California Counties

Law Enforcement:

We have taken the liberty, in the interests of providing our visitors with a complete and accurate picture, of copying some of your pages regarding CCW issue from your website to this website. We have credited your original website as appropriate.


calcounties

image courtesy handgunlaw.us

Alpine County

This county has a very high rate of issuance, as close to “Shall Issue” as we can expect.

Amador County

This county has a very high rate of issuance, as close to “Shall Issue” as we can expect.

Butte County

This county is nearly “Shall Issue”.

Calaveras County

This county has a very high rate of issuance, as close to “Shall Issue” as we can expect.

Del Norte County

This county is nearly “Shall Issue”.

Glenn County

This county is nearly “Shall Issue”.

Kern County
Recent news about changed policies and an article regarding Kern County originally published in the Bakersfield Californian.

Lake County Denial
Letter to the Editor of a Lake County newspaper, describing illegal discrimination in the denial of a CCW.
We have included this in News and in Counties.

Marin County
Information regarding Marin County from the Marin County Independant Journal.

Mendocino County

http://mendocinosheriff.com/services/ccw/index.html

http://www.mendocinosheriff.com/services/ccw/ccw_process.html
Official information from the Mendocino County website.

Napa County
From: Official website.

Q. How do I get a Concealed Weapons Permit?

A. To get a C.C.W. you must meet the following criteria:

· Proof of residency in the unincorporated area of Napa County or in the cities of American Canyon or Yountville.
· Complete an approved 16 hour C.C.W. course.
· Bring a current photo.
· Complete an application, which includes, personal and employment information, the description of weapons you intend to carry and have a VALID reason for wanting to carry a concealed weapon.
· Pay a fee of $117.00 valid for two years
· Be interviewed by the Field Operations Captain or the Undersheriff
· Have no criminal record
· Renewals are $62.00 every two years.
· Failure to renew on time will result in having to complete the full application process again.

Placer County
Official information from the Placer County website.

Plumas County

This county is nearly “Shall Issue”.
Sacramento County
Official Information regarding Sacramento County.

San Benito County
Official information from the San Benito County website.

San Bernadino County
Information regarding San Bernardino County.

San Diego County
Information from the official San Diego Sheriff’s website.

Santa Barbara County
Information regarding Santa Barbara County, provided by JonM.

Shasta County
Information regarding Shasta County.

Stanislaus County
Information regarding Stanislaus County.

Sutter County
Official Information regarding Sutter County.

Tehama County

This county is nearly “Shall Issue”.

Yolo County

http://www.yolocountysheriff.com/forms-fees/

Information regarding Yolo County.

Yuba County
Information regarding Yuba

Concealed Weapon Permits (CCW) in California

By John Spencer, Webmaster at www.CaliforniaConcealedCarry.com.
Contributory material by Anon.

This article was serialized in the CRPA newsletter, summer of 2007.

Note: the author is not a lawyer and this article contains no legal advice.

The System
Where to Apply
Good Cause
Communicating with Law Enforcement

The Application Process
Carry Weapons
Modified Firearms
Carry Ammunition

The Aftermath
Summary
Copyright Notice

The System

As most readers will know, California’s provision for issuing a Carry a Concealed Weapon (CCW) license (also known as a permit) is a discretionary system, whereby the Sheriff or Police Chief for an area determines whether or not an applicant meets the requirements they specify and then issues a permit to qualified candidates. The framework for this process is defined by California Penal Code 12050. Once issued, a CCW (unless restricted by the issuing authority) is valid throughout the state of California (and honored by some other states ), except for statutory exclusions (such as Federal buildings).

From questions asked on relevant websites, it is clear that many potential applicants are uncertain about how this system works, or to whom they should apply in order to obtain a permit. This article attempts to answer these questions, and give guidance to such applicants.

In California, whether you are likely to be granted a CCW depends upon where you live. Some counties, especially rural counties with low populations, are close to “Shall Issue,” granting permits to (almost) all qualified persons. Other areas, particularly urban areas with large populations, are close to “No Issue.” This situation arises from the way in which Sheriffs and Police Chiefs are allowed to use their discretion, and the political climate that governs the election or appointment of these officers.

A Sheriff has the authority to issue CCW permits to anyone[1] residing anywhere in his or her county. The Sheriff is also required to consider all applications in accordance with his/her department’s written policy (which must be made available to you on request).

Cities that have their own Police Departments fall into one of two categories. Unless the Police Department has “Declared G” (defined later), the Police Chief has the authority to grant CCW permits to residents of that city and must consider all such applicants in light of his or her written policy. However, the Police Chief may delegate this responsibility totally to the County Sheriff by producing a written “Memorandum of Understanding” or MOU. This is also known as “Declaring G” after the paragraph in California Penal Code 12050 that permits this. The theory is that having one issuing authority for the entire county guarantees uniformity and fairness in the issuance; unfortunately, this is not always the case. The Police Chief is not allowed to have a “two tier” system, considering applications from some classes of persons (such as city officials), but delegating applications from other classes (such as the general public) to the Sheriff.

If the City Police Department (hereinafter called the CPD) has not “Declared G,” the Sheriff may require applicants within that city to apply to the CPD before applying to the county sheriff’s department (hereinafter called the CSD).

Theoretically, neither Sheriffs nor Police Chiefs are allowed to have a system by which certain classes of people (such as elected officials, judges, prominent citizens, campaign contributors etc.) are likely to get CCW’s whilst ordinary citizens with similar good cause are rejected. However, this does happen all too often.

Where to apply

Therefore, where you should apply depends upon where you live. There are three possibilities:

  • If you live in an area policed by the CSD, or where the CPD has ‘Declared G,” then you must apply to the CSD.
  • If you live in an area policed by a CPD, and the CSD requires you to first apply to the CPD, then you must apply to the CPD.
  • Otherwise you may choose whether to apply to your CSD or your CPD. You have some homework to do to decide which one is more favorable than the other. Factors include likelihood of success and likelihood of the issuing authority imposing restrictions. For example, the author knows of one city where it is relatively easy to obtain a CCW from either the CSD or the CPD, but the CPD’s CCW usually states “Only valid within the city of XXX.”

There is also a provision in PC12050 for an issuing authority to issue a CCW to a person who resides outside the area, but who runs a business located within the area. These CCW’s are issued rarely, if ever, in practice and can be effectively ignored.

At this point, let me clear up one common misconception regarding your residence. It is usually understood that the address on your driving license is your official residence, and that then decides the authority to which you apply for a CCW. Sometimes, people who live in difficult areas think that they can circumvent this by renting an address in an easier area, getting a few utility bills at that address, and applying there. As an extreme example, a group of like-minded people might consider clubbing together to rent a weekend cabin in a remote area and then each applying to that sheriff. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS! The chances of being caught out are high and your record will be adversely affected. However, someone from a rural area attending college in an urban area, might be able to legitimately use his or her rural address, provided it can be demonstrated that the urban address is a temporary location, and the real home is the rural home, to which the student regularly (perhaps most weekends) returns. The same logic would apply to someone who maintains a family home in the country, while spending some time each week staying in the city to avoid too much commuting time. However, if you are dreaming up artificial schemes to deceive the authorities, you are considering behavior that cannot be recommended or condoned.

