California CCW Permit



Please read through this entire page if you are interested in applying for an Initial California Concealed Weapons License. Submitting your completed Application, background screening, and final approval through The San Diego or Orange County Sheriff’s department is required Prior to attending the initial California CCW Permit Class – We offer the 8-hour class for first-time applicants on the 1st and 3rd Saturday’s of each month ($175.00). The 4-hour Renewal class is offered on the 2nd Friday of each month, as well as the 1st and 3rd Saturday’s each month ($100.00). Please check our Schedule Page for specific dates and times.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, License Division, is responsible for the issuance of Concealed Carry Permits in San Diego County. You must submit your application in person, pass a thorough background check, and be approved by the License Board, BEFORE attending the Initial 8-hour California CCW License Class.

§ 26150(a). The chief of a municipal police department may issue a concealed carry license under comparable criteria; the only difference is that the applicant must be a “resident of that city.” Id. §§ 26155(a).

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department License Division, describes the definition of “good cause” in San Diego County: “Good Cause is defined by this County to be a set of circumstances that distinguish the applicant from the mainstream and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way. Simply fearing for one’s personal safety alone is not considered good cause. This criterion can be applied to situations related to personal protection as well as those related to individual businesses or occupations. Good cause is also evaluated on an individual basis.” Reasons applicants request a license will fall into one of four general categories. The only two general categories potentially relevant to Civilian Applicants are category 2 and 4.

Category 1 = Protected Law Enforcement
Category 2 = Personal Protection Only includes: documented threats, restraining orders and other related situations where an applicant can demonstrate they are a specific target at risk.
Category 3 = Security
Category 4 = Business owners/employees includes a diversity of businesses & occupations, such as doctors, attorneys, CEO’s, managers, employees and volunteers whose occupation or business places them at high risk of harm.

  • Prospective Applicants that feel they meet the current standards for “Good Cause” should download that State Application Form here: California CCW Application and then contact the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department – License Division, at 858-974-2020 to schedule your initial interview. If you can establish that you meet the current requirements for “good cause”, the License Division will explain the process and, give you a list of documents that you will need to bring to your second interview.  This is where you will substantiate all of the information contained in your “Good Cause” statement, or specific reason for applying. This may include a business license, any occupational licensing required for your profession, corporate documents, letters from any business partners or corporate officers, bank records; including deposit logs, two proofs of residency in the form of unpaid utility bills, ownership records, or lease agreements.  The Sheriff’s Department will conduct a thorough background investigation, including verification of all statements, criminal and civil cases.  Once you have completed this process, and received approval from the Sheriff’s Licensing Division, you will be allowed to sign up for our California CCW Permit Class.

Upon completion of initial screening by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department –

  • Eight 8-hours of training for initial applicants ($175) and four 4-hours ($100) for renewal applicants.
  • Training must be conducted by an “Approved Instructor” such as CCW USA Firearms Training is Approved by San Diego, Orange, and Ventura County.
  • Initial applicants are required to fire 100 rounds through each gun listed on their permit.
  • Renewal applicants must fire 50 rounds through each firearm.
  • You must be a resident of San Diego County to apply in this County.

To register for our California CCW Classes –

Pre-approval and pre-payment is required for this class. CCW USA Firearms Training is the approved Facility and Instructor.

How much is this going to cost?

Fees are subject to change as allowed by law. You will need to explain your “Good Cause” or specific reason for needing a California CCW Permit. You must have a legitimate business need or a very specific and documented threat. See the information below regarding what is Good Cause, and for additional requirements.

