Saturday, November 01, 2014

California Concealed Carry Law has Racist Origins

Link to source of the KKK picture

The Ku Klux Klan in a parade in Anaheim, California, in 1924, the same year California's CCW law passed, with the purpose of disarming Latino and Chinese legal residents. California's CCW system is still regulated under this law.

The following article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on July 15th, 1923, page 3, column 1.

It mentions that California's CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) law was passed specifically to prevent Chinese, Latinos and legal immigrants (non-naturalized permanent residents) from being armed.

Note that this was from a time in California in which Hispanics were segregated into separate public schools.

Existing Licenses Inoperative After Dec. 31 1924; Uniform System
Possible Unconstitutionality of Clause Provided for in Drafting

Stringent regulations against carrying concealed firearms or explosives, and prohibition against possession of other deadly weapons become effective on August 7, under the Hawes bill signed by Governor Richardson.

The new measure will install a uniform licensing system for carrying concealed weapons. Licenses now in existence will become inoperative December 31, 1924.


Possible unconstitutionality of the provision against possession of weapons by non-naturalized residents was admitted in McKissick's letter to the Governor urging signing of the bill, but he pointed out that if this clause should be held invalid the rest of the act will not be affected and that if it can be sustained that it will have a "salutary effect in checking tong wars among the Chinese and vendettas among our people who are of Latin descent."
The provision for additional sentences where weapons are used in committing a felony is one with a sliding scale. The first time the added penalty is from five to ten years; the second from ten to fifteen; the third from 15 to 25 years, and only on the fourth offense it is possible to add more than 25 years to the sentence imposed for the crime itself.

California's CCW law is one of the last Jim Crow laws still in force in the United States. It is well-documented that the purpose of California's CCW law was to keep legal residents of Latin origin from being able to defend themselves, and it dates from an era when Latino students were segregated in schools as a matter of policy.  


A clearer image of the article can be viewed at the link below:  

 This article was originally posted on CaliforniaCCW forum, but it does not appear to exist anymore.  As I was credited with finding the San Francisco Chronicle Article, I wanted this article to stay alive.  I had trouble finding it, but finally found a copy at Transsylvania Phoenix, posted in 2008.   The pictures were no longer present, so I made an image of the original Chronicle article, and the KKK parade picture.   I also edited the wording and put the pictures in a different order.

 Dean Weingarten

Update: link to original article on freerepublic from 2008

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