California State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson doesn't like guns. She doesn't appear to like anyone carrying a gun, including cops, highway patrol officers, sheriffs and people retired from any of those positions.
In a hearing before the State Senate yesterday on AB 603 (sponsored by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez), a bill that is little more than a housekeeping bill allowing retired California State University Police Officers a concealed carry permit was being debated. Currently, retired University of California Police Officers along with all other retired peace officers in the state receive this courtesy.
[We'll leave the debate over whether this makes retired police a special class of citizen over other civilians when it comes to various 2nd Amendment rights for another day. —ed.]
Again, this was a simple fix to the language of the law the for some reason had the effect of singling out retired CSU police for disparate treatment.
Where does Jackson go?
“As many of us have read with horror, about two weeks ago at a Costco in Corona, an off duty police officer carrying a firearm, shot a fellow, injuring his family. At a time when we need to talk about de-escalating situations, why in the world are we adding more people to the list of people carrying concealed firearms? And in an instance like this where de-escalation most likely could have saved lives, here he was with a loaded weapon in hand, which, and if he chose to use, ended the life of one individual, outside a Costco, for Pete’s sake. This kind of attitude where we reach for the gun first, and if you have a gun available, the last thing these folks are going to try to do is walk away from a dangerous situation. I find no justification to allow for and encourage concealed an increase of these concealed weapons.”
Yep, apparently anyone with a gun, including police officers are just crazy and go shooting other people willy-nilly.
When challenged, Jackson didn't back down.
“I’m not talking about on-duty police officers – I’m talking about retired, off-duty police after they’ve retired, carrying weapons with them wherever they go. We have enough concealed weapons. The use of firearms escalates situations unnecessarily, at this Costco, at other places. And also when you use firearms, the risk associated with it, at the Borderline, for instance. It was indeed a CHP bullet that killed the Ventura County Sheriff. We have to ask ourselves isn’t there a better way?’ And certainly to expand this to off duty, retired officers, … do we really want to see more firearms in public places. And if we do, we are going to see more and more instances like this in that Costco, and I for one don’t believe the 2nd Amendment encourages o[r] permits that. We need to start de-escalating all the hostilities we are seeing in this world. And that is why I oppose this bill.”
We look forward Jackson's continued efforts to disarm all police officers in the state.
Sen. Richard Roth's closing statement puts the entire issue into context.
“I have the utmost respect for my colleague from Santa Barbara, but I would note that the Costco and the individuals involved in that shooting, are in my district. They are my constituents. I am acutely aware of the situation that occurred right down the road. Second, as attorneys, we are trained to seek out the facts and make sure we have them before we express opinions or draw conclusions. And the last time I checked with that situation, the report of investigation has not issued. We do not know the circumstances under which that peace officer drew his weapon and fired, whether he was forced to fire. The one thing we do know, is that peace officer was holding his young child, his young son at the time. So as I said, this is a bill to correct a technical deficiency to put university peace officers on par with every other peace officer in the state of California when they retire.”
Jackson and Sen. Lena Gonzalez were the only no votes. The bill passed 30-2.