Is there anything you have ever wanted to know from the police department? Well, this is your chance to ask. We will be teaming up with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies from around the county to answer your questions.
Whether you have a question about certain laws and how they might affect you, your family or friends or how to stay safe in certain situations, we want you to ask them. Every week we will run one question and answer. To submit a question, email Shannon.firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was wondering what the sheriff's policy is for issuing a concealed weapons permit? And what's the opinion on law abiding citizens carrying firearms?
Carrying a firearm imposes significant responsibilities, risks, and liabilities and for these reasons the laws pertaining to the issuance of a license to do so are strict. The law concerning licensing to carry concealed firearms is contained in the California Penal Code beginning with section 26150.
Generally, persons seeking a license may apply to either the Chief of Police if they live in an incorporated city or to the Sheriff of the county in which they live. In any case, the law enforcement agency receiving the application will conduct an investigation to determine if the applicant meets the residency requirements and is eligible to possess a firearm.
The law also requires proof the applicant is of “good moral character” and that “good cause” exists to issue the license. The reference to moral character is typically determined during the investigation by the presence or absence of a criminal history, honesty during the application process, and the character reference letters from community members. The showing of good cause is often the critical issue in determining whether or not an applicant receives a license because in California the act of issuing the license is a discretionary act on the part of the Chief of Police or Sheriff. In other words, a person who merely applies for a license but does not demonstrate a credible need for self-protection is likely to be denied.
The costs associated with the application include fingerprinting through the Department of Justice ($120) and, if the application is approved, an agency administration fee ($100 at the Sheriff’s Office but each department may vary), and costs associated with completing an approved firearms training course ($100-$300). Additional costs may include a psychological examination and/or a physician’s examination in certain circumstances. Most categories of licenses are valid for two years.
~Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office