Sheriff Alex Villanueva
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Despite skyrocketing violent crime rates, Sheriff Alex Villanueva steadfastly refuses to allow his constituents to defend themselves.

By Lee Williams

Violent crime is skyrocketing in Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced yesterday on Instagram.

Homicides have increased more than 95% compared to the same timeframe last year. (Villanueva didn’t specify the timeframe.) What he called “forcible rape” is up 7%. Aggravated assaults are up 12%. Grand theft auto has increased more than 40% and arson is up 22%.

Overall, Villanueva said his department “ended all of 2020 with a 36% increase in violent crimes.”

“They’re all huge numbers – all very, very troublesome.” the sheriff admitted. “It’s our number-one existential threat, particularly for people who live where there is a large percentage of African-American and Latino residents. You’re the ones that are in the impact zone – that are mostly affected by this existential threat.”


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Rather than immediately segueing into how he planned to loosen restrictions on concealed-carry permits and make it easier for his constituents to protect themselves – especially the people who live in the impact zone – Sheriff Villanueva took a different path.

“We’re not going to go to ‘shall issue,’ where anyone who can fog a mirror can get a CCW permit,” he said. “That’s not responsible, but we do want to give people the opportunity – who are responsible, pass the training, that don’t have any convictions or legal limitations from being armed in public, and establish a ‘good cause’ reason why they should be armed, why we should trust them to be armed in public. That is the threshold.”

Sheriff Villanueva announced that he had increased the staffing of his firearms unit – the deputies who process the concealed-carry applications.

Since 2018, when he was sworn in as Los Angeles County’s 33rd sheriff, Villanueva said his department has issued 904 concealed-carry permits. In other words, about one permit per day since he took office – in a county with a population of more than 10 million souls.

By comparison, in 2019, Fresno County, California had 17,500 permits.

Quite frankly, getting a permit in Los Angeles County could not be more difficult. Just the “good cause” requirement alone would stop most applicants cold.

According to LASD policy . . .

No Carrying a Concealed Weapon License (CCW) should be granted merely for the personal convenience of the applicant. Each application shall be individually reviewed for good cause. Good cause shall exist only if the following prevails: Sufficient evidence of potential danger to life or of great bodily harm to the applicant, his or her spouse or dependent child, which cannot be adequately dealt with by existing law enforcement resources and which danger cannot be reasonably avoided by alternative measures, and which danger would be significantly mitigated by the applicant’s carrying of a concealed firearm.

The applicant must provide proof of this “potential danger,” either through police report or restraining orders. They must also have a handgun registered in their name that is, of course, California compliant, and only use California-compliant ammunition.

They must also complete a 14-page application, which contains a long list of prohibiting crimes, including many misdemeanors.


If the good sheriff truly cared about the safety of his constituents, especially those who are most at risk, he would open the floodgates and remove as many barriers as possible for concealed-carry applicants.

While it’s true California is a may-issue state, sheriffs and chiefs of police are authorized by state law to use their discretion when granting concealed-carry permits. Many of the state’s top cops have become de facto shall-issue grantors. Sheriff Villanueva could too, if he were so inclined, if he realized it would help deter crime.

His comment about trust – that an applicant must prove why the LASD should trust them to bear arms – is an affront to the constitution, which the Sheriff took an oath to support and defend. Maybe he should give it another read. He’d learn that no American citizen should be forced to prove their trustworthiness before exercising a constitutional right, nor should they be required to document “good cause” for exercising their rights.

Besides, it’s in his own best interests. Crime rates plummet every single time concealed-carry restrictions are loosened. It could happen in Los Angeles County, too. All that’s required is a new mindset. Or perhaps a new sheriff.


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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with permission.



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  1. If it wasn’t for the crime, a sheriff would have no job. So, he is following his best interest to the fullest. And screw the idiots that supposedly elected him.