Good Cause

In order to prepare an application, you will require a “Good Cause.” A strong Good Cause is the cornerstone of your application. There are a number of things to avoid in preparing your Good Cause statement:

  • Don’t lie.
  • Do not copy someone else’s statement. Your statement needs to be specific to yourself.
  • Do not post your proposed statement on the web and ask for comments; you should keep it relatively private. You may email it to selected people (such as Team Billy Jack) for critique, but select your critics carefully. (Also, don’t forget to tell your critics where you will be applying as this may affect the contents.)
  • Do not mention the 2nd Amendment, or your RKBA. Like it or not, the courts in California have ruled that this is not relevant.
  • Do not say anything resembling “Because the local police don’t respond fast enough in an emergency.” It may be true, but they don’t want to hear it as it criticizes them.
  • Do not mention your dozen non-resident permits from other states. It makes you look like a wannabe Rambo; it will only hurt your cause even though you think it demonstrates your qualifications to carry. If you have just one non-resident permit and you add that you visit that state frequently, it probably won’t hurt, but it won’t do you much good either, so it is best unsaid.
  • Let me say this again: Don’t lie. The truth has a way of making itself known.

So, what should you say?

The official California Attorney General view is expressed in the statement made by California Attorney General Evelle J. Younger, in August 23, 1977:

OPINION NO. CR. 77/30 I.L. ‘the issuing authority must determine whether the threat to the applicant (or other causal situation) is as real as the applicant asserts (e.g., is there a clear and present danger to the applicant, his spouse, his family or his employees)? Finally, if the danger is manifest, the authority should determine whether that danger cannot be significantly alleviated by alternative means of security and whether in fact can be lawfully mitigated by the applicant’s obtaining a concealed weapon license.’

There is considerable difference in the way in which this is interpreted in different counties/cities, but you do yourself a favor if you attempt to put forward your best possible good cause statement, even if it appears that your Sheriff might accept something less.

Have you been threatened? If you answer “yes”, you will need to document names, dates, times and restraining orders. A “yes” on this question is sure to be challenged and is probably the most problematic “good cause” for all concerned. Being attacked last week does not necessarily increase your risk of being attacked next week.

Are you a Judge or Attorney? Do you work in the criminal justice field, Private Investigator, Process Server, Prison Guard, or Executive Protection? You fear death or great bodily injury from someone you helped punish and/or incarcerate that might seek revenge.

Are you a Medical, Dental or Veterinary professional? You fear death or great bodily injury from addicts that want the drugs in your bag and/or the prescription pad on your person.

Do you carry valuables and/or large sums of money? A valid cause, but don’t imply you want to carry for the express purpose of preventing theft. It is a bad idea, and illegal, to exert deadly force to protect property. You fear pre-emptive death or great bodily injury from an armed thief even though you would surrender all in exchange for escaping harm. Even if you are not a jeweler or other merchant, you could probably articulate a good cause based on transporting valuable hobby collections to and from shows.

Do you travel in “rough” neighborhoods? If so, why? Perhaps you fear death or great bodily injury while in a really dangerous neighborhood to care for someone that cannot or will not leave said neighborhood. Sadly, living in a rough area is likely to disqualify you from getting a permit, as you will be judged by association with your neighbors – even though the courts have ruled that issue should not be based on geographical grounds.

Are you a Firearms Dealer? You fear death or great bodily injury by an armed thief that wants to obtain firearms for sale or criminal use. You might even be able to articulate good cause as a collector, with or without a Curio and Relic Federal Firearms License, (C&R FFL) who transports a firearms collection for firing, display, trade or sale.

Do you go camping or recreate in uninhabited areas? You, and your frail wife and small kids and/or grandkids, often travel through desolate areas to reach even more remote areas. You fear death or great bodily injury from those that might victimize you if you became stranded. Emphasize the dangers while traveling in remote areas, not your security while camping. California law already allows you to carry concealed at most campsites without a CCW.

Include ALL the good reasons that apply. Put it in writing. Get someone else, preferably someone with good English skills AND a good knowledge of the CCW application process, to review your written statement. You want it to look really clean and professional. If your authority is one that asks for your Good Cause verbally at an interview, and not in writing, still put it in writing and practice what you will say when asked.

And be aware, an impeccable Good Cause statement still won’t be enough in some areas where the Sheriff/Chief is determined not to issue.

Communicating with Law Enforcement

From your first request for information and/or an application packet, you are being judged by the people you meet and/or talk with. You should maintain a professional attitude and appearance. In the same way that (hopefully) you wouldn’t appear in court or church in torn, dirty jeans, you shouldn’t walk into the Sheriff Station in anything less than smart, clean, clothing. It needn’t be a suit; casual is fine, but look clean, well-groomed, responsible and professional. Talk respectfully to them; do not belligerently demand your rights under the RKBA. Don’t expect outlying sub-stations to be able to do much for you; CCW issue will be dealt with at the main station/headquarters only.

Many departments will tell you straight away that you do not stand a chance and that you will be wasting your fees going any further. This may be true, but you should have a good idea if this is really the case, or whether they just try to discourage people from applying. Indeed, this situation can be avoided somewhat by applying by post.

Communicating by post is an excellent plan anyway. Send your correspondence by certified, receipted, mail to the Sheriff (or Chief) in person, copies to anyone else that the Sheriff/Chief has appointed to deal with CCW issue. Again, be professional. Type your letters neatly on white paper, Times New Roman is the best font (don’t use any of the fancy fonts). Use spelling and grammar checkers and get someone else to proof read them. Keep copies, and the receipts to prove they’ve received them. Don’t state any of your Good Cause in introductory letters; save it for your application and/or interview. Your initial application should simply request an application form and any relevant accompanying documentation.

The Application Process

The process described here is based on the San Bernardino County process, (this may/will vary from county to county, city to city). You will receive a Department of Justice (DOJ) application form Download and be granted an interview. You will be expected to bring your completed application form to the interview. Prior to the interview, you will be fingerprinted, photographed and fill out an interview form. The interview form is designed to give the Investigator a feel for your background and emotional stability. It will question you on past convictions, how you get along with neighbors, history of traffic violations, etc. If you have moving violations in your past, make a list of them as far back as possible. The Department of Motor Vehicles offers a printout of your record for a nominal fee. Do not omit information from the interview form; it will reflect poorly on your character if the Investigator discovers a past that you have not disclosed.

During the interview, the Investigator needs to determine:

That you realize that any consequence of your actions while carrying is your responsibility and yours alone. When the CSD issues you a license to carry, it is only that. If you break any laws while carrying, CSD will pull your license, and will not take responsibility for your indiscretions. At the interview, you might be presented with a scenario that has a tragic outcome of your carrying, and asked who is responsible. Make sure you accept that all responsibility for your actions while carrying is yours and yours alone.

That you consider being granted a CCW license a privilege. The application process is not an opportune time to demand your Second Amendment Rights. There are many people that enjoy shouting “what part of ‘shall not be infringed’ don’t you understand?” It is doubtful if many of them have been granted a CCW license if they did that at a CCW interview.

During the interview, firearms to be listed on the license (frequently limited to three or less) will be recorded on the license. After the interview, the applicant will take a Safe Firearms Handling Course and be expected to qualify with each weapon (standards vary).

Some authorities require a psychiatric test with an approved psychiatrist. This is to determine whether you have problems, such as anger management issues, that might indicate that you would be unwise to carry a weapon.

Before a CCW license is issued, a thorough background investigation will be made and residency verified by a visit to your residence.

Carry Weapons

You will be directed to bring in up to three firearms (some counties may permit more) that you wish to have on your license at the time of the interview. You will be expected to qualify with each of these. You may not carry any firearm under your license unless it is listed on the license. If you have, say, two Glock 22’s, you must separately qualify with each of them and have them separately listed, even though they are effectively identical. If you have exchangeable barrels in, say, .40S&W and .357SIG, you will have to qualify/list both as separate weapons.

