Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown

Paul Wellman (file)

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown

Strict Stance on Concealed Weapons

S.B. County Sheriff Bill Brown Cracks Down on Hidden Guns

Thursday, July 11, 2013
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Under different sheriffs in recent years past, there may have been as many as 150 or so people in Santa Barbara County walking around with guns legally hidden on them. But ever since Sheriff Bill Brown was elected in 2006, he’s focused on bringing that number down. Today, there are only 52 active concealed carry weapon permits issued countywide, with three actively pending, which is considerably less than any neighboring county (see chart at left).

“Licenses have gone down under my watch, and they should never be easily attainable,” said Brown, but he does issue them for two certain situations: One, your profession involves valuable goods and features a higher than normal risk of robbery; and two, credible threats exist against the safety of you or someone in your family.

Even then, Brown would urge professional training. “I have seen some tragic situations where people who have been armed and not very well trained have employed weapons in the field and it’s become a double tragedy,” he explained. “Most of us are safer if there is not a proliferation of guns beings carried, particularly in the more urbanized parts of our community.”

Toni Wellen, of the Coalition Against Gun Violence, which is the region’s top watchdog, praised Brown’s stance on the issue, explaining, “He’s a wise and very good sheriff in that regard.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Vote no on Brown. Can't protect us, won't let us protect ourselves.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 8:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Vote Yes (If the only issue is on this subject) on Brown. Good Call, Sheriff Brown!
I have read reports and seen some very questionable C C Gun carriers in my 31 years of Firearms background to say that without experienced firearms training (infield-live rounds) a carrier could be nothing than a casualty and a provider of a firearm to a predator. Again, nowhere in this article is there an mention of professional training facilities or the procedure to which a gun-owner and / or CC owner can attain the training both classroom education or infield training.
Remember, the big difference between open carry and concealed carry is access to your weapon. The Open Carry is accessible at nearly immediately while the Concealed Carry is covered by an article of clothing or other packaging (purse, fanny pack, brief case, backpack etc).
Also the Shoot / Don't Shoot training of when to draw and when not to draw should be taught especially for concealed carry users since as long as you don't draw / show your weapon the bad guy just views you as a helpless victim and not a threat.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 9:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Vote yes blah, blah, blah" - other than to point out that the Sheriff is a politician and will pretty much say anything he thinks voters want to hear, I have no opinion on this matter.

And besides, the opinions of voters really don't concern him - we could vote a referendum with 90% approval and the Sheriff still wouldn't grant concealed carry permits.

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 9:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Let's see the list of concealed carry permit holders. Sometimes these permits are given out as favors to generous donors or compliant politicians.

TheOtherGuy (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 11:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sometimes? The only person I've ever known who had a CC permit was a local business owner who happened to be very well "connected".

Which is probably not such a bad thing in a state like California - even in my own home I'd be afraid to use a gun to defend myself, even as a last resort. (Been watchin the Zimmmerman trial on the telly and the hot seat doesn't look like much fun!)

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 1:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I support him on this issue, but his seriously overzealous attacks on medical marijuana and attempts to increase prison population are enough for me to send him packing.

Num1UofAn (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 1:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yet another politician using his power to Lord over the sheeple.

TyreByter (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 3:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I guess Bill doesn't consider defense lawyers, bank officers and other high profile people in need of protection. And how about just following the law Bill? San Luis County has over 400 more than Santa Barbara County? really? Time for him to go, eight years is about seven more than he deserved. Sandra Brown has my vote. For many reasons we can't afford four more years of his failed policies. Maybe if the county promises to name the new jail after him he'll leave quietly.

99russelld (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 4:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

99russelid, "bank officers" are high profile people? Really?? My check-out gal at the local supermarket is more high profile and handles more cash than those suits.

Right! Arm them all. Then, when the next poor homeless schmuck tries to sneak out with a stealth rutabega, bring the evil-doer down in a hail of bullets. Good plan.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 1:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Archie Bunker on Gun Control

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 1:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ventura County got sued over it's CCW policies, it is still a $500.00 bill to get one but at least they issue but low income persons need not apply.

Santa Barbara County is a crony only operation and if some of the current court cases come out positive, will have to start issuing in the future.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 2:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There is a lot of misinformation in this article, and a lot just plain left out on this issue. I know a lot about it because I lived it.

I was one of the people who had a CCW and Sheriff Brown refused to renew it.

Here are the facts:
1) Sheriff Brown represented to the NRA that he believed in CCW, and as such received an endorsement from the NRA in the 2006 election. All county NRA members received an orange card in the mail indicating this endorsement. I believe this was also a factor in former Sheriff Thomas supporting Brown over Anderson. Thomas was a supporter of CCW permits (and in fact had approved mine). Anderson was not a big supporter, but did choose to renew existing permits.
2) Upon election, Mr Brown proceeded to deny renewals of most existing permits. I met personally with the Sheriff on this matter when he denied my permit. It was quite clear to me in that meeting that he did not believe in the "bear" portion of the Second Amendment, indicating to me that he felt people were free to own firearms, he just didn't want citizens carrying them around.

