Even in Los Angeles it’s Possible
You may have heard the news that the policies regarding California Concealed Firearm Licenses, also known as “CCW Permits”, have become less restrictive in a few counties and you’d like to know how to go about obtaining one. Historically, Los Angeles County has been one of the most difficult counties to live in if you want a CCW. Even after the 2014 Peruta vs. San Diego District Court ruling which initially sided in favor of applicants, Los Angeles did nothing to loosen restrictions on their CCW issuance. However, as recently as 2020, the sheriff’s department unexpectedly began changing their policies which have resulted in an exponential increase in the number of issued permits. Primarily, the LASD now broadened the scope of different reasons and documentation that they consider as “good cause” for desiring a permit. The standard in Los Angeles to show one is at greater risk to violence than the general public is still more difficult than that required by the surrounding counties of Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Ventura, etc. However, it is no longer virtually impossible to obtain and we would encourage anyone who desires a CCW permit to apply and to do so quickly. We have seen several of our students obtain their licenses and the outlook is very positive.
The following steps will guide you through the CCW process in Los Angeles County:
1. Decide which jurisdiction does the CCW issuance where you live. Unlike most counties, Los Angeles has multiple cities that have retained the authority to issue CCW permits through their police departments instead of deferring the responsibility to the sheriff. What that means is that if your city is not contracted with the county sheriff for CCW issuance, then they may require you to first go to your city chief of police to apply under their policy and process. If your application is denied by your local PD, you may then take the evidence of that denial to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and reapply under the LASD’s policies and process. This is a common experience when applicants apply through cities such as Los Angeles. Currently, it’s almost an expected result that applicants will be denied by LAPD first, but doing so will then allow them to apply to LASD which has less stringent “good cause” requirements. The LASD does maintain a list of cities that have contracted with them for CCW issuance, but this list changes frequently and you may just have to call your local PD and ask them where to apply first. It should be noted that although this is how some local PDs and the county handle the process, there is a strong legal opinion that any county sheriff is required to accept the application without first going to the city authority.
2. Fill out the California Department of Justice Standard Application for Concealed Firearms Permit thoroughly, completely Sections 1-8 and sign pages 3, 8, and 11. You can then take the completed application to your local Sheriff Station or mail it with a $30 non-refundable check or money order made payable to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD). If you want to mail the application, send it to:
Hall of Justice
ATTN: CCW Coordinator
211 West Temple Street 8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
3. Once the application is received, you will be contacted to schedule an interview. You must bring the following documents to your interview:
- Valid California Driver’s License, or California Identification Card
- Original Birth Certificate, or Naturalization Certificate, or Valid US Passport
- Proof of Los Angeles County Residency (utility bill)
- DD-214 (if applicable)
- Documents supporting good cause, if applicable (police reports, restraining orders, etc.)
4. Complete your Live Scan fingerprinting. After your background investigation has been completed and your good cause statement approved, you will be contacted by the CCW coordinator to proceed with your firearms training class. We can provide your approved training either by private appointment at your home or office in Los Angeles County or you can join us in Orange County for public classes. The bulk of your classroom training can even be done virtually through our online blended learning option.
5. Once you complete the firearms training course, you will email a copy of the signed Shooting Proficiency form to CCW_Unit@lasd.org . The CCW Coordinator will then contact you to schedule a pick-up date for your license. Pay your remaining balance of $120 to LASD by check or money order when you pick up your license.