The odds of a concealed carry weapon holder committing a gun crime are low. Extremely low, Fresno law enforcement says.
A new law, Senate Bill 2, awaits the signature of Gov. Gavin Newsom. The legislation would tighten who can receive a concealed carry weapon permit and where CCW holders can carry guns.
Attorney General Rob Bonta recently told GV Wire that this new gun control measure is needed because CCW holders commit crimes.
“Some (CCW holders) are, some have 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,” Bonta said last week during a stop in Fresno.
“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. But the data does show that those with CCW in the past across different states have committed crimes.”
Local Law Enforcement Disputes Bonta’s Claims
Local law enforcement disagrees with Bonta’s analysis.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office says in the last five years, there has been only one CCW holder charged with a gun crime.
“We had one offense under PC 171b (a)(1). This means the person brought a gun into a local or state building where a public meeting was being held and doing so was prohibited,” sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said.
The office estimated that 17,000 CCW holders carrying a gun in public once a day over the last five years is 1 in 31 million opportunities to commit a crime.
Also, Fresno police do not have a record of a CCW holder committing a gun crime in 2022 or thus far in 2023.
SB 2 among other things, would double the training requirement (from eight hours to 16); specify more than two dozen “sensitive places” where CCW would not be allowed such as schools, bars, and government buildings; and increase the steps required for a law enforcement agency to issue a CCW.
Gun rights advocates vow to fight the bill in court.
Requests to Bonta’s office, and to the bill’s author, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-Burbank, for data on CCW holders committing crimes went unanswered.
Other recent studies find mixed results.
A Center for American Progress analysis of recent gun control studies concluded that right-to-carry states have more crime than other states with stricter gun control policies.
“By making it easy for almost anyone to carry a concealed handgun in public, right-to-carry laws increase violent crime, firearm robberies, gun thefts, workplace homicides, and mass shootings. Right-to-carry laws make it harder for law enforcement to solve violent crimes and are opposed by many law enforcement leaders across the country,” CAP wrote.
However, the analysis did not conclude that CCW holders commit more crimes.
Website Gun Facts concludes differently, that CCW holders commit crimes less often than the general population.
A Rand Corporation analysis found that CCW/crime data is “inconclusive.”
“Evidence for the effect of permitless-carry laws on total homicides is inconclusive. Evidence that shall-issue concealed-carry laws may increase violent crime is limited,” Rand wrote.