After a Public Records Request made by a local ABC affiliate in Contra Costa, California was honored by the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office, the names and locations of all of the county’s concealed handgun permit holders was made public. This violation of privacy has angered many permit holders, and now a well known celebrity in the firearm’s community is calling for vigilante justice to make an example of the officials who released the information.
James Yeager, CEO of Tactical Response, a Tennessee based firearms training academy, has a devoted following among gun owners who treat him like a guru of sorts. On Tuesday, Yeager reacted to the news from Contra Costa by sharing the article with this introductory question: “Do Californians not own ropes? I bet if you had 2 or 3 public hangings this type of behavior would subside.”
And his fans were quick to react to the news.
Almost all of the comments pointed toward an acceptance of his harsh rhetoric.
Yeager’s no stranger to controversy. In 2013, Yeager released a YouTube video in which he said he’s “start killing people” if Obama took executive action on gun control. He told his followers to “load your damn mags” and “get ready to fight.”
The local Sheriff’s office in Contra Costa is not friendly to second amendment supporters. Only 17% of concealed carry permit requests have been approved. California allows for local jurisdictions to place high standards on who qualifies, and many require applicants to demonstrate proof that they are in imminent danger.
Yet Concealed Nation is reporting that the names, addresses, and contact information of the 317 people who were issued permits have now been turned over to ABC news.
“We try and balance the needs of the public and the people who want or need access to the information to ensure everyone’s safety,” explained Lieutenant Nate McCormack.
Critics of the decision argue that such disclosures put people at greater risk. The list can be used to map locations where thieves will have a higher likelihood of finding firearms.
The County did have the decency to alert the permit holders that their information was being shared. CN obtained the text of a letter that was sent to all 317.
“The Office of the Sheriff has received a California Public Records Request Act from ABC7 News for the disclosure of all CCW permit holders’ names and home addresses from January 1, 2011 to date. The provisions of statutory and decisional law mandates most information contained in CCW applications and permits are subject to public disclosure. The law specifically allows for limited exceptions to public disclosure include the home addresses of permit holders employed in certain occupations, including judges, court commissioners or magistrates, deputy district attorney’s and peace officers. Names of CCW permit holders are not except from public disclosure.
In compliance with the law, the Office of the Sheriff will soon be releasing your name and city of residence as a CCW permit holder in response to the ABC7 News request. CCW permit holders in the above occupations will not have their city of residence released. The office of the Sheriff has declined to release the home address of any permit holder, regardless of occupation, in accordance with our interpretation of statutory and decisional law. The Office of the Sheriff understands you may have well founded concerns about your privacy, including release of your home address, and the Office of the Sheriff intends to protect this privacy in balance with its obligation to comply with the law regarding public records. If, in the future, the Office of the Sheriff is in receipt of information which indicates our position on the non-disclosure of CCW holders addresses cannot be legally justified, we will be forced to release your address unless there is a qualifying statutory exception as described above.”