CCW Safe Podcast- Episode 84: Rick Travis California Rifle and Pistol Association
CCW Safe Podcast- Episode 84: Rick Travis California Rifle and Pistol Association
LISTEN TO THE CCW SAFE PODCAST
CCW Safe Use of Force Expert Rob High and Firing Line Radio host Phillip Naman are joined by Rick Travis, Director of Development of the California Rifle and Pistol Association. They discuss current firearms related legal challenges going through the courts.
Video version of the podcast:
Rob High: Hello, and welcome to the CCW Safe Podcast. I’m Rob High in Oklahoma City. Joined today by Phillip Naman, and special guest, Rick Travis. Welcome, gentlemen.
Rick Travis: Welcome.
Phillip Naman: Hi. Hi, how you doing there, boss? Folks, if you’ve not met Rick Travis before, Rick is the Director of Development from the California Rifle and Pistol Association. I was lucky enough to have him on my Firing Line Radio Show today, talking about all the things that going on in California, and I thought this is really important, because it’s not just California.
You’ve heard this before, as California goes, so goes the nation. If you don’t believe me, think about how the places where you live in are starting to change. For instance, in Montana, the one little state of Montana with very few people living in it, a 100,000 people left the San Francisco Bay Area to move to Montana. What do you think that’s going to do to the politics in that area?
This is very important that you hear, and don’t just shut up and say, “Oh, my gosh, it’s California. They’re crazy.” The crazy is coming for you. They didn’t put a border along Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. It’s leaked out. It is in your local cities now. It’s in Texas. It’s in San Francisco. It’s in Nevada, Arizona. You really need to pay attention.
Phillip: Idaho. Idaho is under attack, big time. You really need to pay attention to what’s going on in your local things. It’s not the same game it was 10 years ago, right?
Rick: Definitely not.
Phillip: Rick is, again, the Director of Development for the California Rifle and Pistol Association. They spend all their time trying to find the craziness that goes on in our state legislature, and you only hear about the ones they lose, but the ones they win are amazing. Anyway, here’s what we’ve got going here. Rick, tell them about the state of CCW’s concealed carry permits in California.
Rick: Yes, so starting from 10 years ago, there weren’t many of them offered in the state. We had places like Los Angeles, 13 million people, about 140 CCWs.
Phillip: For 13 million people?
Rob: For 13 million people.
Phillip: That was because you had to make a big contribution to the sheriff to get it.
Rick: Right, and we have the same thing in Orange County. Orange County was a pay-to-play. If you paid $5,000, you got a permit. You got $10,000, you got a Reserve Deputy Badge to go with that permit, and so there was a lot of corruption within it. That got shot down. When that did, CCWs rolled back. The story was that the California Rifle and Pistol Association went out and started meeting with sheriffs, started making some great arguments, and as a result, you can take Orange County as one of the big success stories.
There are almost 30,000 CCWs. We have counties such as out here in the Inland Empire Riverside County. Had a guy who claimed to be a pro-CCW sheriff, and as a result that sheriff is no longer in office. We have, Chad Bianco is the sheriff out there, and he’s brought his department up to about 28,000, Fresno County. Now, we have 52 different departments. They’re going to be meeting at a CCW conference that we hold up in Solano County, up near the Bay Area, which makes it fun. We even have members-
Phillip: When is that?
Rick: That comes up the first week in March, and you’re all going to get to watch Phil about have a heart attack when I tell him– A year ago when I told you LA County was sending some people, you didn’t believe it would do anything.
Rick: LA County sent their people. We helped get them trained, and now LA County is right around 5,000 CCWs and growing.
Phillip: In one year.?
Rick: In one year, which is a huge increase. We just got notice that the San Francisco County sheriff is sending four people to the conference to learn how to set up a CCW program. Do we know where it’s going to go? No. Same thing like I told you, but that’s never happened before, so that’s movement.
Phillip: It’s a good choice, and especially, in California because we’ve had district attorneys and a governor who’ve let felons out of jail like crazy. I think the grand total under Gavin Newsom is he’s early released 70,000 felons.
