Boxer bill would crack down on concealed guns

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is throwing herself back into the gun control debate, having announced today that she’ll introduce the “Common-Sense Concealed Firearms Act of 2011,” which would require all states that let residents carry concealed weapons in public to have minimum standards for granting permits.

Barbara Boxer“The tragic events in Tucson earlier this month are a reminder of why we need common-sense gun laws,” Boxer said in a news release this afternoon. “This measure will establish reasonable permitting standards for Americans who wish to carry concealed firearms. According to a recent poll, more than 60 percent of respondents believe there should be a reasonable permitting process for those who wish to carry concealed firearms.”

Boxer’s office says her bill would “require all states that allow residents to carry concealed weapons to establish permitting processes that would include meaningful consultation with local law enforcement authorities to determine whether the permit applicant is worthy of the public trust and has shown good cause to carry a concealed firearm.”

Two states – Illinois and Wisconsin – and the District of Columbia don’t let residents carry concealed firearms in public at all, while Arizona, Alaska and Vermont let residents do so without needing any permit. The other 45 states require permits, “but the majority of these states would not meet the standard set in this bill,” Boxer’s office said.

As she won’t introduce the bill until the Senate reconvenes next week, we don’t know yet what that standard will be.

Whatever it is, expect immediate opposition from gun-rights groups such as the National Rifle Association. Here in California, there’ll be an outcry from members of the open carry movement, which advocates carrying unloaded handguns in public partly as a safety measure and partly as a political statement spotlighting many Californians’ difficulty in obtaining concealed-carry permits from their counties. I anticipate talking to them next week, when we’ll have a clearer idea of what Boxer’s bill actually would require.

Though it’s too early to say for sure, I’d say such a bill stands little chance; it most likely would see a Republican filibuster in the Senate, and would be DOA in the GOP-controlled House.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    My computer just exploded because you used Barbara Boxer and common sense in the same sentence.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    The Tucson tragedy would not have been prevented by Senator Boxer’s proposal. The shooter had no concern for his own life, few assassins in our history have. As for the gang-bangers, who routinely shoot California residents every week, they’re not likely to be deterred.

  • ralph hoffmann

    RR, were you invited to Tucson beforehand to witness the shootings? Elwood, you need a DSL (Democratic Speech Lesson) between your internet line and your computer to keep it from exploding.

  • Michael Moore

    Perhaps there will finally be a national standard for the carrying of loaded concealed weapons. As it is presently, states are not consistent, decentralizing the responsibility to the county sheriff who may or may not choose to issue the permit. This is the issue of shall and will and may. Let us hope that Senator Boxer is able to set up a shall standard for loaded concealed carry of handguns.

  • John W

    Second Amendment — Repeal and replace.

    A well regulated Militia no longer being necessary due to the existence of the Armed Forces, National Guard and local law enforcement agencies, the right of the people to establish reasonable gun regulations and to sue gun manufacturers for externalized societal economic costs deriving from their industry shall not be infringed.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Ralphie: Were you dancing in your pink outfit before sitting down with your PC?

  • ralph hoffmann

    RR, I danced with my pink outfit on last summer, when it was appropriately warm, and to appropriate music. I sit down with my PC daily.

  • Common Tater

    John W.

    Armed Forces, National Guard and local law enforcement agencies did not do one damn bit of good for Gabby Giffords.

    Armed Forces, National Guard and local law enforcement agencies will not be able to do one damn bit of good for you in a home invasion.

  • John W

    Common Tater:

    True. Nor did any armed civilian. When a guy has a Glock semi-automatic and a clip with 33 bullets (conveniently purchased the day before at Wal-Mart), there’s not much chance of stopping him. The only armed civilian who took action almost shot the guy who had just disarmed Loughner while he tried to reload.

    As for the home invasion scenario, I haven’t touched a gun since getting out of the Army. I choose to rely on my Louisville Slugger bat. But I’m not opposed to people having a weapon at home for protection if they choose to do so. But I want both the gun registered and the ammo marked. I’m sure there are documented cases of people armed at home successfully fighting or scaring off bad guys, but you don’t hear of it very often. What you do hear of more often are accidents and domestic murders.