You may not wave a handgun just because you feel someone across the parking lot might get aggressive or a panhandler won’t go away. That is called Brandishment, and will get you charged and your license pulled every time. You may only draw your firearm to respond to an immediate threat that you and a jury would reasonably conclude would result in your death or great bodily harm.

When the CSD grants you a CCW, they are authorizing you to carry a concealed weapon that might be used to stop someone that you fear will kill you or cause you great bodily harm, anywhere, anytime, usually considered to be when your assailant is less than seven paces or two seconds from harming you. The CSD expects that you will shoot to stop (i.e. body center mass) and continue to shoot until the threat is stopped or has retreated. You must not shoot at anyone who is running away, unless they are firing at you as they run. Hit them in the back and you will be facing a murder charge.

Under these guidelines, it is suggested that you list on your license only firearms that will stop. Not eventually kill after you are dead or seriously injured, but stop your assailant, and right now. Bring nothing less powerful than .38 Special and 9MM firearms capable of firing +P loads if you wish to be considered serious about defending yourself. .357 Magnum, .40S&W and .45 ACP level firearms will be more eagerly received. Bring quality weapons, such as S&W, Ruger, Glock, Colt, etc, etc. Do not bring the El Cheapo that your grandfather liberated from the Korean War.

Modified Firearms.

Even after you have been cleared of criminal intent after a justifiable defense, you may face a civil suit from the assailant or their family. Most modifications to your carry weapon that are not factory options, made after removing it from the shipping box and before stopping the assailant, will be presented by their lawyer as having malicious intent. Lightened trigger pulls (less than 4lbs), whiz-bang night sights, laser sights and other tune-ups may be neat, but they may carry a price later on.

Carry Ammunition.

During the CCW Safe Firearms Handling class and subsequent CCW renewal classes, it will be stressed that while under the authority of your CCW license you should carry only hollow point personal defense ammunition loaded by recommended ammunition manufacturers. Recommended hollow point expanding ammunition is best for stopping a threat and minimizing bystander injuries. Reloads are fine for practice, but carry only factory ammunition. The reason given for using factory ammunition, as opposed to hand-loads, is to preclude your being accused of maliciously loading up special rounds to inflict extra harm on the person you were forced to defend against in the almost certain civil suit that follows a justifiable defense.

It has been suggested by lethal force experts that you always set aside 5 rounds in each box, and the box itself, of any ammunition you are carrying. That way, if you have to defend, you can present a box stamped with manufacturer’s lot numbers and some rounds to verify ballistics. As such, it would not be a good idea to mix manufacture lots and/or types and brands of ammunition when loading your carry firearms.

The Aftermath.

If you are forced to use a firearm to stop someone, you will most likely be arrested, cuffed, booked and detained until bail can be arranged. If bail is not authorized or raised, you will stay in jail until everything is sorted out. It will not matter that you have untold numbers of witnesses attesting to how justified the defense was, the Law Enforcement Officer that has you in cuffs is not authorized to establish guilt or innocence. That will be determined by a District Attorney, or, if required, a Jury. You are going to take the ride, no ifs, ands or buts. While you are being separated from your family, your firearm will be taken from you and impounded for the duration of all criminal proceedings. If you are charged, it will be destroyed. During the course of the investigation, your firearm will be handled, rusted, dropped, disassembled, inspected, fired, deep markings identified and otherwise made not all that serviceable and/or attractive when, and if, you get it back. Do not carry any firearm you are not prepared to, or cannot, lose.

You are strongly advised to determine, in advance, the name and phone number of an attorney specializing in Firearms law in your area and have it readily available. Most attorneys will gladly give you their card, which you can carry in your wallet with your CCW.

Summary

In this article, we have discussed the system by which CCW permits are issued in California, and how to go about getting one. In future articles, we will discuss how to obtain relevant information from the authorities and what you can do if your CCW permit is unfairly denied.

Copyright Notice

This article is copyright of John Spencer,[email protected] It may freely be reproduced in full, with full credits and this notice. Short excerpts (not exceeding one paragraph) may be reproduced (with credits) for scholarly or illustrative purposes. Longer excerpts and edited versions may only be reproduced with permission of John Spencer.

[1] There are some restrictions, such as the ability to pass a background check, take the appropriate training, qualify with the chosen carry weapon(s) etc..

FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

See also: The California Attorney General’s Firearms FAQ
and: The ATF’s Federal Firearms FAQ

Are you suggesting that everyone should carry a gun?
But what about “Gun-Free Zones”; Don’t they work?
Then surely we need a total gun ban?

What is a California CCW?
What are the requirements for a California CCW?
What is Good Cause?

How easy is it to get a Californian Concealed Weapon Permit?
Where does one apply for a California CCW?
What are the costs?

Are there additional requirements?
Are there restrictions on what type of firearm I can carry?
Are there restrictions on how many firearms can be on my permit?

Can departments impose stricter requirements than those set by statute?
Can Departments restrict issue to citizens only?
What if my application is denied?
Can I inspect the applications of persons granted or denied?

I have a permit from (any other state). Is my permit honored in California?
What are the consequences of carrying without a permit?
What can I carry, once permitted?

What is the best advice you can give to someone who is filling out an application for a Concealed Weapon permit?
I own a vacation property in XX County, and permits are easier to get there than where my primary residence is. Can I use that address?
I live in X County, but I work in Z County. Where do I apply?

What about open carry?
Can I open carry if I have a permit?
If I have a California CCW, can I use it outside of California?

Can I carry in a Theme Park?
I’ve heard you can get a permit from an authority where you have a business, even though you don’t live there?
I’m going to visit California, can I bring my firearms?

What is a “MOU”?
What is a “Declaring G”?
How do I find out if there’s something bad in my history, that I’m not aware of?

I am a student with a CCW. Are there any sites that support CCW carry on campus?

Are you suggesting that everyone should carry a gun?

Certainly not. Very few people will, after thinking about the awesome responsibility, want to carry. Many of the ones who might think it a good idea will, rightly, be rejected after background, and maybe psychiatric tests, training and qualifications. The remainder, maybe 1% of the population (if the “Shall Issue” states are anything to go by) will be outstanding, public spirited law abiding citizens. Statistics show that such people are most unlikely to commit crimes themselves but frequently prevent attempted crimes from escalating. Interviews with prison inmates reveal that the thought that there may be just the one armed person in a gathering is a big deterrent to crime.

But what about “Gun-Free Zones”; Don’t they work?

A piece of paper stuck on a door will never stop a determined criminal. However, it does stop law-abiding citizens from bringing their legally carried weapons inside. So yes, they do create safe zones; safe for the criminal to pursue their crimes without fear of retaliation. “Killing Zones” would be a better name.

Then we surely need a total gun ban?

Only the law-abiding will give up their guns. Gun crimes will escalate. If you don’t believe me, look at the statistics for Britain, Australia, Jamaica, China and anywhere else that has such a ban. Then look at Switzerland, one of the most heavily armed nations on earth.

What is a California CCW?

A license to carry a concealed firearm on your person in public subject to restrictions placed upon it by statute and the issuing department. The law allows a person to keep a firearm in their home and at their place of business without a permit. No CCW is required to keep a firearm in the home or place of employment if it is your business.

What are the requirements for a California CCW?

1. Legal resident
2. At least 21 years of age
3. Good Cause
4. Good Moral Character

What is Good Cause?

You must articulate a situation or circumstances whereby the department can determine you have a need, not a desire, to carry a concealed firearm. There is an Attorney General Opinion which defines Good Cause.