Now, no matter where you stand on this issue, pro or con, understand this.

He lied.

He lied to the NRA to get the endorsement, and then did what he intended to do. Now if you are in support of this policy, you're entitled to your position. But know that he lied to achieve his political objectives and buy votes.

He will do it to you on something that matters to you in the future to get votes.

I don't live in SB anymore. But I think the integrity issue here is huge.

Also, I am posting under my real name. I have nothing to hide.

Jim_Berkley (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 4:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This article and comments also leave you with the impression that CCW holders in the SB area were untrained and as such a potential menace to the community. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here's what I had to do under Sheriff Brown to get my CCW:

1) Submit a letter outlining the reasons why I thought I should have a permit. This letter indicated "cause" for the permit as required under CA law.
2) Submit three letters of reference from community residents indicating good moral character and support for the notion that I would be a safe carrier.
3) Submit to a full psychological evalaution from Dr Nutter in Ventura, the same evaluation that new department recruits go through.
4) Take an 8 hour course from a department approved provider in gun safety, legal requirements around CCW, full exploration and explanation of lawful and unlawful use of deadly force, and of course operating principles of firearms, ballistics, etc.
5) Demonstrate proficiency at the range by shooting the same qualification course that Sheriff Deputies shoot. This had to be done with each gun on my permit (up to 3) and the guns were on the permit by serial number.
6) Submit fingerprints, and personal information and pass a CA DOJ and Federal background check.

This process took me 6 months and about $600 to complete.

Upon renewal every two years I had to take a 4 hour refresher course, and shoot the qualification with my permitted firearms.

Trust me, the CCW community was tight around SB. We knew each other and I NEVER met anyone even slightly questionable who had a permit. The process was designed to prevent that.

Jim_Berkley (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 4:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Whoops sorry, these are the things I did to get my permit under Sheriff Thomas, not Brown!! Can't figure out how to edit once it posts.

Jim_Berkley (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 4:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

CCW should be shall issue: no criminal background, and some basic training should be all it takes.

Thank goodness I don't live in SB County anymore, but rather a free county where y rights are respected.

I participate in 60-100 hours of formal handgun training a year, while this might not be typical, it is also not uncommon for CCW holders.

sad (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 7:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When Brown refused to renew my CCW (even though the reason for it had not changed), I challenged him to bring his best deputy to the range and told him that I would outshoot the guy.

He indicated that my skills and mental stability were not his concern, but rather that he didn't want people carrying guns around.

He says in another article on this sight about how he believes in the right to keep and bear arms. Maybe he believes the "keep" part, but definitely not the "bear" part.

Needs a lesson in English and perhaps he should read the Heller and Macdonald SCOTUS decisions.

BTW I also got the distinct impression that his drive to reduce CCW holders was part of an overall risk management campaign, as certain letters we received were very carefully drafted legal documents.

He is a political animal (which is to be expected) who is very careful to burnish his image at every turn. If a citizen's rights get bruised along the way, so be it. And he is plenty comfortable with putting little half-truth quotes out there and letting the uninformed fill in the blanks with their fears.

He is very ambitious, no doubt.

Jim_Berkley (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 8:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's a suggestion for you Jim. When you write, "... on this sight ..." you should not in the next paragraph lecture anybody about needing an English lesson - especially when that lecture takes the form of an incomplete sentence.

Here's another: If you take every promise by a candidate for political office as the gospel truth, you're going to live a lifetime of disappointment.

Here's another: If Brown (or any sheriff) does NOT write "carefully drafted legal documents" then that person should be fired. What did you expect - hand written Post-It notes?

SezMe (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 8:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I speak English very good. I learn it from a book.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2013 at 1:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I wonder if Larry Craig's stance is as wide on this issue.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2013 at 2:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sez Me, fair enough. I made an english mistake.

How about a substantial conversation about how Brown's understanding of the 2nd Amendment and his manipulation of the NRA to get elected? Or we could address my issue with the "reporter" in this article who appears to have done little research. Or how about the matter of people inferring that CCW holders were/are poorly trained and vetted, which I addressed?

Snippy ad-hominem comments that avoid the substance of the presentation don't cut it.

Jim_Berkley (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2013 at 12:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Who died and made you boss? It's really something when newbies come on here to scold and lecture everyone.
And The National Racist Association can kizmiaz.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2013 at 12:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Who died and made you boss? "

I did Ken, I did,

Spiro T. "Ted" Walker.