    Anybody who invades my home will be sorely disappointed in the available loot.

  • ralph hoffmann

    “The PEACE of the World be with you all.” … Jesus Christ

  • ralph hoffmann

    The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom then shall I fear?
    The Lord is the strength of my life;
    of whom then shall I be afraid?
    …Psalm 27:1

  • Dick Moe

    John W: No problem, if you live in California the constitution has already been eviscerated. Just stay where you are and nothing bad will happen to you and your baseball bat.

  • ralph hoffmann

    Common Tater, RR & Elwood: Are you 3 of those athiests who would remove references to God and the Creator from the Declaration of Independence, “under God” from the Pledge “In God we trust” from our currency and “God” from Oaths?

  • Common Tater

    “Not I,” said the Tater.

    And I don’t quite understand the mental linkages involved.

  • John W

    Dick Moe:

    “If you live in California, the Constitution has already been eviscerated.”

    How so?

  • Elwood

    Re: #13

    Ralph, are you OK?

    Like Tater, I’m having a hard time figuring out where that idea came from.

  • ralph hoffmann

    Tater, RR & Elwood: The idea for PEACE came from Jesus Christ, son of God. He didn’t need a gun or other weapon to defend Himself, only the truth. He believed in PEACE, not war. It says so in the New Testament of the Bible. That’s why I thought you 3 might be athiests.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Ralphie: You lost me.

  • Elwood

    Re #18

    Me too.

  • ralph hoffmann

    Read the Bible! Political social conservatives claim to be Christians and flag-wavers.

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    To Ralphie: Yes sir, read the Good Book and turn off the I-pod. As Wayne Raney used to sing: “We Need a Whole Lot More of Jesus (And a Lot Less Rock ‘n’ Roll)

  • John Thompson

    Those who carry concealed are required to pass a full FBI background check, the most extensive there is. What more do you want?
    When was the last time a ccw holder went nuts and shot innocents?
    Who here believes that bad guys will follow this law?
    Why would anyboby here deny a law abiding citizen the right to protect themselves or their family from evil men?
    This foolish legislation will not pass, sorry to burst your bubble anti-gunners.

  • Clint

    Once again, another person wanting to make another law, not realizing that law abiding citizens are not the people we need to worry about. If a person believes they will commit an illegal act with a firearm, they dont give a crap about our government’s concealed carry laws, and will not make an effort to get a permit. Apparently an IQ test was not required to become a member of the Democratic party.

  • Monk

    Yo, John. “The only armed civilian who took action almost shot the guy who had just disarmed Loughner while he tried to reload.”

    Almost? Maybe. The reason he didn’t is that he is a trained handgun owner who respects the lives of human beings. So unlike the vermin that is responsible
    for the Tucson tragedy or the countless thugs that are running rampant in California cities because they are not afraid of the unarmed citizens.
    “If guns are oulawed, then only outlaws will have guns.”
    So cliche’, but oh so true.

  • Jim

    Ok… 2 or 3 people, armed with pistols they likely bought from the local corner drug and gun seller, burst into your home… Would you rather have a:
    1) Loaded firearm
    2) Baseball bat
    3) Pocket knife
    4) Telephone

    For those who picked 2, 3 or 4…let’s say the intruders just shot you multiple times (and themselves are unhurt)… what happens next? Whatever they want to.

    The point here, really, is that the criminal doesn’t care what laws you pass. Making something illegal only makes it profitable for the criminals to sell – they still will get it if they want it.

    Meanwhile, you have the law-abiding citizens, trying to obey the law, and being left defenseless.

    Hence the INCREASE in violent crime, year by year, in areas with strict gun control, and the even greater DECREASE in violent crime in areas with less – or no – gun control. (The FBI statistics are available for anyone interested in the FACTS).