How easy is it to get a Californian Concealed Weapon Permit?

This varies from county to county and from city to city. Rural counties are normally easier than suburban counties. Good Cause is the variable that applicants must deal with. Statute and case law require departments to make an individual evaluation of each applicant’s Good Cause. Some departments list on their policies certain professions and occupations that under some circumstances will satisfy their Good Cause requirements.

Where does one apply for a California CCW?

If you live in a city with a municipal Police Department you apply to them. In you live in unincorporated county or a city that contract’s for law enforcement with the County Sheriff’s Department, you apply to the Sheriff’s Department. Some cities delegate their authority to issue CCW’s to the Sheriff by entering into an agreement called a (MOU) Memorandum of Understanding. You can contact the appropriate department in person or by mail to request a copy of their CCW Policy and the DOJ Application. All departments are, by statute and case law, required to have written policies which are available to the public upon request. Police Chiefs are appointed officials who will generally follow the whim of the city council or other appointing entity. County Sheriffs are elected officials who, by definition, represent the county populous and their wants.

What are the costs?

It varies from department to department but the average is about $500.00. Most of the costs are set by statute and as such are non refundable. This fee is for the initial permit. Renewals run about $250 every two years after the original permit is issued.

Are there additional requirements?

Yes. Statute requires applicants to complete a course in firearm safety and the law regarding the permissible use of a firearm. Departments may also require the applicant to demonstrate proficiency at their range and submit all weapons to be carried for a safety inspection. Applicants are required to submit to Live Scan for a DOJ records check. Departments may require a Psychological test of applicants.

Are there restrictions on what type of firearm I can carry?

Firearms carried pursuant to a CCW should ideally be on the Attorney General’s approved list, though this is not mandatory. Go with a standard firearm from an established manufacturer. Many departments will not allow any modifications except for changing grips. This includes trigger jobs and no laser sights, unless you know in advance that the department is happy with them (many are not).

Many departments limit you to three, identified, firearms and require you to qualify with each of these.

Are there restrictions on how many firearms can be on my permit?

Yes. Departments can restrict the number of firearms you may have on your permit. Keep in mind most departments will require that you qualify with all weapons listed on your permit.

Can the departments impose stricter requirements than those set by statute?

Yes, but they must be able to demonstrate the requirement’s relevance to the CCW. Requirements added simply to deter applicants will not stand a court challenge.

Can the departments restrict issue to citizens only?

Many of them try this, but it is illegal. See People v. Rappard (1973) and Dorsey v. LVMPD (1972). I’m afraid we have no links for these (as they are so old), but Mr. Dorsey (British citizen) is better known as Englebert Humperdink.

Also, California’s alien firearm licensing act was (I am informed) shot down in the 1970’s but again I have no details of this.

Added by a CALGUNS.org contributor:

The pre-1972 version of PC 12021 prohibited aliens from having concealable guns. It was struck down because it denied aliens of equal protection. I assume this is fair use: “People v Rappard (1972, 2d Dist) 28 Cal App 3d 302, 104 Cal Rptr 535, the court held that a state statute making it unlawful for aliens to own or possess concealable firearms constituted a denial of equal protection of the law under the United States and California Constitutions.

The court said that the protection afforded by the Fourteenth Amendment’s prohibition against a state’s denial of equal protection of the law to “any person” within its jurisdiction extends to aliens as well as to citizens of the United States, and that since classifications based upon alienage are inherently suspect and subject to close judicial scrutiny, the court must invoke the following strict standard when receiving a discriminatory statute based upon alienage: not only must the classification reasonably relate to the purposes of the law, but also the state must bear the burden of establishing that the classification constitutes a necessary means of accomplishing a legitimate state interest, and that the law serves to promote a compelling state interest.

The court stated further that the classification of the statute — alienage — had no reasonable relationship to the threat to public safety which it was ostensibly designed to prevent and that any classification which treats all aliens as dangerous and all United States citizens as trustworthy rests upon a very questionable basis. The court concluded, therefore, that the state did not sustain its burden of establishing that the classification — based upon the suspect factor of alienage — not only promoted a compelling interest which justified the law but that the distinctions drawn by the law were necessary to further its purpose.”

What if my application is denied?

you have the right to request an appeal which may be in writing or a personal interview at the discretion of the department with a designee of the Chief or Sheriff. If you want to appeal you must do so within the time frames set by the department. If the denial is affirmed you have the right to pursue your case in state or Federal court. Success in state court has been spotty. Federal court has proven to be friendlier to persons denied Due Process or Equal Protection when applying for CCW’s under the 14th Amendment. Please see Case Law for more information.

Can I inspect the applications of persons granted or denied?

Yes. The California Government Code, Public Records Act allows you to inspect these files during business hours and to purchase copies. Some authorities try to make this more difficult than it should be. We have people who can guide you in these efforts. Please see statutes for more information.
Reference 1
Reference 2

I have a permit from (any other state). Is my permit honored in California?

California does not honor any other state’s concealed weapons permits!

What are the consequences of carrying without a permit?

The consequences for carrying without a permit can be bad. Leave it at that. This site does not endorse intentional illegal acts. You can only carry a concealed firearm if properly licensed. There is some discussion that “Open Carry” without a permit is legal, depending upon factors such as whether the location is incorporated, or not, and whether the firearm is loaded or not. As this is a site dedicated to CCW permits, we will not persue this issue further.

What can I carry, once permitted?

A California CCW entitles the licensee to carry any handgun listed on the permit. This does not cover batons, knives, shotguns, long guns, etc. Handguns may be removed or added to the permit (subject to the department’s maximum) as you need to, except that you will usually be required to qualify with the new handgun and pay the required fee, typically $10.00.

What is the best advice you can give to someone who is filling out an application for a Concealed Weapon permit?

Do not submit an application that is incomplete. Be honest with all your answers. You will be allowed to explain any negative information you provide. Your initial application is how you will be judged. Even if you appeal a denial, your initial application is the issuing authority’s first impression of you.

GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME. A denial is hard to overturn if you look as if you are going to swap things around until you “get it right.” If you are in doubt, talk with us first.

I own a vacation property in XX County, and permits are easier to get there than where my primary residence is. Can I use that address?

No. Even if you can fudge the application to make it appear as the other address is your primary residence, you are lying on an official form. This site does not endorse intentional illegal acts. Rest assured, anything you claim on the application will be verified. Anything you state that is untruthful will come to light and will likely jeopardize your ability to ever get a permit.

I live in X County, but I work in Z County. Where do I apply?

You must apply in your county of residence. If you live in a city with its own Police Department, you may be able to apply to that PD.

What about open carry?

At this time (2010) TBJ does NOT encourage the average person to “open carry.”

In order to Open Carry safely and legally, you need to be aware of where you may and where you may not legally carry, the 1,000 feet barrier around school zones, the fact that mostly you may only carry unloaded, the fact that (mostly) magazines must also be openly displayed, and that (mostly) police officers are entitled to stop you to check that your firearm is unloaded (the “mostly”‘s are to allow for those unincorporated areas where carrying loaded and openly may be legal). Although many departments have issued guidelines to educate their officers, there is a possibility of encounters with antagonistic officers unaware of the law, who may, until the situation is cleared up, treat you as a criminal.

Even those aware people who actually practice this form of carry in California generally advise that you carry a voice recorder, turned on at the first sign of police officers, that you carefully map the 1,000ft gun-free zone around each school, that, ideally, you have a friend nearby with a video recorder and have available ten to twenty thousand dollars for attorney fees and bail.

There is (2010) pending legislation that, if it becomes law, will make even unloaded open carry (UOC) illegal.

