FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Governor Gavin Newsom signed several bills aimed at curbing gun violence into law that sent shockwaves throughout the Central Valley.
In Fresno County, the Sheriff and the District Attorney feel these laws now just make it harder for law-abiding citizens to have their right to conceal and carry a gun.
Fresno County Sheriff John Zanoni emphasized whatever the law is, they will enforce it.
District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp will enforce the law as well but believes it is aimed at the wrong group, and there should be harsher sentences for illegal gun owners instead.
“This law is not going to make people safer. It just isn’t,” said Smittcamp.
Officials in Fresno County feel Senate Bill 2, signed into law by Gov. Newsom Tuesday morning is a misplaced action.
“Less than two percent of the crimes that are committed with guns in the United States are committed by lawful gun owners,” said Smittcamp.
SB-2 would require that all new gun owner applicants go through 16 hours of training and have at least two references of people to be interviewed in order to grant a CCW permit to someone.
An already lengthy process officials with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office say will use more of their resources and time.
“It is going to take a little bit longer because we are going to have to gather resources, do a little more in-depth investigation,” said Sheriff Zanoni.
Zanoni agrees with Smittcamp, that further restricting legal gun owners is not a need.
Now, CCWs cannot legally take their guns into schools, parks, stadiums, or bars, and that only welcomes more crooks to bring illegal guns into those places.
“Criminals will carry their guns wherever, we arrest people on a daily basis who are convicted felons who are gang members, who aren’t supposed to carry guns, but they have them,” Zanoni said. “These are the individuals that need to be targeted by gun laws and more restrictive laws and stronger sentencing guidelines, not CCW holders.”
“There are people who are arrested for being felons in possession of guns who are being let out of jail, the same day they are arrested.”
Smittcamp believes this bill signed by the governor and supported by Attorney General Rob Bonta is a political show, instead of addressing the real issues.
“They’re really just bamboozling people into thinking that this is the population of people who are committing most of the gun crimes, and that is really where I have most of the problem,” said Smittcamp.
Fresno County Sheriff’s Office officials say they cannot recall the last time a CCW holder used a gun to commit a crime in the county.
Smittcamp shared that during her entire term as DA in the county, there was only one instance where a CCW holder was charged with homicide, but they were never convicted.