Phillip: Not 70,000 boy scouts, 70,000 felons, and then we have district attorneys out here like Gascón, who destroyed San Francisco and now he’s working on Los Angeles, not enforcing laws, and so crime has had a rampage. I think in all the five major democratic cities, it’s up like 30%-40% for murders year-over-year.
Rick: Well, and I think another thing that all of you across the country need to know is, a lot of times national news from California comes up, it comes up to California is trying to answer all these inherent threats, yet, if you were to look at the Armed Prohibited Persons System we have here in California, which the Department of Justice knows, over 22,000 felons who have illegal firearms in their possession, and we’re lucky if we get a half a dozen arrests every year.
Now, we’re adding 70,000 more potentially into that system, and this is why a lot of Californians are saying, “No, we want our concealed carry permit just to protect ourselves.” Because with the defending of law enforcement in California, we also now have– My son’s in law enforcement. Their response times are upwards of 35 minutes now.
Rob: That’s completely outrageous. That’s crazy.
Phillip: What we’re talking about is, I know, maybe you live in Oklahoma, great state, right? You have a flood of people. There were 38 million people in California. There’s about 35 million now, and that includes an influx of 5 million illegal aliens in the last two years. There’s really only 30, the other 8 million people have left. That’s why real estate prices are shooting up in some rural areas like crazy, like you’ve never seen before.
Like we said, 100,000 people escaped San Francisco and went to Montana. Why? Because it’s beautiful. They have the money, they can buy what they want there, but if you don’t watch what’s happening in your state legislatures, they’re going to change things, and they’re going to make it exactly what they came from. It’s important that you understand what’s going on, and what we’re dealing with here, and how you need to get involved in your local communities to protect what you have.
I think what you have, and we have a place in Prescott. I love it. I don’t want that to change at all. People go to Texas, they tell me all the time how great it is. We don’t want that to change at all. You should listen to some of the horror stories of what goes on, and realize that you fight for your life, you fight for your freedom. We need to fight on the other front to make sure that we’re politically aware of what’s happening in our local communities.
Don’t say, “The NRA will do it,” or so and so will do it. This is our responsibility as citizens, sovereign citizens, right? This is our responsibility, we have to stand up and fight this. I don’t want to say that I’m calling you from the future, and this is what’s happened to your state. I’d rather see everything gets straightened out now, and stay the way it is. Rick, why don’t you give us a few things of what you’ve seen, and that they may be facing?
Rick: Yes, we can just go to storage. I mean, storage is a big issue. Shutting down gun shows is another one. We’re starting to see with this recent Remington case, trying to go after, they’ll buy up companies, as we’ve discussed before, and break them up. Folks, you have to be vigilant, and I would even argue hyper vigilant, because we have a lot of people 10 years ago in this state say, “That will never happen.”
Orange County, California, was considered a Republican stronghold on the Western United States. It is no longer a Republican anything. It is controlled by the Democrats. They did that in a decade, and so I think a lot of people tend to be complacent on our side of the fence, and say, “That’ll never happen here. Not in my backyard,” until it’s too late. Let me tell you, to unroot this once it takes hold is difficult, because they take over schools.
Phillip: It’s cancerous.
Rick: Yes. Churches, everything, and they try to humiliate people, and to not allow freedom-loving people to be able to meet, and just discuss things regardless of our background. It’s something that you really have to focus on. You have to focus on bridging the gap between law enforcement. A lot of areas across the country, we appreciate law enforcement, but there is a divide. The gun-loving community is over here, and law enforcement is over there.
We wave to each, but when it comes to legislation, when it comes to public speeches, we’re not always there supporting each other, and you have to have the mindset that, if they’re attacking law enforcement, they’re attacking honey, they’re attacking any part of your Second Amendment rights, which back all the rest of your Bill of Rights, you better be standing arm-in-arm against the opposition.