Can I open carry if I have a Concealed Carry permit?

We do not recommend this either at this time. If nothing else, many chief law enforcement officers will (rightly or wrongly) “pull” your permit if this is reported to them.

See also What about open carry?

If I have a California CCW, can I use it outside of California?

Currently (2010), the following states will recognize a California CCW. However, you should check the current situation in that state (preferably from that state’s Attorney General Website) before traveling to another state. See also this page for more details and links to the state pages.

1. Alaska (no permit required)
2. Arizona (recognizes all state permits held by nonresidents. Also, coming in Fall, 2010, no permit necessary with some restrictions)
3. Idaho (recognizes all state permits held by nonresidents)
4. Indiana (recognizes all state permits held by nonresidents)
5. Kentucky (recognizes all state permits held by nonresidents)
6. Michigan (recognizes all state permits. Must be resident of issuing state)
7. Missouri (recognizes all state permits held by nonresidents)
8. Montana (recognizes all state permits held by nonresidents)
9. Oklahoma (recognizes all state permits held by nonresidents)
10. South Dakota (recognizes all state permits held by nonresidents)
11. Tennessee (recognizes all state permits held by nonresidents)
12. Texas (Unilaterally recognizes California CCW)
13. Utah (recognizes all state permits held by nonresidents)
14. Vermont (no permit required)

Can I carry in a Theme Park?

This is at the discretion of the park owners. However, we do not know of any theme park where this is permitted, even though you might have a CCW.

I’ve heard you can get a permit from an authority where you have a business, even though you don’t live there?

This is true, they are valid only 90 days and the issuing department must notify the department where the applicant resides.

I’m going to visit California, can I bring my firearms?

This is an actual email exchange with one of our users. He suggested that we include it in this FAQ.

Gentlemen,

I am a Florida resident with a valid CCW permit. I plan to travel to the San Francisco area within the month. I am having problems finding the state laws for bringing protective arms into the state. Our reason for travel is recreational, however, I generally like to have access to my sidearm just in case…

Thank you in advance.

G.

Our Reply:

G.

California does not recognize any other state’s CCW permit. However, you may still bring your firearms provided that they comply with California law and you carry them as required by California law. Note that California is quite restrictive concerning certain items such as so-called “Assault rifles” and large capacity magazines.. We will not go into the ins and outs of what qualifies as an “Assault Weapon” in California, If you don’t know, leave anything like that at home. Your main problem might be that California has a ban on importing (buying, selling or manufacturing) pistol magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. If your handgun uses these, you need to leave them at home and either leave the pistol at home or buy some Cali-legal ten round mags.

Note: The following is a simplification of the law. If you are prepared to dig deep enough into penal codes, you might find that there are a couple of inaccuracies in what we say below. However, unfortunately, many law enforcement officers don’t know the details either, so we have chosen to give you a simplified view, designed to keep you out of trouble.

For example, if you are familiar with People v. Clark you would know that you can carry a loaded magazine in much closer proximity to the firearm than we have indicated below. However, many law enforcement officers have not read this case and would prefer to let their sergeant sort it out back at the station.

Basically, your only safe course of action (if you must bring your firearm(s)) is to get yourself a secure lockable case. This case should contain your unloaded gun(s) and be locked. There should be no ammo in, or near, the case, whether it is in a magazine or not.

The case should be in your car trunk. If you do not have one, then it should NOT be within reach of the driver or passengers. It is ILLEGAL to keep the gun (unloaded or not, locked container or not) in the center console or glove box.

You may only carry the case containing your gun when on a journey where the gun is relevant. I.e., you may bring it to your hotel, you may take it to a dealer or shooting range, you may take it home. The rest of the time the gun should NOT be in your car.

The gun should stay unloaded in this locked box except:

1) When you are in your hotel room (where you may keep a loaded gun), campsite (where you may keep a loaded gun) or someone’s private residence (with permission)

2) when you are in an approved firing area (effectively a range or hunting venue).

3) At a gun dealer.

You may NOT bring high capacity (over ten round) magazines into the state.

San Francisco is one of the least gun-friendly parts of California. Any officer suspecting that you have a gun will give you a hard time – even if you are transporting it correctly. Similarly, even though Cal State law theoretically permits firearms in your hotel room, or camp site, keep it, and all its accessories, out of sight. We heard the other day of a hotel resident getting into trouble with the hotel for leaving an unloaded magazine (still in its manufacturer’s packaging) in sight. He got no room service whatsoever for the rest of his stay – no cleaning, no beds made, no fresh towels, nothing.

You say “So I can have access . . “ BEWARE, you are not allowed to have access, except as described above. You might think that the locked case, out of reach, not near ammo, only when travelling to the range, etc. makes your firearm useless in an emergency. You would be correct; that is the intent.

Unless you have a strong reason to bring a firearm, I suggest you leave it at home.

THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE and it is a simplified contraction of the necessary information. However, it should keep you out of trouble.

Welcome to California, Hope this helps,

What is a “MOU”?

A Memorandum of Understanding is a provision of PC 12050 that permits a Chief (or Chiefs) to delegate the authority to issue CCW’s to the Sheriff. The theory being having one issuing authority for the entire county would guarantee uniformity and fairness in the issuance. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Also known as “Declaring G” after the letter associated with the appropriate paragraph in PC 12050.

What is a “Declaring G”?

See What is a “MOU”? (above).

How do I find out if there’s something bad in my history, that I’m not aware of?

Call California Department of Justice (800) 952-5225.

You will be directed through a recorded phone tree to dial 1 or 2 for options, leading you to criminal history checks.

Stay on the line, a technician will answer the line.

You must request a “RECORD REVIEW PACKET”

It will be mailed to you.

There is a $25.00 fee.

Fill it out, get yourself fingerprinted, mail it back to DOJ, with the fee, and wait 2-8 weeks.

If you discover erroneous information; there is a separate procedure to follow to get this corrected.

Additional information on this and identity theft can be found at: www.0ag.ca.gov

I am a student with a CCW. Are there any sites that support carry on campus?

Yes, ConcealedCampus.org.

States Honoring the California CCW

Familiarize yourself with places that are off limits while carrying: they vary from state to state.

Another thing to note is that CA counties limit you to the specific guns on your permit. Most states that you visit will also limit you to the same listed guns even though that state might not have such limitation for their own CCW holders.


Alaska
See FAQ

Q: Will Alaska honor permits from other states?

A: Alaska will honor a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun from another state or subdivision of a state.

Actually, Alaska has recently passed a law that means that you may carry a concealed weapon without a permit.


Arizona
See FAQ

Arizona recognizes all other states valid permits:

This state and any political subdivision of this state shall recognize a concealed weapon, firearm or handgun permit or license that is issued by another state or a political subdivision of another state if both:

1. The permit or license is recognized as valid in the issuing state.

2. The permit or license holder is all of the following:

(a) Not a resident of this state.

(b) Legally present in this state.

(c) Not legally prohibited from possessing a firearm in this state.

Idaho See FAQ

have a concealed weapons permit from another state, will Idaho honor my permit and allow me to carry a concealed weapon in my car or on my person?

Idaho Code 18-3302 is very specific about this issue.

It does allow for reciprocity if a citizen from another state or jurisdiction has a valid concealed weapons permit. The only requirements are that the person have the permit on their person at all times and display it upon request of an enforcement officer.

Indiana See FAQ

Does Indiana honor an out-of-state gun permit?
Indiana honors any right-to-carry permits issued by another state.