    Also, for those interested, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution for the United States of America are collectively known as the “Bill of Rights”. They do NOT grant rights to “we the people” – instead they are there to PREVENT the government from wrongfully taking away those rights. You don’t need a permit to speak, or pray, or publish a newsletter. But if any of those things are done by you in a way such that harm is caused, for example by yelling fire in a crowded theater or publishing a rag promoting harm to someone, you are RESPONSIBLE.

    People have a Right to be able to protect their homes, selves, families and yes even their neighbors from harm. It’s not something that can legally be taken away (even though there are several states and cities that disagree, much to the detriment of their residents).

    If you don’t want to accept your personal responsibility, that’s fine for you – but that’s where it stops.

  • John Knight

    John brings good points. But, full FBI BG check is not most extensive (but pretty darn good!). Ralph, you would be hard pressed to find many atheists who believe and support the original text of the constitution. You need to throw that slam on the liberal side of the fence.A little factoid…more accidental deaths occur from riding bicycles and tricycles occur than from accidents with firearms. Should we ban the sale of bikes? Way more accidental deaths occur from medical practioner accidents, Should we bann doctors?

  • rassd71

    Boxer simply is trying to politicize and take advantage of the Tucson tragedy. Her end goal is to outlaw all firearms. She will attempt to nationalize the ‘California’ CC standard. Which will mean that if you aren’t a celebrity, politician, public figure or law enforcement or private security, then you don’t have the right to carry. And in most cases, even to have a firearm in your home to defend yourself or family.

    @ John W #5… wow, if you truly feel that way, there are a LOT of great countries out there that would LOVE to have you as a subject. I for one prefer to be a free citizen and that means armed.

    @ John W #15, as a Kalifornian, I can tell you that we have far fewer rights here when it comes to personal freedom and the 2nd amendment than do most other states. The importation, transportation and sale of firearms is extremely regulated and controlled. And look how much good it’s done?! Look online at Gun Dealers websites and you will see that the vast majority can not ship to California. Then if you look through the manufacturers products, you will find again that the vast majority are not available in California.
    California has some of the most absurd and useless firearms laws, and that’s what Boxer and her ilk want to spread to the rest of the country and world.

    As to whether or not this bill will pass, it doesn’t matter, it’s just another no class tactic to prey upon the countries grief to push the ‘greater good’.

  • Bob

    I see that John Thompson, Clint, Monk, and Common Tater (among others) seem to get it. (John are you any relation to General John Thompson?)

    Ok, will someone explain how any of the new laws (or any of the old ones) would/could prevent Tuscon? The guy was not a permit holder and was spouting a lot of crazy lefty language for quite some time. The armed civilian who came to help did not shoot or even unholster his gun according to news accounts. There is no such thing as almost shoot – he just didn’t. The armed good samaritan saw that the bad guy was empty and tackled him. None of the famous “spraying bullets” that the lefties love to speak about.

    The point is that laws will only disarm the people who obey them. Loughner and his ilk did not and will not obey any law. To think otherwise is foolish. Oh, did you know that the idiot who said that the shooter bought the gun at Wal-Mart the day before was either an idiot, a liar, or just makes stuff up as he babbles along. Wal-Mart does not sell handguns or clips of any size for them and never has.

    Registered guns and marked ammo would not have done one thing for Gabby, but it sounds yummy good to people who don’t have a clue. I suspect that the writer had a desk job in the army if he was in the army at all. However, he is welcome to his baseball bat, but us older folks who never played in the World Series would prefer something a bit more like the bad guy had. If a shooter/invader/etc comes to your house, just think how effective your baseball bat will be. But don’t worry, the police will arrive in time to put yellow tape around the crime scene and put a toe tag on your body and an evidence tag on your baseball bat. But I’m ok with that if that is what you want, but leave me alone to protect myself and my family in any way that I can.

  • Josh Richman

    An FYI to our regular readers: I’m told today’s sudden flood of comments on this item was precipitated by a link in the new edition of the NRA’s e-newsletter, the Freedom Times.

