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The current political leadership in California has a well-earned reputation for outright hostility to the Second Amendment and to those Golden State citizens who wish to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. But the California landscape—political, social and cultural—is large and diverse, and contrary to what some might think, there is Second Amendment support in the state.
Consider for example, that the police department in the city of Murrieta, southeast of Los Angeles, recently announced that the concealed-carry permit process there would become less expensive. The standard background check for a carry permit had cost Murrieta residents approximately $300, but now the city itself will pay for the expense.
“The purpose of this change was to give back to the citizens of Murrieta for the Measure T tax measure that was passed last year to give us extra tax money for police, public safety and stuff like that," Sgt. Jeremy Durrant of the Murrieta Police Department, told KABC.
This change “will actually help to bring the cost of a concealed-weapons permit more in line with other jurisdictions, like the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, which doesn't have to outsource the background check like Murrieta does.”
“Other agencies have their own background investigators they can utilize, so there’s no extra application fees for those agencies,” Durrant said. “As with us, we have to outsource that and obviously charge for that background investigation.”
Then there’s the city of Needles, which has a population of 4,800 and is located on the border with Arizona. Last year, the Needles City Council “unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the city to become a ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary City,’” reported KNPR.
“What really spurred this and what got us up in arms—so to speak—about it was the new Prop 63 that went in effect in July, where we can’t buy ammunition in Arizona or Nevada. That means our residents have to go to Blythe [100 miles away] or to Barstow [140 miles away] to buy ammunition,” said Mayor Jeff Williams.
Williams admitted that the sanctuary designation doesn’t have any real legal force. But, he noted, it was a way for the residents of this community to show their support for the Second Amendment and to make their voices heard at the state capitol.
Jay Obernolte is the assemblyman for the 33rd Assembly District, which includes Needles. He told KNPR's State of Nevada he absolutely supports the idea of a Second Amendment sanctuary city. “I think it’s a great idea. California, unfortunately, has a long history of putting overburdensome regulations on local jurisdictions about what they can and can’t do with firearms. I think this is a great way of pushing back,” said Obernolte.
There are other officials in California who support the Second Amendment, including Sheriff Mike Boudreaux of Tulare County. As America’s 1st Freedom reported last year, Boudreaux tweeted this message to citizens in his county: “I encourage all CCW holders in Tulare County to exercise your rights. Do so legally and only with a valid permit. Secure our communities and protect life by being able to defend ourselves against active shooters, threats to life and those who use guns for criminal behavior.”
And don’t forget younger Californians. In 2018, an anti-gun student organization held student “walk-outs” at various schools across the nation to call for yet more gun control. These walkouts didn’t sit well with Dennis Fiorentinos, who attended California High School in San Ramon, California. According to CNN, Fiorentinos “organized a walkout for 10 a.m. [in May 2018, at his school]. Dozens of students, some holding American and ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ flags, walked out with him. He said his family does not own any guns, but he believed it was a right for all Americans.”
“I believe that we have to show that kids of our generation aren’t all represented by those who have been in the media in the past for this issue,” he said. “I wanted to show that there are teenagers and kids out there that support the Second Amendment by saying that banning guns is not the answer.”