Getting a Permit to Carry a Concealed Weapon in California

Getting a permit to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) in California involves several stages to complete the application process.

The first stage is to begin the procedure by filling out an application form. An applicant can get a CCW permit application form by either downloading it from the Internet or getting it from a county Sheriff?s Office or a city Police Department, depending on where a person lives. Before a permit is issued a person must be able to prove that he is at least 21 years of age, has completed a firearms training class, lives in a county or city in the state or spends the majority of his time at a business with an address in a county or a city in the state, is a person of good character and has a good cause to substantiate the need for a permit. The California Attorney General?s opinion on good causes can be read at The completed form, the required documents, and any associated fees can be mailed or hand carried to the appropriate law enforcement office for review.

The second stage is when the applicant has an interview with the governing law enforcement office. The approving official will talk with the applicant about the reasons the individual perceives is the justification for a CCW permit, if anything negative surfaced during the law enforcement background check, and if the applicant has any criminal or medical history. The interview stage is when the applicant?s fingerprints will be taken. The applicant will also be required to take a handgun safety training course and be able to demonstrate proficiency with each handgun to be listed on the permit. California CCW permits are restricted to handguns with a 10-round limit.

The third stage may be a psychological evaluation and any fees associated with the testing, depending on the guidelines in the jurisdiction where the application was filed. Not all issuing districts require this testing, but the applicant must apply in the county or city where he resides or works.

Once a permit is issued, California Penal Code 12050 PC form, it must be renewed every two years. If someone is denied a permit, there is a process to challenge the refusal and have the permit request re-evaluated by either a county or city court, but the applicant needs to know that even if denied, the fees are not refundable.

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