SpiroTWalker (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2013 at 3:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I thought a "Ted" was a rum and Coke, not a deity!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2013 at 3:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Call me a newbie if you like. I lived in SB for 14 years, and my experience is directly relevant to the story. Is that a problem for you?

I really don't understand people that, when confronted with a line of reasoning, respond with name calling.

Jim_Berkley (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2013 at 8:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry I'll try to drink more coffee before grouching out.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2013 at 8:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree that there should be a vetting process before getting a concealed gun permit, but I'm wondering if Brown's position may be influenced by his fear that by not coming down hard against gun owners, that may be seen as a sign of his admitting that law enforcement can't always protect people.

Let us also consider that ever-increasing gang problem, as evidenced by pressure from powers-that-be to create the gang injunction. Using this logic, wouldn't the argument of credible threats existing against the safety of you or someone in your family dictate an increasing need for gun permits?

The Nanny State types who predominate in Santa Barbara don't want to admit that their little slice of Paradise is in trouble, and taking the pro-gun permit stance would be an admission that all is not well. Add to that, the unspoken predjudice in S.B. against gun owners as being testosterone-crazed Rednecks, while stabbings and drunk driving are simply accepted as a way of life here.

@Jim_Berkley: Don't feel bad about being called names. The most bigoted, hateful name calling I ever endured was when I dared to point out the facts about the Virginia Tech massacre and how their own arrogant bragging about how they were a "gun-free zone" followed by law enforcements' inability to stop the shooter until 33 people got dead contributed to the high death toll.

To modify a line from the pro-abortion activists: "Don't like guns?...don't own one".

And once again, to destroy the stereotypes of gun owners being simple-minded testosterone-crazed Rednecks, I present these three links:

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2013 at 10:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@SpiroT "Ted" Walker, can I call you "Eddie Baby"?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2013 at 10:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"I thought a "Ted" was a rum and Coke, not a deity!"

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2013 at 3:43 p.m.

It can also be a hairstyle.

At 0:26 McCartney mentions "Ted hairdos". "Teddy Boys" were the rebellious tough guys in Liverpool. McCartney even wrote a song "Teddy Boy" about it

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 17, 2013 at 4:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken - too bad I don't still live there - we could have coffee and talk trash and probably would become friends. Not everyone I run with agrees with me. Keeps life interesting.

Jim_Berkley (anonymous profile)
July 18, 2013 at 12:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

billclausen: You and I are thinking along the same lines. I wrote an op-ed piece for the News Press in May 2007 (just after Virginia Tech) which the editors titled "Reality Check". In that piece I explored how idealogically pre-programmed responses were blocking our society from seeing the violence for what it is and facing it squarely. It was a call to pragmatism.

Interestingly, there were virtually no responses in the letters to the editor.

Recent article in The Atlantic "The Case for More Guns", written by a strong gun control proponent, also touches on the realities versus the sentiments.

Jim_Berkley (anonymous profile)
July 18, 2013 at 12:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well we all know Prohibition doesn't work but to make matters worse. Most people do support background checks.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 18, 2013 at 6:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

For those of you who would immediately become fearful if you saw a person with a fire arm; let’s get something straight:
1. If you can see the fire arm in a holster, the person wearing it is likely a law enforcement officer (LEO) or a law abiding citizen (LAC).
2. If you see the fire arm in the person’s hand being pointed at somebody and that person does not appear to be a LEO or LAC and is behaving in a hostile manner; this is probably a criminal.
3. If you do not see a fire arm, there is no guarantee that the person is not armed. If the person is concealing a fire arm, there are at least the following possibilities:
a. LEO
b. LAC
c. Criminal
If you find yourself in a situation like #1 above, petrified with terror, your fear is irrational.
However, fear is the appropriate response to #2.
Unfortunately the vast majority of the people you see fall into the category of #3. And thought #3 may give you comfort; it is in some cases a false sense of security. Yes, those instances may be few, far between or even never occurring; but not knowing whether an individual is concealing a fire arm ought to bring about some minimal sense of concern. Just because we live in an area where the crime rate is very low does not mean that there is no peril.
Should we all become paranoid because we can’t see if people are packing heat? Absolutely not!
But we should be no more concerned if we see a fire arm in the condition described by #1 above. Why? Because fear of a fire arm in the possession of a LEO or LAC is irrational.

dionysiuspetros (anonymous profile)
August 9, 2013 at 12:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Interestingly enough, since Brown's election homicide have gone up by almost 50% in the county, from an average of 7 p.a. to 12 p.a. (4 years before, 4 years after, according to the CA DOJ). Aggravated assaults have almost doubled in the same comparison periods.

krautkontrol (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2014 at 1:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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