Phillip: That’s an interesting thing. Again, you’re saying, ‘Well, my state’s fine,” and it could be, and God bless you. One of the things that we’ve noticed is, if you look at a triangle, and let’s say that ownership of a .38 Special, 6-inch is in the middle, and to the right over this way might be AR-15s are fully automatic, and to the left over this way might be-
Phillip: -tactical block shotgun. There’s the spectrum of ownership, and what’s considered an okay thing to own, may be in the middle. What they’ll do is they’ll take the outside edges, and they’ll create a specific law saying that, “You can’t do this. You can’t have this firearm, you can’t have this pistol.” You can’t do A, B, C or D activity. They try and pick off where the smallest little areas of support are. The problem that we’ve seen in California, and where we’re asking you guys to get involved is to say, ‘Hey, look, those of us in the middle, okay, maybe I don’t own an AR-15. Maybe I don’t want that type of shotgun, but I have to realize that it’s an attack on the Second Amendment.”
The attack on the Second Amendment is your right to carry a firearm to defend your family from evil. Okay? That’s what our guarantee is. We’re talking about concealed carry, and that’s defending our lives, but you need to focus on a big picture, because there are things that happen in the legislative houses.
I saw 15 years ago, people say from the Trap and skeet community didn’t really care what was going on with the AR 15s, because they didn’t own one. They didn’t want one. They didn’t care. Didn’t apply to them. “Not in my backyard,” kind of a thing. Well, now all of a sudden it’s applying to them. They can’t find ammunition, or now maybe all their practice ammunition has to be non-led. It’s just, several things happened.
You have to be able to stand with everybody and fight these things, because if you want to keep your ability to carry a concealed weapon to defend your life, your family, your loved ones, this is the background of what goes on. That’s why I’m so proud to bring on Rick Travis, and just introduce you guys to what he does. If you saw his schedule, you’d be very glad you’re not him. He’s actually 27-years-old.
Rick: [chuckles] One of the things that you just brought up, and I think it resonates with anybody, no matter what part of the country you are, because I’ve been fortunate enough to travel and meet fellow gun owners in places like Maine and things. One of those issues comes down to ammunition, and we’ve got to be much more, as I keep saying the word “vigilant”. Vigilant about rhetoric that gets used against us.
If I sit there and say, “Oh, my Lord, Phil went down and bought 10,000 rounds of ammunition. What’s he arming? A small south American militia?” I mean, that sounds like an incredible amount of ammunition to the average person even in our community. Unless I tell you–
Phillip: He must be stockpiling.
Rick: Yes. Unless I tell you, “Oh, that’s the scout master, mine at .22 ammo to take his troop of 40 boys and girls down to go shoot, and they only get a 100 rounds a piece.” Well, that’s nothing, 100 rounds of .22 ammo? That’s gone less than a half hour with a kid on a range, but to the person out there in the press, it just sounds just extravagant amount, and then what they do is, they’ll go to PTA and go, “Well, that person over there about 50,000 rounds, arming kids, teach them. Who knows where that’s going to lead?”
Where it leads is to a sound, well-skilled person that understands what firearms do, understands their rights. It is not going to be the bad person out there. The people that are only taught with video games, and then all of a sudden, end up in gangs, have no moral compass, that’s where the problem’s at, but what they do is, they use the rhetoric of just ammo to start shutting things down.
I’ve been sounding this alarm for over 10 years here in California, I’ve got family in Texas, and I can tell you, Houston, Austin, San Antonio are all changing the wrong direction, because that rhetoric is spreading. All those people that sold their homes here in California and moved that way, and said, “This is just craziness.” Guess what they brought with them? That craziness.
Phillip: Unfortunately, Rick, there’s a bill actually in the California legislature, which we actually support. I’m not going to the dog and cat one either. They’ll never– Yes.
Rick: Their minds will go, “Boom”.
Phillip: We can’t tell them of the Dog and Cat bill, but there’s a bill in California from an anti-gun person, who because of the Alec Baldwin situation, has decided that maybe we need to have NRA train people on movie sets, right? Can you explain that?
