LA County Sheriff Vows to Approve More Concealed Carry Permits as Homicides Rise 95%

The sheriff is changing his tune from earlier in the pandemic.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is no friend to gun owners, but the embattled sheriff just made an announcement few gun rights proponents expected.

In a recent Instagram live video, Villanueva told viewers that his office has expanded its capacity to approve applications for a concealed carry licenses and plans to relax the “good cause” requirement to make it more “achievable.”

The announcement came on the heels of sobering violent crime statistics for America’s most populous county. According to Villanueva, the county has seen a 95% increase in homicides over the last 12 months, along with an 8% increase in rape, 13% increase in aggravated assault, 40% increase in grand theft auto, and a 22% increase in arson.

Between the end of 2019 and the end of 2020, the county experienced a 36% increase in all violent crime.

“All huge numbers, all very troublesome,” Villanueva said. “This is existential threat number one, particularly in communities where there are a large percentage of African-American and Latino residents.”

SEE ALSO: LA Sheriff Shuts Down All Gun Stores, Releases 1,700 Inmates

In response to the increase in crime and the county’s inability to address it, the sheriff said he would allow more people to carry concealed firearms.

“We have less cops on the streets, more crooks, less consequences. What could go wrong with that combination?” he asked. “We’ve increased our capacity to process CCW permits. We’ve made the good cause standard achievable. We’re recognizing that the threat to the residents is increasing, so we’re responding accordingly.”

Before LA County gun owners rush to apply for a license, however, Villanueva offered some perspective. The county has only issued 904 permits since Villanueva took the helm in 2018, and the sheriff seemed pleased that there are another 360 applications “in the hopper… so we’re well on our way to over 1,000.”

The county boasts over 10 million residents, meaning only about 0.01% of residents will be allowed to carry concealed firearms. By contrast, over 10% of residents of many states possess licenses to carry, including Utah (21.88%), Alabama (20.36%), Indiana (14.02%), South Dakota (12.16%), and Iowa (11.59%).

Villanueva also clarified that their process is a far cry from the shall-issue laws that govern other states.

SEE ALSO: Los Angeles County Sheriff Releases Inmates While Warning Against Gun Buying

“We’re not going to go to the shall-issue, where everyone who can fog a mirror can get a CCW permit,” he said. “That’s not responsible. But we do want to give people who are responsible, pass the training, don’t have any convictions or any legal limitations from being armed in public… and establish a good cause reason why we should trust them to be armed in public.”

Villanueva did not provide additional details. He mentioned that his office has increased staffing to approve applications, but he did not explain how they’ve made the good cause standard more “attainable.”

Villanueva’s current stance differs drastically from his position in March of 2020. That month, he released 1,700 inmates, discouraged residents from purchasing firearms, and closed down gun stores.  

“Buying guns is a bad idea,” he said at the time. “You have a lot of people now who are at home, normally they’re not, cabin fever sets in, you got a crowded environment, weapons are not a good mix.”

In April, one of Villanueva’s chiefs announced his intention to run against the current sheriff in the 2022 election.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

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  • etph June 7, 2021, 12:42 pm

    I was denied a CCW a few years ago. Unfortunately, even though I am a few miles away from both Berdoo and Orange counties, I’m right at the end of L.A. County. About 3 years later after being denied, my mother and I had a harrowing experience in our oh so peaceful neighborhood, and where it’s so quiet and boring that hardly anything happens. 4 ghetto ex~con hoodlums attempted a home invasion and I almost shot one with my shotgun. My poor disabled mother’s hand shook uncontrollably as she tried to dial a phone at the beginning of the ordeal. She later got an enlarged aneurism and subsequent open~heart surgery, which we think was due to the frightening experience that day. About a year later, we had 2 other minor incidents that lead us to believe we were tagged, as someone mentioned. One of those incidents was a very close call because a couple backed their pick~up truck all the way to our garage door, and the guy hid on the side of the front door ready to attack the person that answered it. We were being monitored by criminals probably because my mother had been going to the bank frequently. She also met a woman while waiting in line who happened to adore her. She then appointed herself as her “granddaughter”. I began driving her to the bank about a year after she met this self~appointed “granddaughter”. That “granddaughter” even visited us twice but I immediately sensed something strange. I mention all this because I could have reapplied and used it as good cause. What are the chances that I could have been pulled over or accosted by those criminals while my mother’s car was parked. But I won’t waste my time or money (which I spent over $300 including a CCW class) because the odds are stacked against me. I have a perfect record but I won’t qualify because I’m not a VIP or retired LEO or firefighter. The 2A is clearly about signaling the government to not infringe on our rights. It’s reiterating that a natural right given by G~D can’t be curtailed by any government injunction. I would rather face the consequences of unjust and illegal laws than a life~time of regret for not having defended myself and especially a loved one…in this case the safety and life of my mother.

  • Gary Smith June 7, 2021, 9:34 am

    In addition to all of his stupid moves documented here, he spent last year focusing on “critical threats to the public” like dispatching 2 boats and 4 patrol deputies to arrest a lone windsurfer out on the water more than a hundred yards from any other human being. This was at a time when an auto theft or a burglary of an occupied residence in progress would not be responded to.

  • Anthony Romano June 7, 2021, 7:04 am

    This guy is full of shit! It’s still a may issue state and you still need a reason to carry. Make it a Shall issue and I’ll believe it!

  • Texan June 4, 2021, 10:15 pm

    This Sheriff is a POS. I say let the Democrats choke on the policies that they have created. Further, maybe the Sheriff can call somebody from Antifa and they can find him a “safe space”.

