In the state of California, applicants must pass basic requirements and be approved at the local level by a sheriff’s office or police station in their county in order to be issued a concealed weapons permit. To qualify, individuals must have good morals and show sufficient cause for acquiring a license. Law enforcement across the state can use their own judgment when issuing.
With a Carry Concealed Weapons (CCW) license, holders qualify to have firearms able to be concealed among their persons such as pistols and revolvers. There are a number of restrictions, regulations, and protocols that must be abided by to have a valid permit which this article will address. Any additional questions can be brought to a California criminal defense attorney’s attention.
License Requirements in California for a Carry Concealed Weapon Permit
In order to qualify for a Carry Concealed Weapon permit, an applicant must be at least 21 years of age, a resident, work in the state, or be an active duty military member permanently stationed in California. Additional criteria individuals must meet include:
- Being of good character
- Having a legitimate cause for obtaining a license
- Not having been diagnosed as mentally ill
- Having completed an approved firearms training class
- Not being subject to a restraining order
- Not being addicted to drugs
- Not having a felony or specific misdemeanor conviction
- Being a resident of the county, or working in the county, you’re applying in
- Not having been in the hospital multiple times in one year for a mental health diagnosis which is a lifetime prohibition from obtaining a CCW license
A license is only valid for two years, so individuals will need to renew within 30 days of their expiration date. This requires an application, proof of qualification, and completion of a 4-hour renewal course, and a one-time payment of $77. If CCW license holders wait more than 120 days after their license has expired, they must apply for a new permit.
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Completing Firearms Training
Training is required to qualify for a permit, however active or honorably retired individuals of the U.S. Armed Forces and other law enforcement agents are exempt. Firearms training in California is a minimum of 8 hours of practice on acceptable techniques, safety, and firearm handling.
The state-mandated course includes shooting exercises on a firing range and a demonstration of safe handling with each firearm that is included on the application. The state Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training will either cap the course at 16 or 24 hours.
The Steps to Obtain a Concealed Carry License in California
First-time permit applicants must adhere to the following steps outlined by state and federal law and put into practice by local law enforcement.
Step 1: Retrieve the approved training for concealed weapons permit courses from your local police station.
Step 2: Fulfill the approved training courses or show proof of exemption (Any active or honorably retired peace officer, federal officer, or law enforcement agent) according to Penal Code (PC) §31700.
Step 3: There may be additional physiological tests required in your local jurisdiction.
Step 4: Complete the carry concealed weapon application. Parts one through five of the form can be completed prior to meeting with the county sheriff’s office. Parts six, seven, and eight will need to be completed in front of an official at the licensing agency. Section seven consists of questions you will be asked orally.
Step 5: Your application will need to be brought to your local police office where you’ll be fingerprinted, photographed, and interviewed. You will need to bring in:
- Proof of residency
- Your training certificate
- Up to three firearms you would like to be included with your license
Step 6: Within 90 days of submitting your application, you’ll receive a notice by mail whether you’ve been approved or denied for a permit
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Individuals Who Are Prohibited from Carrying a Concealed Weapon in California
According to the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968, it is illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to transport, receive or possess ammunition or firearms. These laws prevent any state from issuing a concealed carry license.
People who fit into the following criteria are prohibited from possessing, owning, purchasing, or receiving firearms in the state of California and therefore unable to obtain a firearm carry permit.
Such people include those:
- convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors under PC §29800
- addicted to narcotics
- who have lost their gun rights due to a domestic violence conviction
- diagnosed as mentally ill
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The Simmrin Law Group Can Represent You Against Weapons Charges in California
If you or a loved one is charged with a crime related to concealing a weapon or have any additional questions about obtaining a CCW, we invite you to contact us at Simmrin Law Group. We can provide you with a free consultation with one of our qualified criminal defense attorneys who can help you navigate state laws and the application process.