Kentucky See Reciprocity

Effective July 15, 1998, Kentucky recognizes valid carry concealed deadly weapons licenses issued by other states and, subject to the provisions of Kentucky law, a person holding a valid license

Michigan See Reciprocity

If you are a non-resident of Michigan with a valid concealed pistol permit from your home state, Michigan will recognize your permit.

Missouri See brochure

Missouri’s carrying concealed law recognizes all out-of-state permits, including those from political subdivisions — cities and counties

Montana See the non-residents section of the website

Montana recognizes concealed weapons permits from some other states……The Attorney General’s Office has determined that concealed weapons permits from the following states are recognized under Montana law:…..California……

Oklahoma See Reciprocity

Oklahoma recognizes any VALID conceal carry license trom any other state.

South Dakota See Recognition

The State of South Dakota recognizes any valid concealed pistol permit issued to a nonresident of South Dakota according to the terms of its issuance in the state of its issue

Tennessee See Reciprocity

Tennessee now recognizes a facially valid handgun permit, firearms permit, weapons permit, or a license issued by another state according to its terms, and will, therefore, authorize the holder of such out-of-state permit or license to carry a handgun only in the state of Tennessee.

Texas See Reciprocity

Effective immediately, Governor Perry has issued a proclamation that allows persons with concealed handgun licenses from CaliforniaWashington to legally carry in Texas

Also see http://carrylaws.net/analyzing-texas-concealed-carry-laws/

Utah See FAQ

accordance with U.C.A. 76-10-523, Utah will honor a permit to carry a concealed firearm issued by another state or county.

Vermont

Vermont does not require you to have a CCW permit. You may carry a concealed weapon there without a permit.

Santa Barbara County Information

Usual Requirements

Completed application
3 character reference letters
Proof of residency
Obligatory Live Scan / background investigation
Psychological evaluation
Classroom lecture
Range qualification
All fees and costs associated

The entire process is handled by the SBSO Internal Affairs division. The Sheriff may or may not be involved until such time as final approval/signature. Bill Brown was sworn in as the new Sheriff in January 2007. His stance on CCW issuance is yet to be determined. Previous administrations have had policies ranging from highly restrictive to fairly lenient to anyone with better than “because I want to” as a cause for issuance.

Odds of issuance

Unknown, with the new Sheriff (Brown) taking office in January 2007. Prior Sheriff (Anderson) would readily renew existing permits, but on a 1-10, 10 being easiest, I’d give him a 3. The Sheriff prior to that (Thomas) ranked an 8 if you had cause other than “just because I want to”.

Sheriff: Bill Brown, Jr. (sworn in in January ’07)
Prior Sheriff Jim Anderson (Sheriff until January 2007)
SBSO phone 805.681.4100
SBSO address: 4434 Calle Real
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
Sheriff’s email [email protected]

Everything is handled through the Internal Affairs Department, currently headed by Sgt. Lance Craig. Initial contact should be through the Sheriff, who will refer you to Sgt. Craig. If you go to Sgt. Craig first, he will ask you why you need one, and then tell you that you do not qualify. You must specifically ask that an application be sent to you. The act of submitting a properly completed application is what gets you in the door. You will always be told “no” if just making an inquiry.

Lake county

This is regarding Lake County, but it contains thing we’ve heard all over. It’s a letter to the Editor of the Record-Bee, a Lake County newspaper.

Denied right to bear arms

Article Last Updated: 01/11/2007 06:13:01 AM PST

A few months ago, I made a life-changing decision.

After years of being a gun owner and an N.R.A. member, I decided to apply for a Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) permit. The permit allows an individual to carry a concealed firearm on his or her person or inside of a vehicle. The reason for the permit is to provide law-abiding persons the ability to protect themselves and their loved ones in the event that a situation demands it. No one can be sure when such a situation will arise, a breakdown on a deserted highway or a car-jacking in a dimly lit parking lot, but regardless of the environment, crimes do take place and one should be ready for any possibility.

Being a resident of Lake County for 7 years and residing in a rural area such as Cobb Mountain with the local authorities at least 30 minutes away, I thought taking such an action to be appropriate. I had heard that Lake County Sheriff Rodney Mitchell believed that law-abiding individuals have a right to carry firearms and should be able to protect themselves if necessary, so I decided to file an application.

After completing the required two-day training session and an interview by a staff member of the Sheriff’s Department, I was told that I would receive word on their decision in a few weeks or so. After a couple of months I received a disappointing letter from the Sheriff’s Department stating that my application had been denied because “I was not a U.S. citizen”. I promptly wrote a letter of appeal stating that I was a Canadian citizen living here in the U.S. as a Permanent Legal Resident for 24 years now and I supplied them with the documentation to prove my claim. However, my application was still denied.

Now I know that the State of California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country and acquiring a CCW permit here can be quite a task, but according to the representative that I spoke with at the California Department.of Justice in Sacramento, Legal Permanent Residents are treated no differently from citizens when it comes to firearm ownership and are issued CCW permits on a regular basis. In fact in most counties, in most of the states in the country, CCW permits are issued on a regular basis to Legal Permanent Residents.

After further research, I discovered that even though Lake County approves many more CCW applications than other counties such as Sonoma or Napa, they seem to have a reputation for denying ordinary individuals permits on the basis of not “being a longtime resident”, or not being “a prominent member of the community”. It seems to be part of a “good old boy mentality” that still exists in various communities in California where friends, relatives or neighbors are granted permits by the local agencies while the common everyday person is considered an outsider and is denied their rights. (Unfortunately in California the final decision is left up to the issuing agency and an application can be denied for any reason that they deem fit).

I see this whole experience not as a negative one but as an awakening to become more politically active in the drive to allow people “the right to bear arms”. Individuals who apply for CCW permits are aware of the civil and criminal responsibility that goes along with using lethal force to protect one’s life and take this responsibility very seriously. Criminals, however, are not inclined to apply for permits [thereby] subjecting themselves to fingerprints and background checks but they will carry weapons illegally and will commit crimes with them.

I encourage anyone who is a firearm owner or a person who is concerned about constitutional rights to challenge elected officials and representatives and perhaps one day California will become a “right to carry” state.

David W. Adams

Obtaining a Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) license in San Bernardino County (SBC)

This summary compiled by a resident of San Bernardino County.

Where do I go to obtain a CCW in SBC?

California Penal Code Section 12050 authorizes the Chief of Police (COP) of an incorporated city in California to issue a CCW only to residents of their city. It also authorizes the Sheriff of a California county to issue a CCW to all residents of their county. The Sheriff of SBC requires that residents of incorporated cities with a Police Department (PD) first apply to their PD.

If you are a resident of an incorporated city in SBC with a PD, contact them and ask for a copy of their CCW policy and an application. You can try to obtain information over the phone or your PD website, but it is best to appear in person. It is rare to find a Law Enforcement Agency that will answer CCW license questions over the phone or mail you an application. Obtain the name and title of the person who provides you the CCW policy and application. Once your PD furnishes you with their CCW license policy and an application, you have cleared a very significant hurdle. Contact us and we will assist you with your “Good Cause,” in accordance with The (1977) Attorney General’s Opinion on Good Causes and, in return, gain valuable information for our database that will help future applicants.

Going through the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office (SBCSO) CCW license application process.

Who may apply to SBCSO?

  • A SBC resident that lives in an unincorporated county community.
  • A SBC resident of an incorporated city that contracts with SBCSO for police services.
  • A SBC resident of an incorporated city whose PD has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SBCSO that designates SBCSO to issue and maintain CCWs to residents within the PD’s jurisdiction. It is not known at this time if any CCW MOUs exist in SBC.
  • A SBC resident of an incorporated city with a PD that issues CCWs who has applied and been formally denied by a denial letter or a “letter of declination.”