Initial Application Fees

Initial Application Fees (Paid To San Diego Sheriff) –

Standard 2-year license

Judicial 3 year license

Reserve Peace Officer

Renewal Fees

Renewal Fees (Paid To San Diego Sheriff) –

To renew a Carry a Concealed Weapon (CCW) permit, you will have to submit a single payment in the form of cash or check made payable to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department shall be submitted for renewal of a CCW permit as shown below:

Standard 2-year license

Judicial 3 year license

Reserve Peace Officer

While exercising the privileges granted to the licensee under the terms of this license, the licensee SHALL NOT, when carrying a concealed weapon:
1.) Consume any alcoholic beverage while carrying or transporting a concealed firearm.
2.) Be in a place having a primary purpose of dispensing alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption (e.g. Bars not Restaurants)
3.) Be under the influence of any medication or drug, whether prescribed or not. (Including over-the-counter medications)
4.) Refuse to show the license or surrender the concealed weapon to any peace officer upon demand.
5.) Violate any Law of this State or Country.
6.) Impede any peace officer in the performance of their duties.
7.) Present himself/herself as a peace officer to any person unless he/she is, in fact, a peace officer as defined by California law.
8.) Abuse this privilege by any unjustified display a concealed weapon.
9.) Carry a concealed weapon not listed on your permit or at times or circumstances other than those specified on the permit.
10.)Carry any weapon on or about your person, openly or concealed, onto an airport without the permission of the Port Director.
11.)Carry any weapon on or about your person, anywhere that is prohibited by law.
12.)Leave a handgun in an unattended vehicle without first securing it
in the trunk of the vehicle, locking it in a locked container and placing the container out of view, or locking the handgun in a locked container that is permanently affixed to the vehicle’s interior and not in plain view.

What's 'Good Cause' for California CCW


What is Good Cause?

California is currently NOT a “Shall Issue” or “Right to Carry” State. An applicant must establish “Good Cause” to support his or her request for a California Concealed Weapon License. The mere fact that a license has been issued in the past does not, in itself, justify the renewal of a California Concealed Weapons License. Good Cause is subjective and may vary among several factors; degree or frequency of exposure to harm, employment, demographics and victimization, or risk to the applicant averted by granting a CCW License. In making a determination as to reasonable cause, the issuing authority will consider all available information, and where there exists a sufficient connection between the approval of a CCW License and the avoidance of victimization, make the decision most beneficial to public good and safety. The mere fear of victimization or the desire to carry a firearm is insufficient. The issuing authority will first rely on a set of objective standards, personal history, training, and professional evaluations of the applicant, and secondly on subjective factors such as;

•Specific evidence that there has been or is likely to be an attempt by another to do great bodily harm to the applicant.

•The nature of the business or occupation of the applicant is such that it subjects the applicant to high personal risk or criminal attack.

•Business or occupation of the applicant requires frequent transportation of large sums of money or other valuables and alternative protective measures or security cannot reasonably be employed.

•Business or occupation is of a high-risk nature and requires the applicant’s presence in a dangerous environment or area.

•The occupation or business of the applicant is such that no means of protection, security or risk avoidance, other than carrying a concealed firearm, is practical.

•Personal protection is warranted to mitigate a threat that the applicant is able to substantiate.

Some Examples of California CCW Permit “Good Cause” Statements.

According to California Penal Code Sections and the California Department of Justice Standard Application for CCW, the applicant must show “Good cause” exists for the issuance of a CCW permit. The following are some examples of good cause statements used by other applicants in various counties here in California. These examples can be successful when used appropriately within the context of your application. These examples are just that, do not copy them word-for-word, use your own specific language to describe why you need a CCW permit. You should write your own good cause or justification statements to suit your own individual situation and the circumstance specific to your application. Everything you list must be accurate and verifiable by the Sheriff’s Background Investigators.

Real Estate Professional (Agent, Broker, Property Manager)
I am an Agent, Broker, Property Manager, for A&B Realty, a fully licensed and insured firm based in San Diego County, California. I have been working in the Real Estate Profession for 5, 10, 15 years, and have realized that the daily activities of my profession are placing me at much greater risk. I often work late at night, alone in the office or meet with clients in the field. I need to transport money collected in the form of rents and deposits, often in cash, and I personally transport these cash deposits for my company. I travel in and through high crime areas, during hours of darkness, and to remote areas, often with limited or no cellular phone coverage, to meet with potential clients I am afraid that I will be killed or injured as a result of these high-risk activities. For these reasons, I am requesting that I be granted a concealed weapons permit for this legitimate business need.