  2. Good cause shall exist only if the following prevails: Sufficient evidence of potential danger to life or of great bodily harm to the applicant, …

    Does the public statement from the L.A. County Sheriff about a 36% increase in violent crime count as “sufficient evidence of potential danger to life”?

  3. Fools like that have an agenda that basically makes the “good” people criminals if they have the will to defend themselves, do what you know you need to do and f**k the people who who would rather see you dead than defended!!

  4. I literally just looked into the application for a L.A. County CCW permit (since I live here) this week, at the recommendation of one of my LASD buddies who said he heard the restrictions were being relaxed. Not true, I found.

    LASD defers to the CADOJ requirements, which states that an applicant must go through this process, and in this order, and you must pass each step before proceeding to the next:

    1. Submit application and wait for background check. This may take months.

    2. A psychiatric evaluation may be determined as necessary. If so, you must schedule an interview with a pre-approved psychiatrist at your cost of $150.

    3. You must have at least one handgun registered with CADOJ. If you do not, you do not qualify for a CCW in CA. You must take the handgun to the Sheriff station for inspection and approval to ensure that it meets the current (2021) “safe handgun” requirements.

    4. You must then undergo an interview with a Deputy to answer questions and explain your “good cause” for why you believe you should be allowed to carry a firearm in public. The CADOJ expressly states on their site “remember…carrying a firearm is a privilege, not a right.” [Insert your favorite argument about more than half the nation’s land area disagreeing once TX Gov. Abbot signs their CC bill into law]

    5. You must then undergo online education of the CA Penal Code regarding firearms.

    6. You must then take the shooting portion of the test, and must use only the firearm previously inspected and approved. That firearm will be shown on your CCW card. You may add up to a maximum of three guns to your license, but must have each separately inspected, and must take the shooting test for each.

    7. Then you wait for final approval. However long it takes.

    8. The permit is good for only 2 years, instead of the more common 5 to 7 years as with other States.

    Basically, a laborious process designed to discourage as many applicants as possible. You end up spending time and money without ever knowing if you’ll even get the good Sheriff’s permission in the end. You might be an upstanding, law-abiding citizen of the community with years of responsible gun ownership and training under your belt, but “self defense” is not synonymous with “good cause” in Villanueva’s mind, and you may not ever be granted His Higness’s permission to exercise your Natural Right.

    • So the Poor and those that live and work in high crime areas, most in need of protection, can just F-off.

    • The entire process is bypassed for those wealthy enough to pay the required cash tips.
      The system in states like CA, NJ, and NY are extremely corrupt.
      CA forces mere mortals to spend over $1000 just to apply. Then the sheriff says no because you didn’t pay to required off books cash tips. Same in NJ and NY.
      The city of Boston MA is known to have an unwritten policy of only issuing unrestricted (carry) permits to doctors, lawyers, wealthy campaign donors, and certified firearms instructors that work in the city.
      The policy in unwritten because it violates even MA law. No lawyer will take a case to sue because lawyers might have their permits revoked in Boston if they do.

    • If he has issued 900 permits, how about we break that down by race? I suspect almost all white, with a smattering of really rich, who cares what race? “May issue” is totally corrupt by design and application.

    • The city of Chicago was the same way in the ’90’s.
      You weren’t even allowed to have a handgun in your house, let alone carry one.
      If you were in the right business and had lots of cash, no problem.
      Do you think that a jeweler who carries 100K of diamonds isn’t going to be armed?
      Do you think someone who drove a Ferrari 456GT wasn’t going to be armed?
      You paid for a card from Richard M Daley and no CPD would mess with you.
      That was your permit, it even worked pretty well in most suburbs.
      If you are going to mention corruption then you have to use the word Chicago.
      As in:
      My grandparents from Chicago died in the ’60’s but voted for Biden in 2020.

  5. All those white supremacists rampaging through African-American and Latino neighborhoods.
    Truly awful.

    • I keyed in on the receiving-end / victimization implication of his phrasing immediately too – like living in those neighborhoods was akin to living near the San Andreas Fault, or radon.

