Roadblocks removed in Riverside County for those wanting to get Concealed Carry Permits, Sheriff Chad Bianco said.

Concealed carry permits have increased by 2.3% in 2022 compared to last year, despite nearly half of U.S. states enacting what have been termed constitutional carry laws that don’t require Americans to obtain a government-issued permit to legally carry firearms, a new report shows.

“As the United States is moving into a post-pandemic era, the number of concealed handgun permits has continued increasing. The figure now stands at 22.01 million – a 2.3% increase since last year,” a report published by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC).

CPRC compiled the data using information from concealed carry permits issued in states across the country this year. The report does not rely on surveys on gun ownership or polls, which CPRC argued can lead to people not answering honestly. A concealed carry weapon (CCW) is the practice of Americans carrying firearms in a public space but in a way that is not visible to others.

“Last year, the number of permit holders continued to grow by about 488,000. At 2.3% growth over 2021, that is the slowest percent and absolute increase that we have seen since we started collecting this data in 2011. Part of that is due to the number of permits declining in the Constitutional Carry states even though it is clear that more people are legally carrying,” the report states.

While the increase may have some anti-gun groups concerned, supporters of the Second Amendment maintain that Americans are simply embracing their constitutional rights and seek to carry a firearm for protection. John R. Lott, president of the CPRC, told FoxNews in a statement that the increase was largely due to increased crime in recent years, as well as the defund the police movement.

“The reason for the increase is the same as the increase in gun sales over the last two years, increased crime and concerns that police aren’t able to do their job and that large numbers of inmates were released from jails and prisons,” Lott said.

A concealed carry weapon (CCW) is the practice of Americans carrying firearms in a public space but in a way that is not visible to others.

As a microcosm of the United States, Riverside County is experiencing a similar spike over the past five years, Here’s a snapshot of CCW activity:

  • 2019 -2,085 issued.
  • 2020 – 5,439 issued
  • 2021 – 7,967 issues
  • 2022 – 8,649
  • 2023 – 281 issued as of Jan. 12

When Bianco took over as Riverside County Sheriff in January 2019 approximately 3,000 to 3,400 Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) permits had been issued, according to Bianco.  Today, four years nearly 9,000 permits have been issued.

“I think from 2017 and 2018 before the primary election, the prior sheriff (Stan Sniff) did about 2,000 because I was accusing him of purposely limiting them during his tenure,” Bianco told Uken Report.

In October 2018, a federal lawsuit was filed against Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff and Riverside County over handgun carry license policies and practices, which plaintiffs claim are unconstitutional. At the time, Sniff called it “purely a political ploy.”

Early in Bianco’s tenure, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department partnered with Permitium to develop a paperless CCW application process. This new CCW program allows applicants to apply for a CCW online, upload the required documents, and pay by debit or with credit card for a nominal convenience fee. This program also allows applicants to schedule an appointment with the CCW Unit and receive text and/or email reminders. It eliminates mounds of paperwork.

Concealed Carry Permits Rise in RivCo, Nation

Sheriff Chad Bianco

Since Bianco became Sheriff, he said he has not made the process to obtain a CCW easier, he simply allowed it to proceed.

“The prior sheriff, despite his purely political statements, had made it known he didn’t believe people should be allowed to carry guns,” Bianco said. “He certainly was in favor of people owning guns, just not carrying them.  The system was set up to slow roll applications/appointments to deter people from even applying.”

Bianco alleged that Sniff would also have the deputies tell most of the applicants they would not qualify during the initial “interview phase,” stopping them from continuing with the application.

“Technically they were denied before they ever officially applied,” Bianco said. So, really, I just took away the roadblocks.  The process is not easier today, it is just possible and efficient.”

So, why remove the roadblocks?

“I believe in both parts of the Second Amendment, and most importantly I know for a FACT that law-abiding residents do not commit crimes with their firearms,” Bianco said.

To his point, at least two members of the Cathedral City Council carry concealed weapons, Uken Report has confirmed.

East Valley Republican Women Patriots recently held a class on how to get a CCW.

“We have had people arrested for DUI, domestic violence, etc., that have nothing to do with a CCW,” Bianco said. “When that happens, we immediately suspend the permit until the case is adjudicated.   Everyone in law enforcement knows that guns are not the problem, people are the problem.  Firearm restrictions are nothing but the furtherance of a political agenda to disarm the law-abiding public.”



Image Sources

  • Sheriff Chad Bianco: Sheriff Chad Bianco
  • Concealed Weapons Permit: Shutterstock