problem is, even if you’re somehow granted permission to exercise that right, that could later change depending on the whims of whomever may be in power at the time. That’s what’s now facing the few concealed carry permit holders in the City of Angels.
The Los Angeles Police Department has moved to cancel most of the few remaining concealed weapons permits in civilian hands, according to new filings in a decades-old legal case.
Chief Michel Moore said in a sworn declaration he did not believe a group of people who obtained so-called CCWs as the result of a 1994 lawsuit were still entitled to the permits, because it was unlikely the individuals still faced extraordinary physical danger to their lives.
Never mind that these people have been safely and lawfully carrying firearms for decades now. Chief Moore suspects that their circumstances have changed in the intervening years, so better to cancel their permits and make them beg for permission again.
“I do not believe the continued wholesale allowance for each to possess a CCW license based on circumstances that may have existed 24 years ago is in the best interest of the public,” Moore said.
Back in 1994, 30 people sued the city which had a de facto no carry permit policy at the time. As part of settling that suit, the city agreed to issue those plaintiffs carry permits.
Now the Chief wants to renege on that agreement. Because guns.
The City and Moore have asked a judge to vacate, or undo, the settlement, arguing that the document the City agreed to decades ago is now restricting Moore’s ability to exercise his discretion in deciding who is entitled to a CCW license. Additionally, Moore said the crime rate is down and there are more police officers on the streets, so the level of danger to an average person has been reduced.
His discretion. That’s the rub here. That’s the burr under the Chief’s imperious saddle. He had no say in these plaintiffs’ ability to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, therefore it has to stop. What do you suppose their chances are of successfully arguing that they still merit carry permits now?
Besides, as the chief points out, anyone in his city who finds him or herself in trouble can always just dial 911.
“Technology has improved tremendously in the last 24 years which has enabled individuals to instantly communicate with law enforcement via cellphones from anywhere and at any time should they feel threatened,” Moore said.