Califoria’s newest restrictions on the right to carry are set to take effect on January 1, and there are already lawsuits underway challenging both the numerous “sensitive places” where lawful carry is banned as well as the licensing requirements that are having a chilling effect on applicants. But as the California Rifle & Pistol Association is alerting its members, there’s also a big problem with the “emergency” regulations that the California Department of Justice will be imposing while it develops formal regulations around who can be certified to teach the class required to obtain a carry license.
According to the CRPA, NRA-certified firearms instructors will not be eligible to conduct those classes when the new year rolls around, and that could pose huge challenges for Californians trying to obtain the mandated training.
These new proposed emergency regulations strictly limit which instructors can provide CCW training in a system that already has a heavy load of too many students and not enough classes. This move seems like a move to limit and slow the processing of CCWs in the state which is problematic given that CCW applications have increased significantly since the Bruen decision. Under the emergency regulations, the only groups or individuals who can provide CCW training are:
1) Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Department of Consumer Affairs, State of California-Firearm Training Instructor;
(2) Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), State of California Firearms Instructor or Rangemaster; or
(3) Authorization from a State of California accredited school to teach a firearm training course.
The public comment period for these new rules is only five days long, and the deadline to submit comments is the close of business on Friday, December 15th. CRPA is urging gun owners to submit their comments to oag.ca.gov/firearms/regs/ccwl, as well as to CalDOJ’s Quentin Farris at email@example.com and the Office of Administrative Law at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Removing what is likely the largest pool of firearms instructors in the state from conducting the classes necessary for a carry license is going to have a major impact across California. We’re already seeing delays in processing permit applications of a year or more in some jurisdictions like Los Angeles County, while other licensing authorities are imposing fees and costly mandates that make the price of simply applying for a permit out of reach for some residents on fixed incomes. If these emergency regulations take effect, not only will it be much more difficult to find an instructor offering the mandated training, but the classes are going to be quickly filled, and it could take months before there’s an open slot.
California is already limiting where concealed carry holders can carry, but by imposing these draconian regulations on who can provide the necessary training the state is going to artificially suppress the number of concealed carry licensees. California Attorney General Rob Bonta has offered absolutely no justification or reason for removing NRA-certified instructors from the pool of eligible trainers, but the intent seems obvious. By limiting who can teach the class, the state can limit the number of applicants, which in turn will limit the number of Californians exercising their right to bear arms in self-defense.
The CRPA is vowing more litigation in the new year, but now’s the time to send a message to CalDOJ: quit playing games with a fundamental civil right, and keep the present pool of firearm instructors who are eligible to teach concealed carry courses in place.