  6. Not saying anyone should break the law but it is only a misdemeanor here for carrying without a mother may I card from the state.
    Or better yet move to a county where they are treating applicants as shall issue. It still sucks because of the serial number requirements etc, but at least there they treat you more like a human being with you know rights and stuff!

    • Same here, though CA law casts a wide net on what is considered “concealed”, and especially on what’s considered a “firearm” for the purposes of the law. Believe it or not, even though both Federal and CA law expressly state that a firearm is anything that ejects a projectile via the use of a controlled explosion, both tasers and flare guns are considered firearms for CA P.C. 25400. And only a portion of the gun/item needs to be concealed for the charge of “carrying concealed” to be legally applied. Backpacks and purses are considered “on your person”. And it matters not if the gun/item is loaded or unloaded…the law looks at the item itself. This means if you can be charged by a zealous D.A. with CC’ing a gun if you are found by a LEO with an empty flare gun (available at any Walmart here) partially sticking out of your backpack’s pocket.

      I carry anyway. Have for years. We just had a local active LAFD firefighter(!) walk in and shoot his colleagues (killing one) before setting fire to his own home and killing himself. This kind of stuff is happening more and more frequently. I’m not prostrating myself before Leftist anti-2A politicians to beg and wait for permission to defend myself and keep my wife from becoming a widow.

      • Your butt-hurt about Mr. Haz is just so *precious*.

        What a loser you are, boy… 😉

      • It’s okay, Geoff. I’ve always had a special patience for the autistic and understand their social limitations. They sometimes express their envy for others’ confidence and strength is ways normal people don’t. I take it in stride as a compliment, while also maintaining a sensitivity to their need for an emotional outlet.

        All Hail (or whatever name he chooses day by day, depending upon the latest TV rerun he watched) just needs some sunlight. His mom really should unlock that basement door and give him some supervised outdoor time in the yard…

      • For heaven’s sake, not out in the yard!!! Think of the children, or the poor neighbors !!

      • Hmm. Looks like All Hail’s snarky reply and the subsequent comments after it have been deleted by the site commandos.

        • Yeah, noticed that as well.

          Think he’ll get the hint? Snicker. 😉

          (I seriously despise using an iPhone to comment…)

        • Yes, the “new” site format works well from a PC, but is horrible when accessed by phone. Very difficult to determine *which* comments are in reply to *which* person above them.

        • Even from a PC, if I “Reply” via an e-mail notification, it frequently redirects my response to the bottom of the page (like it’s a new, unrelated comment). It is possible to manually click back on the Reply link under the specific comment, but it’s easy to miss that.

    • Daniel, just out of curiosity, do you have to move to another county, or just submit the application in another county?

      • In CA, ccw must be issued by county of residence. In my county, placer , our sherif says his goal is to get everyone a permit.

        In reference to the article, I never heard of CA approved ammo and at least here, it doesn’t have to be a CA approved gun, ie on the roster.

  7. He’s just exercising his privilege and power to insure only the elite and connected can be armed…I expect he will be cancelled and a mob of peace lovers will protest outside his house or burn it down for his affront to justice or “just us.” BLM told me this was true. Wait, no he supports all the people in poverty or high crime areas, he even said so! He should be celebrated instead!

    That is the ironic thing of the protests is how the bleeding heart liberal leadership say they are for the minorities while enacting policies to keep themselves in power over helping the people they proclaim to care about. Pretty funny how they even embraced all the riots until the rioters showed up at their front doors.

  8. I just don’t understand why the SCOTUS hasn’t smacked down this dictator sheriff??

    • SCOTUS the same people that upheld slavery, separate but equal schools, Jim Crowe laws and Baby Killing, etc.

      These politically connected lawyers in Black Dresses should never be the arbiters of our Rights, which are plain to read in the Constitution. We don’t need lawyers to tell us the meaning of the word, “is”, etc.