Firearms Industry (dealers, Instructors, competitors, etc.)
I am an (title). As part of my normal duties, I carry and transport quantities of firearms and ammunition throughout (area). I travel late at night and often in and through remote areas where there is little law enforcement support. My greatest fear is that without any realistic means of self-protection, these firearms may easily be taken from me by the criminal element and then used against the public at large. This would be a horrific tragedy for everyone involved. Because of this, I am afraid that I will be killed or injured. For all of these reasons, I respectfully request that I be granted a concealed weapons permit.

I own a jewelry business called (NAME OF BUSINESS). I sell gold, diamonds, gems, and finished jewelry. I personally transport this merchandise to sales venues throughout the state as part of my business. I carry the jewelry to and from trade shows and exhibitions. In addition to the high value jewelry, I carry and make the cash deposits from the days sales, often late at night by ATM. I travel in and through remote and high crime areas to reach my appointments. Here in CA, a group of armed, professional criminals known as the South American Theft Group (SATG), frequently HUNTS jewelers like me to attack and rob. It is a well-known and documented fact that these criminals use violence, firearms and even vehicle crashes to assault jewelers.

It is only a matter of time until I am targeted. I am deathly afraid that I will be killed or injured in the event of a personal attack. I am not concerned about the merchandise. I have no other means of self-protection. For these reasons, I feel that my life is in jeopardy and require the concealed weapons permit to comply with the law and protect my life.

High Value or Cash Business (any cash business or valuable product)
I operate a business called xxx. We sell xxx to xxx. I personally carry and transport xxx amounting to $$$. Due to the high value nature of these products, they are a likely target for theft and robbery by the criminal element. In the course of my business, I also make the deposits for the store, sometimes late at night due to our long hours. I feel that carrying cash and valuable products such as xxx make me at risk for death or injury in the event of a personal attack. For all these reasons, I request that I be granted a concealed weapons permit.

I am an attorney, practicing (family/corporate/civil) law. I often work late at night, alone in the office. I make the cash deposits for the firm. I travel in and through high crime areas, often late at night to locate parties and witnesses involved in the cases I handle as well as take statements and depositions. I am afraid that I will be killed or injured as a result of these high-risk activities. For these reasons, I am requesting that I be granted a concealed weapons permit for my own protection.

Private Investigator
I am a state licensed Private Investigator. In the course and scope of my lawful business I often work late at night, alone, in high crime areas conducting interviews, locating witnesses and conducting legal surveillance. I must perform these duties without any realistic means of self-protection. This places my life and safety at risk. I am afraid that I will be killed or injured as a result of these high-risk activities. For these reasons, I am applying for a concealed weapons permit for my own protection.

Bail Enforcement/Bounty Hunter
Use the Investigator example. Refrain from referring to your work as bail enforcement. Just use Investigator.

Retraining Order/Threat
Recently, my life was threatened by xxxx. I have attached copies of the police reports and court orders (e.g. TRO or Full Restraining Order). I have no realistic means of self-defense to protect myself from this individual intent on doing me physical, mental, and emotional harm. I am afraid that this person(s) will continue to stalk me until he/she is successful in murdering me. I travel alone, often at night, to and from work. I live in a remote area (if that is the case) where there is little law enforcement support. I realize that the police are not required to protect me 24 hours per day. For these reasons, I am applying for a concealed weapons permit to protect my life and to comply with the law.

Medical Doctor (any that can prescribe)
I am a Medical Doctor, practicing xxx medicine. As an everyday part of my practice, I must carry highly controlled substances. A copy of my DEA permit is attached. I also carry at all times blank prescription forms, which are highly prized for theft by the criminal element. I also make cash deposits for my practice. I travel late at night, alone, in and through high crime areas in order to respond to medical emergencies. I realize that these high-risk activities make me a likely target by the criminal element for the purpose of illegally obtaining the controlled substances I carry. As a result, I am afraid that I will be killed or injured. I have no other viable means of self-protection. For these reasons, I request that I be granted a concealed weapons permit for my own protection. (Special note: this can be adapted for retired doctors as well: the prescription stuff may not apply, but a moral doctor will stop for auto accidents or other types of situations in remote areas, even if it’s just a suspicion that there’s a situation in progress. Roadside attacks under such physically isolated circumstances are common, see also the murder of Bill Cosby’s son.)