If you live in a city patrolled by a PD that issues CCWs, you will be required by SBCSO to first apply there for a CCW. Some cities may issue you a CCW based on their own “good cause” requirements. Some cities may accept your CCW application and issue you a letter of denial. Some cities may issue a “letter of declination” in lieu of accepting your CCW application advising you do not meet their criteria for issuing a CCW but they do not object to you applying to SBCSO.

A “letter of declination” can sometimes be obtained with a phone call and sometimes a personal visit is required. The best course would be to first call your PD and ask for information about applying for a permit. If they put you off or don’t appear to be cooperative it may be necessary to take a more formal approach by requesting information in writing by certified letter or to request the information in person. SBCSO will not allow you to apply with them without a denial letter or “letter of declination” from your city.

If your PD formally denies your application or will not permit you to apply, contact us immediately. They may routinely deny all applicants except for certain classes, such as their Reserve Officers, and send you to SBCSO “without prejudice.” They may also routinely deny all applicants, except for certain classes, “with prejudice.” In the former case, SBCSO will probably process your application as if your residence was in their primary jurisdiction. In the latter case, SBCSO might be reluctant to process your application. We can assist you if you seek our advice at the very beginning of your quest and keep us informed of every development.

Obtaining a SBCSO CCW application.

A SBC resident who meets the application criteria and wants a CCW license must apply in person to the SBCSO Employee Resources Division for an application. They must pass a background investigation. Before a CCW license is issued, the applicant must complete a Safe Weapons Handling course that is taught by SBCSO Range personnel. Every two years, those individuals who possess a CCW permit are required to complete a four-hour Weapons Safety Update class taught by SBCSO Employee Resources personnel.

655 East 3rd Street
San Bernardino, CA 92415
(909) 387-3750
Office Hours 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Filling out the application.

Electronic files are available that allow the applicant to use a word processor and a printer to complete an application.

A California Department of Justice (DOJ) digital application file is available through the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office. It is a scan of the state application form. It allows you to word process in allowable areas. It is far from perfect, and the font size seems to vary considerably, but it makes for a much neater application than printing or having to use a conventional typewriter.

Unless you happen to have Adobe Acrobat, a fairly expensive piece of software, or foxitreader_setup, downloadable for free, you cannot fill in the form and then save the entered data. After you are satisfied with your entries on a page, you will need to print that page out to save the entered data.

A Word template, not offered by SBCSO, is available to fill out additional data required by SBCSO. The template is fully active and may be saved. Contact us if you wish to use this template.

Good Cause

Your Good Cause is the most important part of the application. SBCSO believes a qualified law-abiding citizen of SBC that has “good cause” for a CCW license should have one.

Do not indicate that you need a CCW license because SBCSO or any other Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) is unwilling or unable to protect you as you go about your daily business, and that you need to carry for your general “self defense.” That is patronizing and far too general. What SBCSO needs to hear is that you have “good cause” to be issued a CCW license in order that SBCSO may provide you additional protection based on a real, plausible need. Do not seek “good causes” from others. Determine if you have “good cause” in accordance with The (1977) Attorney General’s Opinion on Good Causes and be prepared to articulate and defend it. Here are some of many examples of potentially acceptable good causes:

Have you been threatened? If you answer “yes”, you will need to document names, dates, times and restraining orders. A “yes” on this question is sure to be challenged and is probably the most problematic “good cause” for all concerned.

Are you a Judge or Attorney? You fear death or great bodily injury from someone you helped punish and/or incarcerate that might seek revenge.

Are you a Medical, Dental or Veterinary professional? You fear death or great bodily injury from addicts that want the drugs in your bag and/or the prescription pad on your person.

Do you carry valuables and/or large sums of money? A valid cause, but don’t imply you want to carry for the express purpose of preventing theft. It is a bad idea, and illegal, to exert deadly force to protect property. You fear pre-emptive death or great bodily injury from an armed thief even though you would surrender all in exchange for escaping harm. Even if you are not a jeweler or other merchant, you could probably articulate a good cause based on transporting valuable hobby collections to and from shows.

Do you travel in “rough” neighborhoods? If so, why? You fear death or great bodily injury while in a really dangerous neighborhood to care for someone that cannot or will not leave said neighborhood.

Are you a Firearms Dealer? You fear death or great bodily injury by an armed thief that wants to obtain firearms for sale or criminal use. You might even be able to articulate good cause as a collector, with or without a Curio and Relic Federal Firearms License, (C&R FFL) who transports a firearms collection for firing, display, trade or sale.

Do you go camping or recreate in uninhabited areas? You, and your frail wife and small kids and/or grandkids, often travel through desolate areas to reach even more remote areas. You fear death or great bodily injury from those that might victimize you if you became stranded. Emphasize the dangers while traveling in remote areas, not your security while camping. California law already allows you to carry concealed at most campsites without a CCW.

Tell the truth!

Whatever you do, don’t lie! SBCSO will investigate your every statement thoroughly. What might seem like a simple omission to avoid gathering all of the details may become a reason for denial based on your character.

The interview.

You will submit your completed application the day of the scheduled CCW interview. Prior to being interviewed, you will be fingerprinted, photographed and fill out an interview form. The interview form is designed to give the Investigator a feel for your background and emotional stability. It will question you on past convictions, how you get along with neighbors, history of traffic violations, etc. If you have moving violations in your past, make a list of them as far back as possible. The Department of Motor Vehicles offers a printout of your record for a nominal fee. Do not omit information from the interview form. It will reflect poorly on your character if the Investigator discovers a past that you have not disclosed.

During the interview, here is what the Investigator needs to read on your application and hear from you at the interview:

Any consequence of your actions while carrying is your responsibility and yours alone. When SBCSO issues you a license to carry, it is only that. If you break any laws while carrying, SBCSO obligation is to pull your license, not take responsibility for your indiscretions. At the interview, you might be presented with a scenario that has a tragic outcome of your carrying, and asked who is responsible. Make sure you accept that all responsibility for your actions while carrying is yours and yours alone.

You consider being granted a CCW license a privilege. The application process is not an opportune time to demand your Second Amendment Rights. There are many people that enjoy getting in a face and shouting “what part of ‘shall not be infringed’ don’t you understand”? It is doubtful if many of them have been granted a CCW license after they did just that at a CCW interview.

During the interview, firearms to be listed on the license (up to three) will be recorded on the license. After the interview, the applicant will be scheduled for a Safe Firearms Handling Course taught by SBCSO Range personnel. Before a CCW license is issued, a thorough background investigation will be made and residency verified by a visit to your residence.

Firearms listed on your license.

You will be directed to bring in up to three firearms that you wish to have added to your license at the time of the interview. You may not carry any firearm under your license unless it is listed on the license.

You may not wave a handgun just because you feel someone across the parking lot might get aggressive. That is called Brandishment, and will get you charged and your license pulled every time. You may only draw your firearm to respond to an immediate threat that you and a jury would reasonably conclude would result in your death or great bodily harm.

When SBCSO grants you a CCW, they are authorizing you to carry a concealed weapon that might be used to stop someone that you fear will kill you or cause you great bodily harm, anywhere, any time, usually decided when your assailant is less than seven paces or two seconds from harming you. SBCSO expects that you will shoot to stop and continue to shoot until the threat is stopped or has retreated.