  • Jim

    We do not live in a utopia – our real world has bad people in it. This is unfortunate, but true.

    Those who eschew the facts are simply making this world worse for everyone. If you kick a wall and it hurts your foot, you don’t blame the wall, and you don’t blame your foot. And if you kick it again and it hurts again, that’s only natural – why would the result change? If you want a different outcome, choose a different path.

    Some people want to believe that they can kick the wall and it won’t hurt this time. That this or that law will finally make the criminals in this world stop being criminals. Of course, reality does not work like that…

    Criminals hurt people, kill people, and do other bad things every day. And they seem to do it a lot more in NYC than in Tucson and other cities like it – an order of magnitude more, and then some. In spite of the fact that NYC has an enormous standing army in the form of it’s police forces. Over 23,000 (yes thousand) violent crimes in the first half of 2010 in NYC. No other city (not even LA) comes close.

    Police don’t stop crime – they collect evidence after the fact. And guns don’t kill people any more than spoons make people fat. People are responsible for their own actions and choices, not the tools they choose to use. Not all of the people I know own firearms – but of the ones that do, NONE of them are out having “shoot outs” as some liberals would contend. It’s not the wild west, it’s more like M.A.D. – but without the “mutually” being required.

    Where citizens are able to exercise their natural rights as human beings, crime is naturally lower. I understand the correlation shown in the FBI statistics – criminals don’t choose targets that will likely shoot back (or even first).

    Where natural human rights are denied, as in NYC, NJ, California, Chicago etc, crime is rampant – apparently (and I freely admit that this is my interpretation) criminals have little to fear and therefore freely ply their “trade”.

    I continue to be amazed that some people can’t see what I see so plainly – but I suppose that people will see what they want to see and to whatever with the facts. “this time things will be different, and my foot won’t hurt”…

    I hate to tell you this, but yes it will… And a big thank you to the e-newsletter for another opportunity to try and wake some people up from their fantasy world… even though YET Again it won’t work.

    Law abiding citizens are NO threat to you, but having some around _and_ armed may save your life some day.

  • Glockslinger

    Think about this: criminals/bad guys won’t bother getting a permit. They’ll just DO it. Secondly, the Constitution says we have the right to “keep and BEAR arms.” That means to CARRY them. Now, I know that CA doesn’t allow the open carry of loaded firearms (and carrying an unloaded one is nonsense). So the ONLY option is to carry concealed.

    Next, even our courts operate on the premise that you’re innocent until proven guilty. So when an applicant jumps through all the hoops to get a permit, they shouldn’t have to prove they’re a good person; the government has to prove they aren’t! If they don’t have a criminal record or public record of adverse mental health, there is no reason to deny a citizen their right.

  • Glockslinger

    Oh, and one last thing: “I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:39)

    A deal for Ms. Boxer: if we gun owners and the NRA agree to establish uniform standards for CCW permits, will you back a move for national reciprocity, so that permits from any state is recognized nationwide as are driver’s licenses?

  • Steve

    Does she really think that Jared Loughner wouldn’t have committed murder because he wouldn’t have wanted to get in trouble for carrying without a permit? Is she really that stupid? Or does she love criminals so much she wants to make it harder for law abiding citizens to defend ourselves from these criminals?

  • Chuck

    I left the granola state in 1992 after retiring from the Marine Crops and never will go back to the state of “FRUITS AND NUTS SURROUNDED BY FLAKES” again.

  • Ken

    I have the highest security clearance possible for the military. Served 21+ and still active in charge of million dollar systems and signed for them. Like John said had a FBI back ground as well as State of Texas and since I already have my clearance the company background check. Never commited a crime, highly decorated in and wounded in combat, Traveled around the world to different countries in my service to do my job working with top security personal, SOF, etc what more do we need to do…I have a college education and even after 5 combat tours and being wound multiple times seriously deemed 100% without mental defects and never drinked tanken drugs or smoked in my life plus happily married with my wife about 20 years and well grounded with family and God…what more can they not want? The basic fact is in California a police officer cannot get a permit for CCW dur to the restricted number of them per county. When I lived there only 40 where issued by lottery to San Bernadino County which in 2009 was 2,017,673 so I have no idea how many are issued now but you can see the system is flawed purposly to be predjudisted against the legal owner and even though it is legal to carry a gun in the open in California don’t do it PLEASE suicide by cop is still a painfull way to go for you and your family…cost alot for them to.