Rick: Yes. Basically, what happened is, Assemblyman Cortese, who’s not a friend of our community is like, “Hey, you know what? We need to get people well-trained, so this never happens again on a movie set.” He’s now coming over to our side, and asking for us along with the NRA, and Gun Owners of California to be able to provide them with a list of qualified trainers, and set the standard, so that everybody on the set, including the actors have been trained, so they know what they’re doing, and these things don’t happen.
Phillip: Yes, so looking at that, it seems to me like that would be a fantastic thing if we actually had that, oh, I don’t know, maybe in our schools.
Rick: Oh, like we once did. [chuckles]
Phillip: Well, when we had rifle training in schools, how many school shootings were there?
Rick: I’m glad you brought up. There’s a high school in, I believe it’s the Inglewood area, it’s called Morningside High, and about three years ago, and I know I shared this story with you before, Phil. I went out and met with the principal, wonderful African American man. We went for a walk, and he took me and was telling me how he had been a student at Morningside High back before I was even around.
As we walked through the area, there were these post holes next to a football field. He goes, “You know what those are for?” I’m like, “No, never seen those.” He goes, “Well, when the football team wasn’t practicing, that’s where our .22 rifle team here in Morningside High practiced.” He talked about bringing his rifle in the school bus, in LA County to go shoot.
I said, “Well, what was the result of that?” He goes, “We never had a suicide during the time that program was in, and, yes, there were gangs, but there was no violence on the school grounds.” Since they’ve taken away all that education, both those things are in play on a regular basis.
Rob: You guys have mentioned a couple of things, we get people asking us, members asking us all the time, what are we doing? How are we fighting for this? How are we doing that?
Phillip: Your favorite question? We never hear that.
Rob: Go to this here in a second, because I want to get your take on this, Rick, and see what you guys are doing as well, because the most recent one has asked us to finance a lawsuit on the stuff going on in San Jose. I can never stress strongly enough, these are your individual rights, and you have to absolutely plug in and be involved at the grassroots level. Speak with your neighbors, speak with your friends, speak with the guys in your fraternal organizations that your members are. Speak with–
Phillip: The Water Buffalos
Rob: Yes, the people like– [chuckles] Yes. You’re a member too. Speak with your friends at church, wherever. Those are the things you have to plug into and become involved. It has to be something that everybody has concern for. We talked a little bit about the Remington thing, and Phil and I discussed that privately the other day, and my thing is, so, now, suddenly, you do the same thing, and you take a big truck and you ram through a crowd, so suddenly, GM is responsible, they’re on the hook for it.
You’re really starting to tread on some really, really dangerous grounds there. Rick, you touched on the scout troops, and training those kids up. What you’re talking about is, responsible gun ownership. Those kids have to go through all of the safety trainings and things like that, so they actually understand what is in place there. The things that can go wrong and how to– I never pick up a firearm without the understanding, that gun’s loaded.
I treat every single firearm as if it’s loaded. I never point it at anything that I don’t have the intent to destroy. Guns are a lethal weapons. That’s what they are. Back to where I was going, I want to know what’s on you guys’ plate, as far as the San Jose stuff going on now?
Rick: San Jose is just the tip of the iceberg in this state. We have a lot of things going on. I think that’s caught national attention. California Rifle Pistol Association-
Phillip: Why don’t you explain what it is?
Rick: Okay. Basically, what they’re trying to come up with is, it is illegal for a city to be able to require insurance. They can’t do it. It’s against state laws, it’s against federal laws, so what the City of San Jose said was, “We’re going to create a nonprofit that will create insurance that all gun owners have to buy, and the money from that insurance is going to go pay for allegedly victims issues.”
Where we’re fighting that issue is, the city can’t– They can’t create a nonprofit, that is also illegal. Here’s how the city’s thinking they can do it. They can get a pass, and it’s going to take 5 to 10 years to go through the court, and we call it death by a thousand cuts out here, because the attitude of our legislature in a lot of the major cities that are democratically controlled right now, is to just go ahead and do the illegal thing, because then you can spend a decade in about a million, million and a half in court fees-
Phillip: Make them tired.
