Getting a license to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) can be challenging in California. The sheriffs and police chiefs of the various counties and municipalities have the authority to issue these permits, but also the power to create and enforce their own requirements within the bounds of state law. The process remains highly subjective, and getting a CCW is notoriously difficult in the urban and suburban areas of California, such as Los Angeles County--but not impossible.
Consult the Local Police Department
Anyone who lives in a municipality within Los Angeles County has the best chance of obtaining a concealed weapons permit through the municipal police department. Some, but not all cities in L.A. County defer the process to the sheriff, who very rarely grants permit requests. The process, however, is the same whether you apply through the city or the county.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) or municipal police department, in accordance with state law, requires every CCW applicant to complete a course of up to 16 hours on firearms safety and the law. The issuing agency must specifically approve the course, so contact the police of sheriff's department for a current list of accepted instructors and courses.
Get Required Psychological Testing
The issuing agency can also require psychological testing as part of the CCW process if there is a compelling reason. If you are deferred for psychological testing, you will be sent to a specific psychologist, who may charge up to $150 for an initial test.
Show Good Cause
A CCW applicant must show a real danger to themselves, their property, family or employees. This can either be in reference to a specific incident or incidents when you were threatened, or because of the nature of your work. A written statement of good cause is the single most important element in the CCW application.
Complete the Standard Application
The Standard Application for License to Carry a Concealed Weapon is uniform throughout the state of California.
Submission of a CCW application is not a guarantee that a concealed weapons permit will be issued.
- Submission of a CCW application is not a guarantee that a concealed weapons permit will be issued.
Joseph Nicholson is an independent analyst whose publishing achievements include a cover feature for "Futures Magazine" and a recurring column in the monthly newsletter of a private mint. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida and is currently attending law school in San Francisco.