  • KLHT41

    As long as we have community college officials who are willing to let someone like Loughner (and his parents) sweep themselves under the rug by allowing such a patently disturbed individual to withdraw from their institution ‘voluntarily’ rather than perform what Barbara Boxer would certainly agree was their ‘due diligence’ and have him civilly committed for evaluation and any recommended treatment, you cannot blame the clerk at Walmart for selling the gun legally after performing the NICS check.

    As long as anyone volunteering to be drug tested when applying to serve in their country’s military does not have the positive (and disqualifying) results of that test forwarded to the FBI/NICS system, you cannot blame a gun manufacturer for producing a extremely large capacity magazine and selling it to those who can legally purchase and therefore possess it.

    In Massachusetts, each Chief of Police is allowed to interpret the meaning of the word ‘Suitability’ when evaluating an applicant for a License to Carry permit (Class A). When writing laws that infringe on people’s constitutional rights, be sure to not use unconstitutionally vague language. The licensing authority should be able to demand proof of required training (course-work) and demonstrated competence (range qualification) before issuing a permit, but deciding whether or not someone who is otherwise qualified and has no NICS or disqualifying mental health record is also ‘Suitable’ is not being done fairly state-wide in Massachusetts and that is a shame.

  • Monk

    Jim #25- Wait just a minute! You forgot the ‘ACLU’ on your list.

    Bob #28- Thanks for the mention. Also, good point on the marked bullets…That would only be good for after-the-fact, like so many of these pointless laws. I guarantee that If I wanted to kill someone, I would not give a rat’s a** if the bullets were indentifiable or not.

    Why doesn’t Ms Boxer propose a 10-day wait on baseball bats, steak knives, hammers, axes, gardening tools, alcohol, tobacco, stairs, Tylenol, anvils, and pianos.
    Afterall, each of these items have been responsible for deaths in some way, shape, or form.

    It’s so good to see that there still are common sense citizens living in Kalifornia and writing in to this blog. Keep the truth out there.

  • mvps626

    I have nothing more to add other than letting my voice be added to the count of our freedom to protect ourselves, family or those around us. thanks to those that support and fight for our rights…..I have shot, owned and later concealed carry(legally) guns for YEARS now and have never even considered doing something illegal with my firearm. I will leave that to the criminals that continually get released from there CRIMES by OUR protecting elected officals.

    As for me I will trust in gods protection and the free will he has given me to protect those I love with what I fill will best meet that need if it is needed.

  • Path

    Jim #30…Well said. My poinys exactly so I won’t repeat what’s been said.
    People just don’t get it. I mean the difference between self protection (or free speech & more), a CCW permit & a drivers licence. A DL is a privilege, a CCW is a privilege, carrying a weapon for protection is a GOD GIVEN RIGHT. That’s what the constitution means. That there are God given rights that NO ONE or no government can take away from you. Im not even religeous, & “God” means whatever you believe in or don’t believe in. They are your rights for just being a human being.
    As Jim in #30 pointed out, police are not there to prevent crime, no matter what the side of their car says. A supreme court ruling confirmed that law enforement has NO DUTY to protect anyone. The case was a gal @ home w/ someone breaking in. She called 911, & through a mistake the police did not get to her. She was robbed & violated, & tried to sue.
    The police’s job is to ONLY arrest breakers of the law, after the fact. (Im not referring to deeper legal arguments ie. Once something is started they are then liable for the outcome..etc)
    I carry a gun because cops are too heavy….
    Be safe. Protect yourself, your families & your community. If you carry a gun you have that social responsibility. As B&T once said, “Be good to eachother”

  • John W

    All the comments about home invaders are irrelevant. The Court already ruled that having a gun at home is a protected right. Also, Boxer’s bill deals with concealed carry in public. However, I would note that shootings in the home are nearly always accidents or domestic murders (sometimes justified in the case of wife beaters), not defending against invaders.