Rick: –to fight us. They’re just trying to make it a game of attrition. Then, once they get it locked here in California, and I can go back to a bear bill that happened a couple years back here, it immediately appeared in 22 legislatures the very next year across the country. That’s not a joke when we say to people, what starts in California, it’s going to go across nationwide, because this is the testing ground.
Rob: Well, we’ve already seen some of the places that have absolutely the most stringent, strict, incredible gun laws, are the places with the most violence of–[crosstalk]
Phillip: Well, take a look at it this year, you’ve seen what– I saw the numbers last week, I don’t have it memorized, but I think the smallest one was only 120% increase in murders in some of these cities, and the cities are Los Angeles, the cities are Chicago, Baltimore.
Phillip: Seattle. Seattle’s a 140% I think it was, the increase. All these places that have these gun control issues, they don’t have murder control.
Rob: Phil, we actually did a show on those rising crime statistics, and you guys touched on it a little bit ago, the defend the police thing, and it gets to the point where the pendulum has swung so far, that you get guys that, “I’ll respond to a call, but I’m not going to be proactive, I’m not going to go out and do things. I’m not going to put myself at risk, this is my livelihood, this is what I do to take care of my family.”
All of a sudden, you’re in over your head, and these guys just go, “You know what? I’m just not doing anything.” We’ve teased about it in the past, but it’s at a point now in some places in the country that you need to be prepared to self-rescue. It’s just come to that in so many areas.
Phillip: We’ve talked about that many, many times. You are the first responder, we talked about that on CCW Safe on The Firing Line Radio Show, with the California Rifle and Pistol Association. When something happens, you’re the one who’s there, right? The police are just minutes away on a best case. Here in California, it could be 20 to 30 minutes away.
Rick: Well, I had a really good conversation with a couple people and the Sheriffs Union, and they said, to say this all, and I’ll say it on this thing, how many of us over the age of 35, I’ll make this really easy, could literally go in and handle a 15-round MMA match? Are in physical condition to do it? The answer is going to be none.
If you’re saying, yes, okay, at two o’clock in the morning, you’ve been asleep for three hours, and you’re going to wake up and be ready to do the prize fight, you’re not going to be able to do it. That’s the length, the response time now in many urban areas, and the problem is, they can’t even get people to go to the academy anymore, because who wants to be in law enforcement, when there’s all these hassles and all these negativity coming.
Even in churches, people say, “Oh, you and your spouse are in law enforcement, could you please not come to this Bible study, because you might offend somebody.” This is where we’ve gotten to. This is not going to get better, because this is a nationwide issue, it’s not just a California issue. I can speak to what’s going on here in our state, but it is a nationwide problem.
Phillip: We don’t want to be coming to you from your future. Actually, we’re from your future, we want you to change. Change the way [chuckles] things are. Don’t let this take root where you are. As Ronald Reagan once said, he says, “America is the last bastion of freedom, if we lose her, where do we go?” What we’re seeing is an onslaught, so we have to be vigilant. You have rights. Rights come with responsibilities. Your responsibility is to be vigilant to defend your rights, and to know them, and to be able to articulate them, and to stand firm when there’s social pressures.
Rick: You just brought something that reminded me. I just got back from, it’s called the International Sportsmen’s Exposition that was up in Northern California. One of the things, obviously, in development I do is, raise funds for cases like the Duncan V. Becerra, which is on the standard capacity magazines across the country now, because we’re waiting for to be heard by the-
Phillip: Supreme Court, yes.
Rick: -Supreme Court. It was interesting because I was working with two different groups from Africa to set up some possibilities for some hunts. Both of the people pulled me off to the side, along with a couple of members of our staff and said, “We are praying for you, and watching what’s going on in your country, and in your state every day, because we realize, if you as Americans fall, there’s no hope for us.”
I thought, how ironic because when I was growing up, my grandfather was always like, “Don’t forget to pray for the people in Africa and Asia.” Now, they’re praying for us, how the tide has turned?
