Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore wants to invalidate concealed carry weapons (CCW) permits for 30 individuals, NBC Los Angeles reported. Because LAPD is a "may issue" jurisdiction, Moore and his team can decide whether or not they feel an individual has a "valid reason" for wanting to carry concealed.
The "may issue" precedent led to a lawsuit in the 1990s known as Assenza, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, where 30 individuals sued to obtained a CCW permit. The group said they feared for their lives and faced extraordinary danger. But now, Chief Moore says he no longer believes that to be the case.
"I do not believe the continued wholesale allowance for each to possess a CCW license based on circumstances that may have existed 24 years ago is in the best interest of the public," Moore said.
The city had initially settled with the plaintiffs and awarded them CCW permits, something attorney Burt Jacobson, a former federal prosecutor and one plaintiffs, said should remain in effect.
"The City should keep its word," Jacobson told NBC. "They wanted a settlement, and they wrote the settlement!” Jacobson said he’s faced recent threats as a result of court cases that ended many years ago.
The City of Los Angeles and Chief Moore have asked a judge to undue the settlement. Their reason? They believe the settlement infringes upon Moore's ability to decide who should and should not receive a CCW permit. Moore also cites the city's lower crime rate and higher police presence as a reason to invalidate the permits.
"Technology has improved tremendously in the last 24 years which has enabled individuals to instantly communicate with law enforcement via cellphones from anywhere and at any time should they feel threatened," Moore said.
Chief Moore has given out a whopping two CCW permits and even then, the permits have caveats.
The two men who received the CCWs are gun dealers who "routinely transport machine guns and other firearms unavailable to the general public." They're allowed to carry a concealed firearm but only when they're transporting firearms for their business.
Gun rights activists have been against "may issue" sheriffs and police chiefs for years because gun owners have to show that they truly "need" the firearm for self-protection. There has to be some type of event – a robbery, sexual assault or death threat – that warrants the person to carry a firearm. If you're a law-abiding person who wants to make sure you're never taken advantage of, it doesn't matter. You have a "burden of proof" on your hands. And even then, there's no guarantee that you'd even be issued a permit.
All Constitution-loving sheriffs and law enforcement members should strive to be "shall issuers," meaning they'll approve CCW permits unless the person has deemed themselves unfit. It means people have the ability to protect themselves before a tragic incident occurs, not after their rape whistle fails them.