Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Los Angeles Sheriff Works to Empty Jails While Disparaging Second Amendment Rights

Friday, March 20, 2020

Los Angeles Sheriff Works to Empty Jails While Disparaging Second Amendment Rights

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has an unorthodox plan for ensuring public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic: free imprisoned inmates, look the other way on crime, and try to suppress law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

We all know we are supposed to vigorously wash our hands to prevent the spread of coronavirus. We didn’t know, however, that lawmen were supposed to wash their hands of vigorously enforcing the law.

Nevertheless, the U.K. Daily Mail reports that with the urging of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (not known for its public health expertise), Villanueva has released over 600 inmates, including those with less than 30 days left to serve on their sentences. The article also states that the daily number of arrests across Los Angeles County has in the same period dropped some 80%. 

These measures were ostensibly taken “over concerns about the coronavirus,” although the article notes Los Angeles County jails have yet to see a confirmed case.

Whether these steps will actually slow the spread of the contagion or expose the county’s law-abiding residents to heightened risks remains to be seen. But it’s doubtful that offenders who behaved badly enough to go to jail in the first place will have any more respect for recommendations that they socially distance themselves from crime victims than for the laws they broke on their way to the slammer.

And while Villanueva’s actions may prevent the former inmates from contracting and spreading the disease to each other and his deputies in the close confines of the county’s jails, the ex-inmates will now have more opportunity to contract and spread it among the general public.

You might think that with the department’s reduced enforcement efforts, Sheriff Villanueva would understand and support the public’s desire to provide for its own safety during the extraordinary emergency posed by COVID-19. Indeed, other media reports indicate that scores of Californians are buying firearms for the first time as a safeguard against the fast-developing crisis, with lines outside one Los Angeles County gun store having recently stretched down the block.

You would, however, be wrong.

During the same press conference in which he announced the steps to reduce his jail population, Villanueva told the assembled media, “Buying guns is a bad idea.” Incredibly, his rationale for this statement was that “you have a lot of people now that are at home” because of efforts to combat the pandemic, which supposedly makes them susceptible to “cabin fever.” 

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that possessing a firearm for self-defense within one’s home is at the core of the Second Amendment. And people naturally want to protect themselves when government resources, by the government’s own admission, are stretched to their limits.

Villanueva is no more enthusiastic about Los Angeles residents exercising their right to bear arms in public.

Applicants for concealed carry licenses in Los Angeles County must pass a background check and undergo at least 8 hours of firearms training, which includes demonstrating “shooting proficiency” in “live-fire exercises” in “accordance with LASD standards.”

But even those who satisfy these requirements can expect to be denied. “The Department’s overriding policy is that no concealed weapon license should be granted merely for the personal convenience of the applicant,” the department warns.

Otherwise qualified applicants will still be rejected unless they can provide “convincing evidence of a clear and present danger to life, or of great bodily harm” to themselves, a spouse, or a dependent child. Even then, the applicant somehow has to show that the danger cannot be “adequately dealt with by existing law enforcement resources” or “reasonably avoided by alternative measures” and that it “would be significantly mitigated by the applicant’s carrying of a concealed firearm.”

Practically speaking, there is no way for a resident of Los Angeles County to exercise the right to bear arms for self-defense other than with a concealed carry license.

Requiring this extraordinary justification is therefore directly contrary to the Second Amendment, which the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear guarantees “the individual right to possess and carry weapons [including handguns] in case of confrontation.” The ability to carry firearms for self-defense is not just a matter of “convenience.” It’s a matter of fundamental rights.

More than ever, Americans need to be able to trust the common sense, good judgment, and competence of their local officials. 

But particularly when that fails, they need to be able to stand on their rights.

Give the recent actions of their sheriff, it may be no mystery why many so residents of Los Angeles County are suddenly so keen to avail themselves of the Second Amendment’s guarantees.

TRENDING NOW
President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

News  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

Former President Donald J. Trump will headline the 2022 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on May 27, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

“[A]ll We Need You to Do is Give us the Gun”: U.K. Launches National Firearm Surrender Campaign

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

“[A]ll We Need You to Do is Give us the Gun”: U.K. Launches National Firearm Surrender Campaign

On March 12, a two-week campaign was launched in the United Kingdom to encourage subjects of Her Majesty the Queen to surrender firearms, ammunition, weapons, and any other object even vaguely reminiscent of a gun ...

NRA Statement Ahead of 2022 NRAAM

News  

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

NRA Statement Ahead of 2022 NRAAM

The National Rifle Association released the following statement on Wednesday, May 25

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

ATF Partners with Anti-gun Researchers to Expand Agency’s Power

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

ATF Partners with Anti-gun Researchers to Expand Agency’s Power

On May 17, the Department of Justice announced the release of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives publication titled the National Firearms in Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA). The report is the result of the ...

Choke Point “Lite”

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

Choke Point “Lite”

Ten years ago, the Obama Administration introduced “Operation Choke Point,” a program to weaponize the banking industry and financial service providers against certain lawful businesses and merchants. Implemented by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice and ...

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

News  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

There is a central hypocrisy at the heart of the gun control effort.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

News  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Semi-Automatic Firearms and the “Assault Weapon” Issue Overview

Semi-automatic firearms were introduced more than a century ago. The first semi-automatic rifle was introduced in 1885, the first semi-automatic pistol in 1892, and the first semi-automatic shotgun in 1902. Semi-automatics account for about 20 ...

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Signs Constitutional Carry

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Signs Constitutional Carry

Today, Governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 319, constitutional carry, into law. Georgia is now the 25th constitutional carry state, and the fourth to join that group in 2022. Half of the country now recognizes the right ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.