Executive Protection Agent (bodyguard)
My duties require me to provide close personal protection for (client or types of clients). He/she has had threats against them in the past. Copies of police reports are attached. This risk continues. This is an extremely dangerous job. I am required to be on call, to report for duty at any hour. To do this I must drive in and through high crime areas, alone, late at night. Currently, I am not armed while at work. I have no viable means of self-protection. I am afraid that I will be killed or maimed as a result of an attack. For these reasons, I request that I be granted a concealed weapons permit for business purposes, my own protection, and to comply with the law.

Religious Leader (Pastor/Priest/Rabbi)
I am the Senior Pastor, Priest, Minister, at (Name of Church or Organization). While conducting my regular duties, I am responsible for accepting monetary gifts, and donations to the church from members of our congregation and the general public. I must carry and transport large quantities of money throughout our facility, as well as transporting these cash deposits to our bank on a regular basis. My pastoral duties include traveling early in the morning and late at night to provide counseling and guidance. I often travel in and through high crime or remote areas where there is little law enforcement support and limited cellular phone coverage. I am traveling alone without any via means of protection. I am aware of other leaders in my faith that have been victimized and targeted for their specific religious beliefs. (e.g. Christian, Jewish, etc.) I have a specific threat from (include copies of all police reports, restraining orders, or other supporting evidence, only if you have a Specific Threat) I respectfully request that I be granted a concealed weapons permit.



Five Rules for Concealed Carry

Five Rules for Concealed Carry

1. Your concealed handgun is for protection of life only.
Draw it solely in preparation to protect yourself or an innocent third party from the wrongful and life-threatening criminal actions of another.

2. Know exactly when you can use your gun. A criminal adversary must have, or reasonably appear to have:
* A. the ability to inflict serious bodily injury (he is armed or reasonably appears to be armed with a deadly weapon).
* B. the opportunity to inflict serious bodily harm (he is physically positioned to harm you with his weapon), and
* C. his intent (hostile actions or words) indicates that he means to place you in jeopardy — to do you serious or fatal physical harm. When all three of these “attack potential” elements are in place simultaneously, then you are facing a reasonably perceived deadly threat that can justify an emergency deadly force response.

3. If you can run away — RUN! Just because you’re armed doesn’t necessarily mean you must confront a bad guy at gunpoint. Develop your “situation awareness” skills so you can be alert to detect and avoid trouble altogether. Keep in mind that if you successfully evade a potential confrontation, the single negative consequence involved might be your bruised ego, which should heal with mature rationalization. But if you force a confrontation you risk the possibility of you or a family member being killed or suffering lifelong crippling/disfiguring physical injury, criminal liability and/or financial ruin from civil lawsuit. Flee if you can, fight only as a last resort.

4. Display your gun, go to jail. You should expect to be arrested by police at gunpoint, and be charged with a crime anytime your concealed handgun is seen by another citizen in public, regardless of how unintentional or innocent or justified the situation might seem. Choose a method of carry that reliably keeps your gun hidden from public view at all times. You have no control over how a stranger will react to seeing (or learning about) your concealed handgun. He or she might become alarmed and report you to police as a “man or woman with a gun.” Depending on his or her feelings about firearms, this person might be willing to maliciously embellish his or her story in attempt to have your gun seized by police or to get you arrested. An alarmed citizen who reports a “man with a gun” is going to be more credible to police than you when you’re stopped because you match the suspect’s description, and you’re found to have a concealed handgun in your possession. Before you deliberately expose your gun in public, ask yourself: “Is this worth going to jail for?” The only time this question should warrant a “yes” response is when an adversary has at least, both ability and intent, and is actively seeking the opportunity to do you great harm.

5. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. If, despite your best efforts to the contrary, you do get into some kind of heated dispute with another person while youre armed, never mention, imply or exhibit your gun for the purpose of intimidation or one-upmanship. You’ll simply make a bad situation worse — for yourself (see rule #4).


Checkout this article on Dealing with the Aftermath of a Lethal Encounter (PDF) written by Steve Krystek & Michael L. Potter for Concealed Carry Magazine.