  • K Oldman June 4, 2021, 5:30 pm

    Money/status vs integrity. Only a threat to the first can mandate an improvement to the second.

  • LeadSplatter June 4, 2021, 4:06 pm

    Notoriously anti-gun sheriff has to approve more Conceal Carry Permits as County money makers tax base leaving Communist California by the 10,000s per month.

    @Blue Dog, really..?
    Buy and read a book called, More Guns Less Crime by DR. Lott and grow at least half a brain!

  • American June 4, 2021, 11:26 am

    Remember last year when he closed gun stores and released criminals early due to Covid?
    Funny how that works huh?

  • JonsOn June 4, 2021, 10:43 am

    Why should it be up to the county sheriff to decide who gets to carry concealed? If you are law abiding person and not a nut job as most democrats seem to be you should be able to carry concealed without the sheriff approving it. It does say “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. There is not a clause that says “unless the county sheriff doesn’t want you to carry”. I’m sure the state democrats in CA are already trying to find a way to remove this sheriff from office.

    • PATRICK WHITED June 4, 2021, 6:35 pm

      I know right how crazy is this man. Our forefathers would have been shooting already.

  • davud June 4, 2021, 10:28 am

    And of those 904 permits Villanueva is bragging about, how many of them went to civilians without connections? A few years ago, the total for L.A. County was around a hundred permits, but only nine were in the hands of civilians — the rest went to law enforcement, prosecutors, judges. Government employees/officials like Villanueva.

  • Greywolf Formerly of CA June 4, 2021, 7:25 am

    That was 900 carry permits in total, not since he became sheriff.

  • Greywolf Formerly of CA June 4, 2021, 7:23 am

    Los Angeles has always been excessively difficult for person to acquire a carry permit. It can take anywhere from 18 month to 30 months to get one, unless you are politically well connected.

    Sherrif V is an arrogant SOB. He intentionally released prisoners who were known to be dangerous with no concern for the safety of those he has sworn to protect. Now, he suddenly wants to make the ability to protect yourself “easier”?

    Consider that LA County has a population of over 10,000,000 people and less than 1000 have been able to get a carry permit ever! That is a staggeringly low number, Only 1 in 9 in 100,000 residents of LA County have a carry permit! That would mean that in a city, such as Lancaster, only 2 people would have a carry permit!

    This is all for political show. He knows that someone else is going to run against him. The people who live in LA County need to vote him out and vote in a Sheriff who is truly serving the people and who is honoring his oath of office to UPHOLD and DEFEND the CONSTITUTION of THESE UNITED STATES!

  • Sean June 4, 2021, 6:59 am

    Blue dog. You don’t seem to understand much on these sites. Maybe you should find another hobby. I don’t think you’re even a gun owner. If you think trolling us and antagonistic comments is the answer, you have alot of growing up to do.

  • Deus Vult June 4, 2021, 6:57 am

    The Sheriff is a blithering buffoon…Sounds like he is trying to brag while accepting 904 permits since 2018 is something to be proud of…
    The lunacy of the left is amazing yet predictable…

  • Blue Dog (he/him) June 3, 2021, 5:11 pm

    I am not quite sure how to take this. Certainly it is a good thing to make sure that pistol permit holders have undergone training. The presumption that more guns in the streets somehow makes the world a safer place is about as counterintuitive of a flawed premise as trickle down economics. The author certainly makes the connection that any such move on the part of the sheriff is politically motivated and really any decision by an elected official today is politically motivated.

    • Sean June 4, 2021, 6:58 am

      Blue dog. You don’t seem to understand much on these sites. Maybe you should find another hobby. I don’t think you’re even a gun owner. If you think trolling us and antagonistic comments is the answer, you have alot of growing up to do.

    • Mark June 4, 2021, 8:48 am

      “Counterintuitive”? Blue Dog — you need to think about this a little more carefully. Imagine you’re a criminal, with a gun in your pocket. You walk into a liquor store or convenience store (flush with cash) to rob the place. There are 8 other people in the store at the time. If you’re in LA, you can be pretty sure that nobody but you has a gun. You just pull the gun, threaten to (or actually) shoot the clerk (while everybody else hides, defenseless), grab the cash and go. Now, imagine that that store isn’t in LA, but it’s in Utah, or Indiana, or another state quoted in the article. Statistically, at least one of those other customers has a gun — and in some neighborhoods, maybe several. You don’t know who. And in constitutional carry states, maybe four or five have guns. Are you going to pull your gun and try the robbery — or are you going to pass that by and go find a softer target — maybe even a gun-free zone — a school maybe? Please Sir, before you write comments like this, at least get your head out of wherever it is and THINK through the situation. Stop just parroting the anti-gun propaganda of the zombies that populate the rank-and-file left.

      • KimberproSS June 4, 2021, 10:00 am

        No doubt Blue Dog is a Democrat (Progressive Liberal) with the slam on trickle down and more guns. Therefore, critical/logical thinking isn’t possible. I can’t figure it out, but during growth in the womb the brain doesn’t develop logically with a Progressive liberal. Maybe in utopia that thinking will work, but this isn’t utopia and it never will be because evil is here for eternity.

    • JonsOn June 4, 2021, 10:49 am

      Blue Dog there is something wrong with someone who feels compelled to put their gender behind their name. The fact that you put a “he/him” behind your name tells me you have been brainwashed by a bunch of leftists. You are so wrong about more guns on the streets. When law abiding people carry guns the non-law abiding person will have to think twice before committing a crime against a person. I can’t think of anything more intuitive.

      • PATRICK WHITED June 4, 2021, 6:41 pm

        That’s right agreed

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