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Two days ago, an Ohio judge told local residents to arm themselves in response to cop cuts. Our own Donal Fagan warned TTAG readers to take his ballistic exhortation with a shaker of salt. (Some people think that there’s a tax grab to blame.) Now the Modesto Bee is all abuzz about Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson’s sudden pro-gun self-defense stance. More specifically, his decision to sign a Madison Society pledge promising to make it easier for applicants to receive a license for concealed carry gun permits. In fact, he “shocked a standing-room-only audience of more than 100 by immediately signing the pledge with a flourish. ‘I’m not going to infringe upon your right to protect yourselves,’ the sheriff said. ‘You are more likely to get a gun permit when you apply for one.'” Than before, obviously. When self-protection in and of itself wasn’t sufficient cause to cause the Sheriff to issue a concealed carry permit. The pledge reads, in part . . .

“As sheriff, self-protection shall always constitute good cause for the issuance of a permit to carry a concealed weapon as that term is defined in (the) California Penal Code.”

So that’s it. In a stroke, Christianson has turned Modesto into a “may issue” into a “shall issue” locale—and defused the controversy surrounding his one rule for City Councilmen, one rule for everyone else (as explored in the TTAG editorial The Case Against Handgun Licensing Procedures).

Johnny Law justified his sudden volte-face by bemoaning budget cuts. “I’m laying off deputies, and we’ve got more bad guys; you won’t have a problem.”

Did someone just press the Easy Button? Oh, and did I mention that the Sheriff is up for re-election? As are most all Sheriffs, eventually. Still you gotta admit: it’s a hell of a way for a law enforcement officer to turn reduced protection into a political plus. To wit:

“He’s right — there are not enough deputies out there,” said Bob Winston, a Modesto attorney. “What does law enforcement do? They come after the fact and try to clean up the mess, which doesn’t help the poor victim lying in a pool of blood. You’re on your own.”

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  1. The (acknowledged) favoritism, double standards, and lack of transparency within 'may issue' states has always amazed me. I should be used to it. I live in NY State, where (like CA) permit issuance varies considerably depending on the locale.

    A local attorney once confided to me that if driver's licenses were subject to 1/100th the discretion as pistol licenses (and denied at a similar 1/100th rate), federal judges would have long ago struck down such NY Motor vehicle laws. That's because approval rates in minority majority areas are much, much lower than majority white areas.

    Bottom line: The law abiding black man in NY State has a much, much lower chance of getting a pistol permit than a law abiding white man.

  2. Rhode Island (a.k.a. Rogue's Island) is rife with corruption and favoritism.

    In terms of concealed carry, if you're "one of us," you're good to go. If not, you gotta know someone who is.

  3. Well, some are happy, but most Bee commenters seem suspicious:

    On April 4th 2010, he refused to sign this pledge.

    This was just nine days ago.

    "Both favor current policy giving the sheriff wide latitude when reviewing permit applications, and both refuse to sign a pledge that they say would water down that discretion."

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    Anyone else find it strange that this decision/article comes out within days of the article highlighting Christianson's decision to deny a permit to Matt Speckman, that former Turlock police sergeant?? I think I even read these articles back-to-back today. Much like he follows his nose to biscuits and gravy, Christianson seems to be following the money…and votes. What a hypocritical, superficial, painfully obvious political move. Will Stanislaus County EVER outgrow the "good ol boys" racket? Ugh, nauseating!

  4. Good news, but since I live in LA country my odds of getting a permit are still, literally, about 1 in 2 million.

  5. As nauseating as the sheriff's "conversion" may be, it's an excellent example of a vigorous, independent press alerting an active, engaged electorate who then force the people's representative to represent.

    The system worked.

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