Under these guidelines, it is suggested that you list on your license only firearms that will stop. Not eventually kill after you are dead or seriously injured, but stop your assailant, and right now. Bring no firearm less powerful than .38 Special and 9MM Parabellum firearms capable of firing +P loads if you wish to be considered serious about defending yourself. .357 Magnum and .45 ACP level firearms will be more eagerly received.

Carry ammunition.

During the CCW Safe Firearms Handling class and subsequent CCW renewal classes, it will be stressed that you carry only hollow point personal defense ammunition loaded by recommended ammunition manufacturers while under the authority of your CCW license. Recommended hollow point expanding ammunition is best for stopping a threat and minimizing bystander injuries. Reloads are fine for practice, but carry only factory ammunition. The reason given for using factory ammunition, as opposed to hand-loads, is to preclude your being accused of maliciously loading up special rounds to inflict extra harm on the person you were forced to defend against in the almost certain civil suit that follows a justifiable defense.

SBCSO will not defend your ammunition choice if you did not follow their recommendations.

It has been suggested by lethal force experts that you always set aside 5 rounds in each box, and the box itself, of any ammunition you are carrying. That way, if you have to defend, you can present a box stamped with manufacturer’s lot numbers and some rounds to verify ballistics. As such, it would not be a good idea to mix manufacture lots and/or types and brands of ammunition when loading your carry firearms.

Carry firearms.

If you are forced to use a firearm to stop someone, you will be arrested, cuffed, booked and detained until bail can be arranged. If bail is not authorized or raised, you will stay in jail until everything is sorted out. It will not matter that you have untold numbers of witnesses attesting to how justified the defense was, the Law Enforcement Officer that has you in cuffs is not authorized to establish guilt or innocence. That will be determined by a District Attorney, or, if required, a Jury. You are going to take the ride, no ifs, ands or buts. While you are being separated from your family, your firearm will be taken from you and impounded for the duration of all criminal proceedings. If you are charged, it will be destroyed. During the course of the investigation, your firearm will be handled, rusted, dropped, disassembled, inspected, fired, deep markings identified and otherwise made not all that serviceable and/or attractive when, and if, you get it back. Do not carry any firearm you are not prepared to, or cannot, lose.

Modified firearms.

Even after you have been cleared of criminal intent after a justifiable defense, you may face a civil suit from the assailant or their family. Most modifications to your carry weapon, that were not factory options, that were made after removing it from the shipping box and before stopping the assailant, will be presented by their lawyer as having malicious intent. Lightened trigger pulls, whiz-bang night sights, laser sights and other tune-ups may be neat, but they may carry a price later on.

Analyzing Texas concealed carry Laws

1955270Riding Shotgun
We’ve all heard tales of the Old West, the days of Wyatt Earp, Sam Houston, Davy Crockett. Those stories of the outlaw gunslingers and the men who brought them to justice. The days when men (and women) carried a six-shooter on their hip, or a rifle on their shoulder, ready for any danger that might come their way.
In Texas, it seems the LoneStarState is reluctant to let go of those bygone days, choosing instead to enact laws that protect a citizen’s Second Amendment right to carry firearms. In recent legislation, several bills were passed and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry which give Texans easier access to and less governing laws in order to carry firearms.
DWA—Driving While Armed
With the new Texas gun laws and Motorist Protection Act, Texans are more easily allowed to carry loaded handguns and keep them within reach as long as the firearm is concealed like in a hostler or a gun safe for car.However, shotguns and rifles, also known as long guns, may be within reach and loaded and also need not to be concealed or kept in a gun safe.
In an effort to keep institutions from enacting their own firearm restrictions, SB 1907 ”Firearms in Cars” (passed and made effective September 1, 2013), also prohibits public and private colleges and universities from adopting or enforcing policies that restrict the possession, transportation and storage of any lawfully-owned firearms and ammunition by concealed handgun licensee in their locked, privately-owned motor vehicles while driving through or parking on campus.
Carte Blanche Carry?
Even though the LoneStarState has allowed easier carry laws for
its citizens, there are still regulations in place, regardless of whether the weapon is carried on the person or in the vehicle. These include not carrying while a person is intoxicated; at an amusement park if the park has given notice prohibiting weapons; in a place of worship (if notice is given); in a hospital or nursing home (notice given); any correctional facility or within 1000 feet of said facility (including in one’s vehicle); in any court or office used by the court; at any polling place on Election Day; at any meeting of any governmental body if proper notice is posted; at any racetrack; inside any passenger transportation vehicle for a private or public school; at or on the premises of any establishment licensed for the sale of alcohol; and inside the secured area of any airport.
1813 to 2013
Once upon a time, the territory of Texas was one of the most dangerous places you could find yourself in, with battles between the Mexican people fighting to retain their claimed land and the newly arrived Americans, in addition to the Native Americans struggling to remain on the soil their ancestors occupied for thousands of years. Back then, it was a necessity to be well armed and ready to defend oneself.
Times have changed for the most part, although some would argue that with gangs and drug lords, our modern society is just as dangerous, or maybe even more so than that of two hundred years ago. So, although Texas has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the United States, it is clear that they are most interested in keeping their people safe in enacting laws to prevent the rogue gun owner from taking matters into his own hand.
But, just remember: If you travel to the second largest state in the Union with the idea of causing trouble, slinging guns and shooting up the place ala Jesse James, you’re just as likely to run into a whole pack of Wyatt Earps and Sam Houstons ready to bring you to justice. Or maybe even Chuck Norris
Does Concealed Carry Make Texas Safer?
In the fall of 1991, future Texas state representative Suzanna Gratia Hupp, witnessed the attack of an armed gunman on a restaurant full of people. George Hennard drove through the glass window of Luby’s Cafeteria, got out of his truck, and started killing people, including both of Hupp’s parents. He brought the body count to 24 when he was wounded by the police, and put a gun to his own head.
Though considered one of the more gun-friendly states in the Union, Texas did not have a concealed carry permit law until 1995. Unlike some victims of armed attackers, Hupp believed that an absence of pro-gun legislation was the reason she had not been able to stop the slaughter. Texas law, according to her testimony before Congress, was strict enough at the time that she had felt it necessary to remove the handgun she usually carried in her purse, leaving her helpless in the face of a killer.
Her political activism is cited as one of the reasons then-Governor George W. Bush signed a concealed carry law in 1995, allowing Texans to carry handguns in public, except in specifically restricted areas. These locations include schools, polls, racetracks, anywhere there is posted signage prohibiting concealed carry entry, and within a thousand feet of a location where an execution is taking place. Disregarding these prohibitions is a third degree felony.
Did It Help?
That’s the real question: does allowing people to carry weaponry actually keep crime down? Gun control activists think not. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign, as well as legislators like Senator Dianne Feinstein, have been pushing for more and stricter gun laws for years, hoping to keep armed criminals at bay through background checks, magazine limitations, and lessening production. As mayor of San Francisco, Feinstein succeeded in banning handguns in her city. It was a personal and very real battle for Feinstein, who had replaced Mayor George Moscone, when he was assassinated in 1978.
But the numbers don’t lie. The 1995 Texas gun laws, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, made Texas a safer place to live. Overall crime declined from 665.4 to 561 per 100,000. Texas murders fell 50% faster than the national average immediately after the law was signed, and rape rates fell 500% in the year afterwards.
Concealed Carrying
While this legislation may have made the overall state crime rates go down, concealed carriers still worry about being targeted by the police. But local law enforcement are usually well aware of the numbers. A carrying citizen is a prepared citizen, and statistics support this. According to Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, who published an article on the subject in “The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology,” 80% of gun defenses involve someone defending themselves with a handgun that was concealed. That is a huge number of people who might be dead if they had left their gun at home.