SACRAMENTO — Shots fired on the debate stage as candidates for California’s seventh congressional district aimed at one another about concealed weapons permits in the real world.
“He talked about revoking 400 concealed carry permits. How did they get through the cracks?” questioned Democrat and current Congressman Ami Bera.
“I have a process where I continue to monitor people afterward. It’s like a driver’s license. I can only make decisions with the information I have,” said the Republican challenger who wants to deny Bera a third term, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones.
It was an issue that was top of mind for Nell Ranta as she sat through their 60-minute Q-and-A.
“Guns is one thing, people’s selection of guns,” said the Elk Grove woman.
“Frankly it’s going to be a hard decision to make,” she said.
During the debate, Jones pressed back against the current tide of police transparency pressure washing over the country — as it relates to the call for body cams — saying storage for such video and system expense would be challenging.
He also said like in-car cameras, departments nationwide would eventually evolve into the use of body cams on their own, without legislative action.
Both candidates took questions once off the debate stage.
FOX40 asked Jones how his choice to wait on body cams for his deputies balances with having to pay out for lawsuits that may have evaporated thanks to such video.
“I have a big belief in transparency. It’s not about that. It’s about the other … the devil being in the details. For example, I think someone getting stopped coming home from practice, they have a right to privacy,” he said.
“It is expensive. Money doesn’t occur in a vacuum,” he said.
Bera chose to point out there are funds available.
“One thing we’ve done in Congress is we’ve actually allocated $22 million. We got that attached to the omnibus bill for communities that feel they don’t have the resources,” he said.
In the end, voters who saw them spar firsthand liked what they heard out of the candidate they came in supporting.
For Don Harper that candidate was Bera.
“National security. I’m a veteran so that’s important to me, so I thought he spoke well to that,” he said.
For Christine Barrera, Jones has her vote.
“I love saying this about him. He’s a person that’s not just gonna take a seat in Congress, he’s gonna take a stand.”