As a scout sniper in Afghanistan, Dillan Stephens got used to carrying his gun with him.
"I got out of the military, and I just felt vulnerable" Stephens told FOX40 Wednesday.
When the veteran returned home to Carmichael after two deployments, he applied for a concealed carry weapons permit. The process was easier then he thought.
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and his staff approve about 95 percent of the CCW permit applications they receive, more than any other major sheriff's department in the state.
The reason? Jones says it has a lot to do with department budget cuts. In 2010, he had to cut 340 positions from his department.
"We became very concerned that we couldn't keep people safe, which is our mission," Jones said.
Residents no longer need to have a justifiable reason to get a CCW.
Instead, anyone with a clean record who wants a CCW can fill out an application, go through an interview process, background checks and required training. And, 7,000 residents have done just that in Sacramento County, a far cry from the two CCW permits issued in San Francisco, for example.
Asemblymember Kevin McCarty disagrees with the sheriff's system,
“Sacramento County has seen the issuance of concealed weapons permits rise by 15 times since 2009. With more concealed weapons in our neighborhoods and streets, are we 15 times safer than we were before?”
Sheriff Jones says he has never had a gun related incident with a CCW permit holder.