Concealed Weapons Permits: How They’re Issued, How They Work in CA

Posted: October 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

Candidates in both the El Dorado and Sacramento county sheriffs’ races say they will ease the requirements to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Other agencies, such as the Sacramento Police Department, are expected to maintain relatively tough standards for the permits.

Here are answers to some common questions about the permits:

How do I get a permit?

Successfully apply to the police department where you reside or, if you live in an unincorporated area, to the sheriff’s department. Some hold that the law requires sheriffs to take applications from all county residents regardless of whether they also live in a city in the same county.

What are the qualifications for obtaining a permit?

The sheriff or head of a municipal police agency may issue a license to persons who are 21 years old or older, are U.S. citizens, are of good moral character, have completed a course of training, and who can demonstrate good cause.

What constitutes “good cause?”

The issuing agency determines this. Some agencies consider the desire for self protection good cause. Other agencies may require a more specific reason such as because of threats against your life or the life of someone near you.

How can I show “good moral character?”

In general, you can’t have been convicted of a felony, certain misdemeanors, be under indictment for a serious crime or have a serious mental illness. You should check with your local sheriff or police chief for details. You also may be required to take a psychological test (you can’t be charged more than $150 for the test).

>What restrictions are placed on the permit’s use?

While carrying a weapon, you are not allowed to consume alcoholic beverages or be in a place having a primary purpose of serving alcohol for on-site consumption. You also cannot be under the influence of medicine, prescribed or not. Other restrictions include not unjustifiably displaying a concealed weapon or carrying a concealed weapon under circumstances not specified on your permit.

Can restrictions specific to my permit be added?

Yes. For example, you might be allowed to legally carry a concealed weapon only while going from your place of business to a bank.

Does a permit allow me to carry a weapon onto a commercial airline?


Does a permit allow me to a carry a weapon onto an Amtrak train?

No. Only law enforcement can carry concealed weapons on board Amtrak trains in California and only with clearance through the Amtrak Police Department.

Does a permit allow me to legally carry a weapon into a federal or state courthouse?

In general, no.

Does a permit allow me to legally carry a weapon into a state building or onto state property, such as the State Fair?

It depends on the type of restrictions put on your permit, and whether the managers of the building or property restrict weapons on the premises.

Are there restrictions on the type of weapon I can carry?

The weapon must be small enough to be concealed on your person. The permit covers only the weapon or weapons you list in your application.


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