If would-be terrorists can get their hands on guns and use them attack others, some people in San Bernardino, California, figure they should be able to fight back.
San Bernardino, the site of the worst Islamist terrorist attack since 9/11 and the Fort Hood massacre, has seen a huge jump in people who want to carry guns. But even people who weren't close to the attack have jammed sheriff's departments all over the country seeking legal approval for packing a concealed weapon.
Deputy Adam Cervantes of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office told Independent Journal that the usual number of CCW (Carrying a Concealed Weapon) requests are 10-12 over one weekend.
But when they got to work Monday of this week, there were 75 requests, representing a more than 525% increase in the number of people wanting to conceal a gun:
“That's a big spike.”
Cervantes told Independent Journal that it will take several more “weeks or months” to determine if the number of permits issued will increase with the requests:
“But right now we have 1,000 interviews scheduled between now and March.”
In a county of nearly 2.1 million residents, a total of four thousand valid CCW permits have been issued, according to Cervantes.
In nearby Orange County, this was what greeted visitors to the sheriff's CCW webpage on December 5th:
“We are experiencing a high volume of requests and will be in contact with you in the order of receipt. Thank you for your patience.”
That language was removed by Tuesday, but an acknowledgement that Orange County — as well many other counties in California — is slow-rolling requests was still up:
“New applicants, and those applicants currently in process, will be required to articulate their safety concerns and provide supporting documentation in accordance with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s (OCSD) Policy 218. Each application will be evaluated individually based on the merits of the applicant’s good cause statement and the totality of their circumstances.”
People in California must prove they're in peril to get a concealed weapons permit. That constraint was previously thrown out as unconstitutionally restrictive in Peruta vs. County of San Diego, but those restrictions will continue at least until the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hears the case en banc and settles the issue.
Among others, California's Attorney General and Senate candidate Kamala Harris has fought against the right to carry a concealed weapon.
Much of the national discussion has centered on ways to keep guns out of the hands of Americans as a “gun safety” measure which some consider an odd reaction to an increased threat level by terrorists.
Judging by the reaction by people to the San Bernardino terrorist attack, it looks like people aren't waiting to find out what government officials plan to do. They're arming up.