    In Army bayonet training during Vietnam, our drill instructor told us that, if we found ourselves in a situation where we would actually need to use the bayonet, we would probably be dead anyway. I suspect the same could be said of concealed weapons in public. If somebody is going to shoot you or rob you, there’s not much opportunity to unholster your concealed glock, or remove it from a purse. Seems to me that only open carry would deter bad guys; not that I’m in favor of open carry.

  • Monk

    John W #40- It’s true that having a gun in your home is a “protected” right. How “protected” is sometimes questionable. As Path #39 correctly pointed out it is a GOD-given right. Not a court-given right. Courts rarely giveth, they mostly taketh. I feel that the bayonet analogy is part of the larger picture of a defeatist attitude. “Why take a bath? I’m just gonna get dirty again.” Those of us that are weapons owners practice the skills of shooting and defense for enjoyment but also, God forbid, in case we need to use these skills to save the lives of a human being. We hope we never have to.

  • John W

    Monk #41

    Just to clarify, I never said the right to possess a gun in the home was “court-given.” To be precise, the court ruled that the Second Amendment protects that right but does not preclude reasonable limits and regulations. Suggesting that the right to own a gun is “God-given” is the kind of hyperbole that makes us gun-less wimps nervous about being around people who want to pack in public.

  • Monk

    John W- Point taken. I’m not a hunter but I certainly don’t have a problem with anybody that does it legally. For the simple reason that as long as Von’s, Albertson’s, or the corner store still has a meat market there’s no reason for me to get in the way.

    In the same way, as long as I feel threatened or not completely safe I will exercise my 2nd ammendment rights to protect my family and me.

    I’d like to commend all that have commented on this issue. I think everybody has been pretty respectfull of each other views. That doesn’t happen all that often that I’ve seen.

  • Dave

    Let’s use this bill to sneak in a rule that all states must honor other states carry permits. They have to honor driver licenses, so why not carry permits? Just make the natiuonwide carry rule the same as 35 or so states: FBI check and no criminal record. We just make sure it’s “shall issue” and forget that “good cause” garbage.

  • Raymond

    Our Second Ammendment is being chisled away each and every day by so called Concerned Citizens. I’m a pround memeber of our NRA and Veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

    Many Politicans are working harder to line their pockets, patronize their constituents and promote their lobbyiest to get what they want and need for their future, they don’t have the average American in mind.

    I’m urging all legal Americans to purchase your choice of Rifle, hand gun and ammo legally for your home and keep them there for your protection and for the future.

  • Gabe Sepko

    Criminals don’t apply for permits. Citizens do.

    THAT is common sense.

  • Mike O’C

    Disarming the sane law-abiding citizen has never and will never prevent the insane criminal from behaving in a violent way.

    It would make more sense to make it easier for law abiding citizens to defend themselves, than to restrict our right to self preservation every time we are attacked.

    Common sense? Seems like no sense at all coming from her.

    The proposal has nothing to do with what happened and is a transparent attempt to use tragedy to further the control of the State over peoples right to protect their rights and property and loved ones. Thomas Jefferson had a name for an unarmed populace, he called them slaves.

  • Jason

    Josh Richman clearly knows nothing about gun carry laws.

    Note the comment on Open Carry being the act of carrying unloaded firearms in plain view. Open Carry states (Like Nevada) allow their citizens to carry LOADED firearms in public view.

    Dude, know the topic you are writing about.

  • Josh Richman

    Jason, California does not allow open carry of loaded firearms, and I prefaced the description of open carry with “Here in California…”

    I suggest you read more carefully, “dude.”