Faced with the potential loss of 300 deputies due to budget cuts, the Sacramento County sheriff may consider issuing more concealed weapons permits.
Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness said at a public budget workshop in May that if the cuts happen, people would wait "long, long periods of time for the most basic public safety services, specifically uniformed officers in the field."
Spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran called the move a worst-case scenario, depending on how the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors allocates money in its budget.
"With the anticipated decrement in patrol staffing, and the resultant potential for inadequate patrol officer staffing, I will have to reconsider the criteria for issuance of CCWs [concealed weapons permits]. Nothing is etched in stone, but as circumstances change, we need to address public safety in an environment with too few patrol officer positions to meet traditional expectations," McGinness said in a statement.
The current criteria for permit applications is as follows: one-year residency in Sacramento County, U.S. citizenship, at least 21 years of age, no criminal history, and successful completion of a handgun training class.
Permit holders must complete a refresher course every other year upon renewal from a department-approved training facility and/or instructor, according to the department's Web site.
The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department could lose 370 of its employees, including 300 deputies, because of severe county budget cuts.
This article originally appeared on KCRA.com.