Phillip: We should probably point out that this year, the arguments have already been heard, we’re waiting on several decisions from the Supreme Court. Now, why that’s important, these cases started with the California Legislature being just their regular crazy, bat guano in the head kind of a thing, and they come up with these things, and then, we have to fight them, and so we get a win, and then they appeal, then we get another win, and we get an appeal.
Now, they’re at the Supreme Court, and you’re saying, “Well, this doesn’t affect me.” Hey, guys, this is going to be federal law. If they’re able to withhold the 10-round magazine capacity thing, well, that’ll be a federal law, and then it’ll go to a seven-round or a six-round or a five-round, because numbers are just numbers. If they have the CCW, which one is– Anyway, we have a case on there, the shall-carry, shall-issue, may-issue, those are all things, once they’re settled in Supreme Court, we’re going to have a real uphill fight.
As far as the court is concerned, there’s like four and a half conservatives on out of nine, we just don’t know which way it’s going to go anytime, and that’s really scary. These things start somewhere, and then, yes, they affect you, because they go through all the courts and end up at the Supreme Court, and that could be federal law in Missouri, Florida.
Rick: Ammunition restrictions would be another one, because we have a pretty draconian system here in California, that is very ironic, because when you go to buy a new firearm, you go through your 4473, and in other states, you can walk out within a few minutes. In this state, allegedly, it takes them 10 days to read the same thing, that when you’re in Arizona, it takes 30 seconds, but that’s the way it works, but then you go through that same background for a separate fee, which is a tax, let’s be honest about it, to decide if you can get your ammunition or not. If you’ve made, you got married, any of those things, that knocks of the system, and you have to reapply and wait weeks, sometimes months.
Phillip: For an approval to buy ammunition.
Phillip: We can’t buy it over state lines, you can’t have it mailed, shipped in by mail any longer. The other thing about that is, let’s say, that I owned a 12-gauge shotgun that I bought in 2010 before the federal government started logging long guns. Whatever I bought, was just considered a long gun on the 4473 Form. State of California doesn’t know what I own, I say, “Hey, I want to buy a case of 12-gauge, go shoot trap,” you get denied because you don’t have that gun registered with them.
These are all little things that happen, and we’re not saying that– Don’t want you to feel sorry for us. We want to say, “Hey, this is important that this is what we’re up against. This is what’s going to be coming your way, and this is why it’s so important that you’re vigilant, and don’t let this happen,” because–
Rick: Now, they’re trying to cross-reference, have to get a bill passed this year that we’re fighting [unintelligible 00:27:42] against. They will cross-reference out when you enroll your kid in school to see if all that data matches what you put on the form, because they want to know what kids live in homes, where the parents have firearms.
Rob: Yes. [crosstalk]
Phillip: At least, it’s not a Fourth Amendment issue.
Rick: Not a Fourth Amendment issue at all. [chuckles]
Rob: These are huge things, and if you don’t think they don’t affect you everywhere else across the country, they absolutely do. It’s absolutely critical to be involved and pay attention, and be that squeaky wheel. That was something that the silent majority was guilty of for so long, is that you let small factions make all this noise, and you just lay back and let him do it, and you don’t have the right to remain silent anymore, if you intended to keep your rights, you just don’t.
I think you guys have done a wonderful job of sounding the alarm. I know some people are going to think, “Oh, my gosh, they’re overreacting,” but it is what it is, folks. I’m encouraged. We have a really large footprint in California, so the fact that you’re growing, and your gun ownership and permits are going up is encouraging, but it is a fight, and for you guys, it’s an uphill fight right now, so we appreciate what you’re doing.
Phillip: I want to thank you for letting us come on, and, again, talk to you from the future. I want to thank Rick Travis here, CRPA.org is their website. If you want to join us and help us, and we got to relinquish the studio here real quick, but thanks for letting us come out and talk to you, folks, and get involved.
Rob: Thanks, guys. Join us next week. Again, you guys can always get directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your comments, questions, and concerns. I’ll see you next week. Thank you, guys.
Phillip: Thank you.
Rick: Thank you.
[00:29:53] [END OF AUDIO]