On Thursday, the California State Auditors officer released the findings of a nine-month audit on Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) license programs in three counties.
State audit report findings:
The audit sampled 25 CCW licenses each from 2014-2015 in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties – The 88 page report found that at times, all three departments inconsistently followed their policies when issuing licenses.
In some instances, Sacramento County issued CCW permits without collecting all of the required documentation, in violation of the department’s own standards, the audit report found.
It also found that Sacramento County issued far more CCW licenses than the other two departments audited. There were 14 instances of the 25 files sampled in Sacramento County that demonstrated that the department did not adhere to its policies, procedures or practices, according to the report.
Three did not meet the department definition of good moral character, eight did not meet residency requirements, and three did not have proper training.
While discrepancies were found in how all three departments followed procedure in issuing CCW licenses, Los Angeles County was the most problematic as the department did not adhere to its policies on any of the 25 licenses that were sampled, according to the report.
All three departments charged license fees under the maximum amount allowed by the law. For the last three years, Sacramento County’s program was found to cost more than it brought in.
Los Angeles and San Diego does not specifically track CCW related expenses, but the state auditing agency concluded that the cost likely exceeds what each program brings in.
Requirements to obtain a CCW in Sacramento County:
Applicants must complete a 16-hour training course that covers firearm safety and law.
Applicants must qualify with each firearm listed on the CC permit. The permit must be renewed every two years including a four hour legal firearms refresher course.
Each applicant must also meet certain range qualifications. The total cost of a CCW permit in Sacramento County is $100, plus $130 for fingerprinting through the Department of Justice and other Sheriff’s Office fees.
Assembly member Kevin McCarty slams Sacramento County:
California Assemblymember Kevin McCarty called the findings substantial flaws in how the three counties are issuing CCW’s. McCarty took a jab directly at Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, alleging the outgoing Sheriff violated numerous state laws and his own procedures on issuing.
The audit sought to determine if any of the three counties were properly issuing CCW licenses pursuant to state and local laws and procedures. It also looked into what each program cost tax payers.
“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,” said McCarty in a statement.
In the last three years, Sacramento County issued 6,339 CCW licenses compared to 464 issued by San Diego County and the 66 in Los Angeles County, according to a release.
“Local CCW licensing programs are broken, financially burdensome on taxpayers and in need of reform,” said McCarty in a press release. “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," he added.
The audit used a random sample of CCW license applications in making its findings.
The Auditor’s full report can be found by clicking here.
A summary of the Auditor’s findings can be found by clicking here.
A fact sheet of the Auditor’s findings can be found by clicking here.
Sheriff Scott Jones fights back:
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones responded to the Assemblymember calling the audit a politically motivated tool.
“This only proves that this audit from its inception was politically motivated as he feebly flails to use it as a political tool,” Jones said in a statement. “If this were not the case, a concerned Assemblyman McCarty would have talked about the findings for Los Angeles and San Diego as well, but curiously he limited his comments only to me.”
Jones affirmed that none of the permits issued were in violation of state law, none failed to establish residency, adequate background checks were conducted on all applicants, and that his department was under budget each year.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Shaun Hampton said the department made available more than 11,000 documents for the audit and noted that the audit only sampled 25 files.