As of this writing, 2450 California Concealed Weapon Permits have been issued in San Diego County. In February 2018, there were only 1,300. That doesn’t mean it is easy to get a CCW issued from the San Diego County Sheriff. But it may not be as hard as you think.
California is a one of the nine remaining states or territories that have a “May Issue” concealed carry permit law. Being a May Issue state, the decision on whether or not to issue you a concealed carry permit is up to the governing authority, in this case, the San Diego County Sheriff.
There are four requirements that you need to show proof of before the sheriff decided to issue you a CCW or not.
- The applicant is of good moral character.
- Good cause exists for issuance of the license.
- The applicant is a resident of the county or a city within the county, or the applicant’s principal place of employment or business is in the county or a city within the county and the applicant spends a substantial period of time in that place of employment or business.
- The applicant has completed a course of training as described in Section 26165.
But what exactly does “good cause” mean?
It may not be all doom and gloom if you are a San Diego County resident. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has been working with the San Diego County Gun Owners organization to broadly define what “good cause” means.
If you read the sheriff’s guidelines for Good Causes, it seems that it could be very restricted. At first glance, it seems to be restricted to people that have had or may have threats of bodily harm or for specific business purposes. Below is from the San Diego County Sheriff’s website:
Good cause is determined on an individual basis. Applicants for a CCW should be able to set forth a set of circumstances that distinguishes the applicant from other members of the general public and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way. Simply writing “self defense” or “personal protection” on an application does not provide the requisite proof of good cause. However, the following criteria, upon proof, may establish good cause:
- Evidence that there has been or is likely to be an attempt on the part of a second party to do great bodily harm to the applicant.
- The nature of the business or occupation of the applicant is such that it is subject to personal risk and / or criminal attack, greater than the general population.
- A task of the business or occupation of the applicant requires transportation of large sums of money or other valuables and alternative protective measures or security cannot be employed.
- When a business or occupation is of a high-risk nature and requires the applicant’s presence in a dangerous environment.
- The occupation or business of the applicant is such that no means of protection, security or risk avoidance can mitigate the risk other than the carrying of a concealed firearm.
- Personal protection is warranted to mitigate a threat to the applicant that the applicant is able to substantiate.
- Good cause could include, but is not limited to, verifiable documented instances of threats to the personal safety of the applicant, his or her family, or employees. Threats to personal safety may be verbal or demonstrated through actual harm committed in the place of work, neighborhood or regular routes of travel for business. The applicant should articulate the threat as it applies personally to the applicant, his or her family, or employees. Non-specific, general concerns about personal safety are insufficient.
If I were a San Diego County resident and read that, I would assume I wouldn’t have a good chance of being issued a permit. But that may not be the case.
On the San Diego County Gun Owner’s website, they have a Good Cause Worksheet and well as many Good Clause Statement templates applicants can use to hopefully give them a better chance of getting a permit issued. I was quite surprised at some of the examples. While it is still restricted more than a Shall Issue state, it seems that they will issue permits for broader reasons than expected after reading the sheriff’s guidelines for a Good Cause. Some of these example statements are for:
- Online Retail Business
- Business Owner
- Mobile Business
- Top Security Clearance Risk
- Financial Services Professional
- Gun Shop Employee
- Physical Limitations
- Valuable Equipment
- Real Estate Agent
- Firearms Industry
- High Value or Cash Business
- Private Investigator
- Bail Enforcement/Bounty Hunter
- Restraining Order
- Medical Doctor
- Executive Protection Agent
- Religious Leader
- Safety Concerns
- House of Worship
- IT Professional
- Apartment Manager
- Travel and Leisure
- Overnight Boating Trips
- Firearms Experience
- Fearful Individual
- Cerebral Palsy
- Anti-Human Trafficking Job
- Personal Risk
For more details on a specific “Good Cause” listed above, visit the SDCGO website to see how it is worded. But I’m sure a few of them are surprising after reading the statement from the sheriff.
Do you have a camera and enjoy taking pictures outdoors? That might be a good enough cause to be issued a permit. Do you like hiking or camping? That might be good enough as well.
In a perfect world, I’d like to see a California law changed to Shall Issue, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Yes, there are reports of other counties in California being less restrictive with who they issue permits to. But at least San Diego County isn’t just turning down anyone and everyone who applies. The San Diego County Gun Owners seem to be doing a great job with expanding and restoring the 2nd Amendment rights for San Diego County residents.
If you are currently or will be a San Diego Resident, I highly recommend becoming a member of the San Diego County Gun Owners.