Making a concealed weapons list, checking it twice

Right. That will work.

Right. That will work.

More of your friends and neighbors, and just plain strangers will be packing heat in the future if a ruling outlawing concealed weapons restrictions is allowed to stand. More than a few Nevada County residents already have the right.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals–known as the “9th Circus” to conservatives for its liberal rulings in the past–decided Thursday that California’s law regarding concealed weapons permits infringes on Second Amendment rights.

California law generally prohibits carrying guns in public places, but allows sheriffs and police chiefs to issue concealed weapons permits to residents who show “good moral character,” complete a training course, and provide a valid reason for needing the gun.

The appeals panel said those restrictions prevent many citizens from bearing arms in public for self defense. The defendants have asked all 11 judges of the court to rule on the appeal, so the ruling is on hold for now. Federal courts have come down on both sides of the issue, so the U.S. Supreme Court will probably make the final decision.

How many people in Nevada County have permits? It’s generally easier to get a permit in a rural county, but the people who have them prefer to keep the information private, as The Union discovered about a decade ago.

Rich Somerville was editing the paper then and he hired David Griner, a bright, young fellow, as his city editor. (Being a bright fellow, he is no longer in the news business.) Griner wondered who had concealed weapons permits in the county, and requested the list from Sheriff Keith Royal.

In accordance with the law, the sheriff first notified permit holders about the request. He said he subsequently received a call from publisher Jeff Ackerman canceling the request.

If the Supreme Court sides with the 9th Circuit, it won’t matter who’s on the list.

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8 Responses to Making a concealed weapons list, checking it twice

  1. jeffpelline says:

    Yes, this was an often-discussed tale. Yet another example of the “good old boys” influencing The Union newspaper.

  2. Russ Steele says:

    The big problem of identifying all the people with a CCW, and who may have guns in their homes, with a willingness to protect themselves, will inadvertently identified those do not have CCWs and maybe living in a gun free zone. When a newspaper in New York decided to identify gun owners, those gun owners made it very clear where the reporters and editors of the paper lived and the cars they drove. If the Union wants to take an anti-gun stance, I am sure the gun owning community will make sure there is some special news for public consumption.

    • That sounds like a threat to me. Are you suggesting the lives of The Union’s editor and reporters would be in danger if such a list was published? So much for responsible gun ownership.

      There’s a very narrow group of people–judges, prosecutors, residents of the most remove areas–who can justify carrying a concealed weapon, and I think the public has a right to know how judicious the sheriff is in handing out such permits.

      Personally, I’d like to know if I have a neighbor who’s paranoid enough to feel he has to carry a concealed weapon.

    • Russ Steele says:


      No threat intended, only reporting what happened in New York. You will be surprised how many folks have CCW in Nevada County. CCW Class the Range were backlogged six months the last time I checked. I see another business start up is offering CCW training. The demand must be increasing.

  3. Jeff Ackerman says:

    Hey, George. What is the benefit to the public in knowing who has a concealed carry permit? How many gun crimes in Nevada County have been committed by people licensed to carry guns? I’d guess maybe zero? Want to do some database reporting? Find out how many gun crimes in Nevada County were committed by repeat offenders, or career criminals. People who take the time to secure a CCW must take a day-long gun safety class and register the guns they carry. Criminals, as you know, do not. They don’t go the the sheriff’s department to fill out paperwork. So…again…where is the value in publishing the names of the CCW permit holders and…what will it accomplish beyond “outing” good citizens? Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. As publisher, I chose not to publish those names and if I had to make that decision again it would be the same decision. Tell fat boy, by the way, that he ought to get some money from Lamphier for posting his campaign flyer on his blog. Unless perhaps it’s a Paid Political Advertisement? Looks like that “award-winning journalist” is having a tough time understanding the lines. Maybe he’s too busy lecturing the rest of us on newsroom ethics?

    • Jeff:

      I never expressed an opinion about publishing the names, I just noted that people who have permits want to keep the information private.

      I personally don’t care who has a permit (although there is one guy down the street I wonder about) but I would like to know how many people have permits, what percent of applications are approved, and how these numbers compare with other rural counties. After the bad guys who have guns, I’m most concerned about the number of irresponsible people who own guns legally, a subject I’ve written about here:

      As for your former editor, I have no influence with the foothills task master. Our relationship got off to rocky start when I called him out on his blog for his criticism of The Union, pointing out that he held the paper to a standard no other newspaper is expected to attain, that he criticized things that were stand operating procedure when he edited the paper, and that the equivalent of a journalistic misdemeanor became a death penalty case when it happened in The Union.

      The final straw came when he apparently spotted you in town after you had moved to Oregon, and wrote about it in his blog. I asked if he was stalking you, stated that obsessions aren’t healthy, and recommended that he seek professional counseling. We haven’t had any direct communication since then.

  4. Jeff Ackerman says:

    George. We are on the same page with respect to Pee-Line. He’s a shill who continues to use his blog as a desperate cry for attention, but so far has attracted an audience that could fit comfortably into a booth at Denny’s, provided he doesn’t join them. His obsession with me is borderline creepy. I’ve never had that kind of attention…not even from my dog and I feed him. I do worry about him, though. One day he may keel over in the middle of a sentence. “When I was at the Chronicle…a real paper…I was loved and adored. Now I’m… “Aaaaag…..”
    Or not.

  5. Don Baumgart says:

    A friend, who shall remain nameless, went to City Hall in Nevada City to get a carry permit. They had to get the forms from Placer County and then go to the Nevada County Sheriff’s office to find a typewriter for the forms. Doesn’t look like a stampede to me.

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