      Politicians who violate the Constitution need to go to prison and therefore be held when they break the highest law in the land.

      • Far to many Tax Dollars are being Wasted due to the Imprisonment of people of Dubious character and Incorrigible tendencies. This goes from criminals to politicians and even judges. The former who society openly punishes, while the latter is often reelected to do as they desire. Regardless of the Good or Ill it perpetrates on Society. “We the People” have met the Enemy and It Is Us. Simply because it is easier for many to stand aside and complain about How bad things are, rather than get Their Hands dirty cleaning up the mess.

    • SCOTUS has so far declined to take a California case. The Peruta case raided the issue of whether there was a right to a CCW, especially since open carry is illegal, loaded or unloaded. The Ninth declined to consider the CCW law in the context of the open carry ban and ruled that there is no right to a concealed carry permit, thus upholding the may issue law. A petition for writ of certiorari was denied.

      More recently, the Ninth Circuit en banc, overruling a panel decision, concluded that there is no right under the Second Amendment to bear arms in public AT ALL. Most of us had assumed the the Ninth, but approving discretionary issue and not as a matter of right, would have to conclude that there is a right to open carry under the Second. Through rather convoluted reasoning and selective citation to authorities, the Court proved us all wrong. A petition for certiorari is now pending. We are hopeful that the case will be taken up along with the New York carry case it already has.

      So THAT is why no court has smacked this sheriff down.

      • “A petition for certiorari is now pending. We are hopeful that the case will be taken up along with the New York carry case it already has.”

        When’s the deadline? The Court is about (if it hasn’t already) adjourned for summer recess, hasn’t it?

  9. Arizona – Population around 7 million.
    Constitutional carry state, open or concealed without a permit.
    Total number of CCW permits issued 325,421

    This is what Freedom looks like. Los Angeles County, with 10 million people and 900 CCW permits is still a “Friends & Family Plan” for the Sheriff and the Politically connected, for the most part.

    Its a good start, but you either have Constitutional Rights or you don’t. New York City has around 39,000 permits and I’d hardly call them a Bastion of Freedom.

  10. Stop giving these Tyrants the benefit of the doubt. There is nothing “Ignorant” about what they are doing. They aren’t Ignorant, Stupid or Crazy. They are Inherently Evil with a Superiority Complex along with a deep seated desire to Control Society. They often assert that they simple want to protect “The People”. H.L. Mencken addressed this when he stated: “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to Rule It. Power is what all Messiahs really seek: Not the chance to Serve. This is True even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts”. This is nothing more than “The People” supporting the suppression of their Rights by electing the Ruler who denies them. Which is nothing new in Cities, Counties and States Controlled By Democrats.

  11. The sheriff just wants to be sure that criminals and corrupt public officials have a safe work place.
    Criminal gangs are part of the bureaucrats tip collection agency.
    This arshole knows that when only gov’t and criminals have guns, the line between law and outlaw disappears.
    Criminals LOVE LA.

  12. The wheels are comin’ off the hooptie. It happens first in the biggest cities.

    Coming soon to a community near you.

  13. Law enforcement in Los Angeles is unfortunately a criminal organization. Villanueva is also affiliated with gangs. Why would he take power away from gangs and LEOs affiliated with them? No way he would support citizens carrying guns. He needs to protect the criminals who pay him.

  14. Wait, did he misspell his handle? Seems to me it’s supposed to be “locosheriff.”

  15. Screw him. Anyone that whines about defunding the police but doesn’t trust his constituents that are generally pro law enforcement is an ignorant grade a buffoon. Idiots like him SHOULD be defunded.

  16. For the “good cause” section applicants should just attach a copy of the sheriff’s statements about violent crime.
    Sure, he’ll not approve the application, but it would be a good start for a lawsuit!

