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Should California lawmakers get special status to carry concealed weapons?

Talk back LASome California lawmakers are saying their jobs have become dangerous -- so much so that they want to be able to carry  concealed weapons.

They are citing the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in Tuscon and threats from constituents in California as grounds for them to have easier access to permits to carry weapons, the Times' Patrick McGreevy reports.

"I've had guys physically come up to me ready to punch me out," said state Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), co-author of a new permit proposal.

Under current law Californians who want to carry concealed firearms must apply to their county sheriff or police chief and show "good cause" for permission. That can include threats of violence or a dangerous job. Under the new bill, being an elected state official or a member of Congress would constitute good cause. The officials would, like others, be subject to a background check, and a sheriff or police chief could still turn down the application.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca objects to the idea, noting that elected officials should have to go through the same process that requires them to show good cause for the permit. And, in an unusual show of agreement, both gun rights and gun control advocates agree that elected officials should not have special status.

Do you agree? Are California lawmakers exposed to so many threats that their position alone should qualify them to acquire a concealed permit? Or should they be treated like every other citizen? Tell us your thoughts below.

Comments () | Archives (52)

"...elected officials should not have special status." They should "...be treated like every other citizen." I agree. They're already a privileged class at taxpayers' expense. Sheriff Baca is right; let them go through the "good cause" process. Most state lawmakers don't have the same firearms training as law enforcement and the military, and most aren't as brave or steady (police and military aberrations excepted.) Officials are likely to be trigger-happy if someone brushes against them in a crowd. Particularly conservatives with the weapons thing...hunting for sport, target practice and so forth. Also, other high-profile people such as celebrities and reporters are required to follow the regular process. Elected officials aren't special.

Depends on the city or district. Some areas are just plain dangerous and some are heavily populated by gangs and criminals. They should be allowed to carry if safety is an issued.

You must be kidding? It doesn't matter what an ordinary citizen thinka anymore in this country or in California.
The Democratic party and the unions do anything they want to!

Everyone has a dangerous job, if you think hard enough. Having more guns out there does not make society safer. Let's keep the weapons in the hands of those who are properly trained and whom we trust with keeping the peace.

These clowns already hold a figurative gun to our heads, why would we give them a real weapon?

That is a no-brainer, of course they should be able to carry guns.

They absolutely should not have special status. In fact, the statement by State Sen. Correa is a great reason why: you can't brandish a firearm or shoot someone for threatening to punch you out. It requires a reasonable fear that you or someone else is about to be killed or seriously injured. And if that's the standard (which it is), there are many people in our society who face that risk more often than state legislators do and who would not get such a privilege. Also unanswered here is why the state legislators can't just go through the existing process, whereby their request is reviewed by the local chief law enforcement officer (e.g. the sheriff).

I carry a concealed weapon. I think more people should. But I don't think certain people should be able to vote themselves the authority to do it. There's a process. As there should be.

For once I agree with Sheriff Baca and "gun control advocates".
NO special treatment/exceptions for elected officials.
Besides, the state/taxpayers are alreaday paying millions for their security.

As an average Joe Citizen living in the city limits of Los Angeles I can forget about applying for a CCW license. Outside my home or business it is illegal to defend myself with a firearm.
Nonetheless, I love it with state politicians and law enforcement at odds with each other over this, as it could lead to shall issue in California.


Absolutely NOT! Make California a "Shall-issue" state! They need to be put through the ridiculous hoops like everyone else...Who am I kidding? They will be pushed through process at a high rate of speed because of their political status.

NO. The answer is NO.

Senator Correa, if you feel threatened by your line of work and cannot deal with the possibility of facing off against people who are very passionate, whether civil or violent, then you need to get out of politics. It is a line of work that affects people in varying degrees, from feelings of gratitude to feelings of retaliation. If it is too much for you, then do a Palin and resign. You were elected; you are not entitled.

California lawmakers should not get special gun permits--instead, they should be held in jails in protective custody for ruining the economy of the richest state in the richest country in the history of the world.

If these elected officials feel the need to carry concealed firearms then they should pass a "Shall Issue" law. It's time politicians realized that they are not a privileged class. They should extend this right to all citizens.

the career bureaucrats should not have "special treatment" as if they are a different caste.

If they feel that the position is too dangerous for them, then they should get another job. They weren't elected to play sheriff. We have enough idiots with guns, we don't need to add to the problem.

Absolutely no. If tehy wish to be protected, they could either drop the job, hire bodyguards, go through the same process they (or their peers) created for an average Joe, or make California Shall Issue state for all. Some people cannot be allowed to be more equal and valuable than others.

I have news for you: you are now experiencing the very same conditions most citizens experience, and the case for officials to carry concealed handguns is identical to our own case too long ignored by the very same people now seeing it our way: being armed. If you believe in concealed weapons for yourselves, you understand the concept as we have been saying it.

"There are nuts out there!" was the very same response Dianne Feinstein gave when she was asked about her own concealed carry permit for a high caliber revolver hand cannon.

The fact is that this appeal for concealed carry exhibits most clearly the greatest disconnect in all that is wrong with elites; they expect it to be understandable for them to obtain CCW permits with advance clearance while the rest of us somehow are not able to show cause clearly enough.

Either this special treatment is to be turned down so officials live like the rest of us, or we ALL get CCW permits. You get to carry yours, and we get to carry ours, otherwise you're making the unmistakable statement that we are not equal and that you're special.

All Californians should be able to carry.

Actually, I thing we voters need protection from the legislators, not vice-versa.

Funny they want to look out for their own health and welfare, but have left law abiding Angelinos to fend for themselves.

It's the 2nd ammendment right. Anyone who is in good legal standing should be able to carry. They shouldn't get special priviledges, though. Everyone should have that right.

NO! Everyone should get to carry. What makes legislators lives more important than ours?

that's so incredibly typical of lawmakers and liberals.

Aimee X is missing something by her statements of "conservatives and law enforcement" types and guns. Clearly "liberals' like Aimee X would choose put their trust and lives in the hands of the "police", as if to suggest that they alone are qualified to handle a firearm. Concealed weapons holders are not the police Aimee X, and dont need "police training". CCW holders do not make traffic stops, they do not respond to bank robberies, they dont respond to domestic violence calls, or any other "police matters". CCW holders are trained to handle and use a firearm properly and legally when faced with an immediate dangerous personal safety situation that the police cannot possibly respond to in a timely fashion. Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Secondly, most of the "conservative / hunting type" I know are far more conservative and prudent when it comes to the safe, legal and responsible handeling of firearms. They have to be. Unlike most "liberals", they learn to respect and handle firearms carfully, while liberals call the police an hide under the bed and demand more gun control. Except for the police, whom we can always trust and count on to do the right thing, every time. I would like to ask every woman (now in a grave), if the right to carry a weapon would have made a difference in living or dying, getting raped or not getting raped.

California needs to be a 'Shall Issue' state.

Funny how politicians don't want to make it easy for other people to carry...just themselves. Do they have more of a right to defend themselves than the rest of us?

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