Though often sympathetic to new gun regulations, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday vetoed legislation that would have allowed sheriffs to raise the price of obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
California law prohibits local authorities from charging more than $100 for a permit. Assembly Bill 450 would have removed that limit to allow agencies to cover the cost of issuing and enforcing the licenses.
“This bill was spurred by a local dispute in one county,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “I am unaware of a larger problem that merits a statewide change at this time.”
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, introduced the bill in June following a Sacramento Bee report on the sharp increase in concealed weapons permits issued in the county since Scott Jones became sheriff in 2010. McCarty said Jones was handing out the licenses like “candy on Halloween” and aimed to limit the number of concealed weapons.
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The debate over the permits has since become an issue in the hotly contested 7th Congressional District race, where Jones, a Republican, is challenging Rep. Ami Beri, D-Elk Grove.
A related McCarty bill that would have created a stricter standard for issuing permits, which is under the broad discretion of sheriffs as long as applicants show “good cause” and demonstrate “good moral character,” never came up for a vote.
Brown signed several other gun bills on Monday, including two requiring owners to lock their handguns in the trunk or a locked container if they leave them unattended in their car.