    • Under California law, issuance of a CCW is subject to the discretion of the issuing agency. You have to prove that the sheriff/police chief abused his/her discretion in denying the application, and that, my friend, is a near impossible burden of proof.

  17. Sufficient evidence of potential danger to life or of great bodily harm to the applicant, his or her spouse or dependent child, which cannot be adequately dealt with by existing law enforcement resources…

    This seems to be a qualification for most LA residents as the murder rate is soaring and police are not doing the job of holding it down. I know that argument would not get you anywhere near a permit but is a good argument.

  18. I grew up in the East end of the San Gabriel Valley and graduated high school when you could still legally have a gun rack and carry a rifle or shotgun in your truck. Then Vietnam called and when I came back home much had already changed. You could no longer just go out target shooting in the desert. For a time, you could still target shoot in the National Forest but that soon was stopped. Over the years it just got worse and it was hard to find ranges. I stayed in the military reserves and retired after a span of 36 years as a weapons specialist in Special Warfare. My wife and I became volunteers in both “hospice care” and as “Volunteers On Patrol” with the LA County Sheriffs. We lived in a small remote community in the High Desert area of LA County with a very high crime rate and a number of “drug gangs”. There was only one full time Deputy Sheriff assigned to the area and we, along with other VOPS, were the eyes and ears for the Department. We drove patrol in obviously marked Sheriffs cars and in uniform, but could not carry anything for self-defense! If anything went wrong, all we could do is try to control a situation as best as we could and call for support from 20 miles away! After doing this for a few years, we decided to sell the home, packed up, and moved to Oklahoma! Now we each have an OK CC permit and live out in the country on a small farm. I am free to collect all the weapons that I want, shoot at the local gun club, hunt during season, and we both now have lifetime hunting and fishing licenses. There is NO WAY we would ever move back to CA! We still have a lot of family in CA, a number of which are Deputy Sheriffs or other law enforcement. We rarely visit because our CC permits are not honored in California. I thank God every day that we got out of there and we never look at returning!

  19. He’s got it backwards: the police have to prove to the citizens that they should be trusted with guns.

  20. True Story:

    After the release of the film American Me, several people associated w/ the film were murdered by the Mexican Mafia. Director and Producer Edward James Olmos, was the victim of an extortion attempt by mafia member Joe “Pegleg” Morgan. Olmos had several threats to his life after turning down the extortion “offer”. As such, HE APPLIED FOR A CCW PERMIT AND WAS DENIED! That is how hard it is to get a permit to carry in Califus. If a wealthy producer w/ threats to his life from the Mexica Mafia cannot get a permit to carry then mere commoners sure aren’t going to get one.

  21. “We’re not going to go to ‘shall issue,’ where anyone who can fog a mirror can get a CCW permit,” he said. “That’s not responsible…”

    Yeah, it’s all blood in the streets everywhere here in shall issue and constitutional carry states! *eyeroll*

  22. We should be praising Alex Villanueva for a lot of things lately, not vilifying him. He is the only official in LA who has stood up to the city council, the city attorney and communist DA, and the board of supervisors, on the issues of homelessness, defunding his department and LAPD, and the rising crime rate. He is right in their face, calling them crazy and bought-off, which they are. He is sending deputies in to clean up Venice and Olvera Street, areas that the LAPD left to rot. He has changed his tune on CCW, after being elected on a “no issue” platform (I voted for the rival candidate for that reason). Now, he is loosening a decades-long policy which gave only insiders CCW’s. In his June 2, 2021 interview, he said that he has added staff to issue more permits, and wants the “good cause” standard to be “achievable,” which he said meant showing that one was “responsible,” and had no convictions or other legal impediments to arms ownership. Tellingly, he summed up the “good cause threshold” as a showing that one could be “trusted with arms in public.” That seems to be a significantly easier standard than having to prove a specific threat or fear of being harmed. Time will tell on this, as few permits have been issued as of yet, but all this Villanueva bashing is ill-informed.

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