State Audit Finds Dangerous Flaws in California’s Concealed Carry Weapon License Program
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The California State Auditor today released its findings of a nine month audit of the Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego County Sheriff Departments’ Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) license programs, uncovering substantive flaws in how these counties issue CCW licenses. The audit also found that Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones violated numerous state laws and his own procedures in issuing CCW licenses.
Local law enforcement agencies are authorized to issue CCW licenses to an individual if they are of good moral character, have good cause for the license, are a resident of the licensing authority’s jurisdiction and have completed required firearms training. The non-partisan audit sought to determine if Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego Counties were properly issuing CCW licenses pursuant to state and local laws and procedures and if existing CCW licensing fees were sufficient to cover the costs of administering CCW license programs.
The audit’s findings are particularly troubling for Sacramento taxpayers, since Sacramento County has issued more CCW licenses in the past few years than any other county in California. Over the past three fiscal years, Sacramento County has issued 6339 CCW licenses, compared to San Diego County, which issued 464 CCW licenses and Los Angeles County, which issued only 66 CCW licenses.
Among the findings of the audit:
- Nearly one third of the approved applications reviewed from Sacramento County failed to provide sufficient documentation that the CCW licensee was a resident of Sacramento County (p. 26).
- Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones failed to conduct local background checks on nearly one third of the reviewed CCW renewal applications (p. 27).
- Twelve percent of the approved applications reviewed from Sacramento County failed to complete required gun safety training for a CCW license (p. 27).
- Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones violated state law by failing to notify the California Department of Justice when 80% of reviewed CCW licenses were revoked because the licensee was legally prohibited from owning a gun (p. 33).
- Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones violated state law in failing to properly notify individuals when their application for a CCW license was denied (p. 34).
- Sacramento County’s CCW license program has operated in a deficit for at least the past three years including a deficit of $160,320 in fiscal year 2014-15, a deficit of $275,440 in fiscal year 2015-16 and a deficit of $213,890 in fiscal year 2016-17 (p. 44).
“Local CCW licensing programs are broken, financially burdensome on taxpayers and in need of reform,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. “The Auditor has made a number of reasonable legislative recommendations to improve the CCW license program. I will be pursuing legislation in the coming year to address legal deficiencies in the CCW license program and to make sure that taxpayers do not continue to foot the bill for anyone seeking a CCW license.”
“The State Auditor also affirmed my concerns and the concerns of residents in Sacramento County that Sheriff Scott Jones has maliciously neglected his sworn duty to follow the law when issuing CCW licenses,” continued McCarty. “It is disappointing to see our Sheriff violate the laws designed to protect us all.”
The audit used a random sample of CCW license applications in making its findings.
The Auditor’s full report can be found here: http://www.auditor.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2017-101.pdf
A summary of the Auditor’s findings can be found here: http://www.auditor.ca.gov/reports/2017-101/summary.html
A fact sheet of the Auditor’s findings can be found here: http://www.auditor.ca.gov/pdfs/factsheets/2017-101.pdf
PDF of full press release: CCW Audit Findings
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Kevin McCarty represents California’s 7th Assembly District, which include the cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento and unincorporated Sacramento County. McCarty serves as Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.
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