What Bonta, Local Police Chiefs Say About New CCW Measure That’s on Newsom’s Desk - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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What Bonta, Local Police Chiefs Say About New CCW Measure That’s on Newsom’s Desk



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California Attorney General Rob Bonta wholeheartedly supports a new gun control measure awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature.

To weigh in on SB 2, which stiffens requirements for obtaining a CCW, contact Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office at this link or call (916) 445-2841.  

“We have one of the lowest firearm mortality rates in the nation because we have some of the strongest gun laws in the nation. It is causal. It’s not accidental. It’s not happenstance,” Bonta said Tuesday during a visit to Fresno.

Senate Bill 2, authored by state Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-Burbank, would place new requirements on issuing concealed weapon carry permits, and also restrict where CCW holders can carry their weapons.

Newsom sponsored the legislation.

“There’s a reason why you’re far less likely to die from bullets in California,” Newsom said in a Portantino news release. “We’re using every tool we can to make our streets and neighborhoods safer from gun violence.”

CalMatters wrote the bill limits guns in “sensitive places” such as courts and daycares.

The bill complies with the Supreme Court Bruen decision that struck down CCW requirements that gave vague discretionary powers to law enforcement when issuing the permits. Several California jurisdictions require applicants to show a compelling need for a CCW.

“We think that it fully complies with Bruen. It got a lot of votes in both houses and is now on the governor’s desk. We had a form of this bill last year that I wish would have gotten signed and passed into law a year ago,” Bonta said. “But sometimes good things have to wait and now it’s going to be signed and turned into law this year. So we’re pleased with where we are and look forward to the governor signing it.”

“If the governor is serious about reducing violence and violent crime in California, it has nothing to do with the CCW holders.”Fresno County Sheriff John Zanoni

Bonta said that CCW-holders have committed crimes in the past.

“If you give everyone a CCW without discretion and without review, then certainly there will be more people who are not law-abiding and more dangerous who will get a CCW (and) who can commit a crime. And so the whole point of a CCW regime that looks at dangerousness and looks at use in sensitive sites is to make sure that those who have CCW will be law abiding and not commit crimes,” Bonta said.

Gun rights groups say they will sue if and when the governor signs the bill.

What Fresno, Clovis Police Chiefs Say

Fresno is known as a pro-CCW area. Both the sheriff’s office and Fresno police office issue CCWs. The standards for both agencies traditionally did not require proof of a compelling need.

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said he wants to reserve comment until after the governor signs the bill. He did say the department issues and renews about 3,000 permits a year.

“We follow the law,” Balderrama said about the permits.

Clovis Police Chief Curt Fleming says his department does not issue CCWs, deferring to the sheriff’s office. He said his office is monitoring SB 2.

A department spokesman explained why Clovis lets the sheriff’s office handle CCW.

“Fresno Sheriff has been handling CCW permits in Fresno County for smaller law enforcement agencies within our county for as long as I can remember,” spokesman Ty Wood said.

“The CCW permitting process is extensive and includes backgrounds, working with DOJ, fingerprinting, in-person interviews, and they must be renewed every 2 years. To my knowledge, there are no plans for Clovis PD to handle CCW permits due to our low staffing, and the fact that FSO has a good process in place and the staffing to handle it.”

Sheriff Concerned About SB 2

Fresno County Sheriff John Zanoni says SB 2 won’t make California any safer. He said he is “very concerned.”

“If the governor is serious about reducing violence and violent crime in California, it has nothing to do with the CCW holders who are law abiding individuals who go out and get CCW to protect themselves and their families,” Zanoni told GV Wire during an interview after this story first published.

Zanoni doesn’t buy that CCW holders are committing crimes. He says “less than 1/10 of 1%” engage in crime. The governor has not provided any data to the contrary, he said.

The causes of violent crime, Zanoni said, are the unhoused; lack of sentencing for gun crimes; and not increasing punishment for drug trafficking.

In Fresno County, Zanoni estimates 17,000 active CCW holders, with approximate 5,000 new and renewal applications each year. A typical permit lasts two years.

“We issue CCW typically to law-abiding individuals who demonstrate good moral character and show that they have the ability to exercise good judgment, and then they need to attend and complete the training class and then they become eligible,” Zanoni said.

The sheriff is worried the new regulations, including doubling training hours from eight to 16 hours, may deter potential applicants.

“Some individuals may determine that it’s not worth it to go through the process because it becomes so restrictive and so limited as to where they can carry their CCW,” Zanoni said.

How They Voted

The Central Valley delegation in the Legislature mostly opposed or did not vote on the final version of SB 2.

In the Assembly, only Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno voted yes. Fresno Democrat Esmeralda Soria joined Jim Patterson, R-Fresno; Devon Mathis, R-Porterville; and Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield in opposing the bill.

In the Senate, the final tally saw Marie Alvarado-Gil, D-Jackson, who represents several mountain areas, vote no. Anna Caballero, D-Merced, Melissa Hurtado, D-Bakersfield, and Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, did not cast votes.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email