Concealed Carry Permits (CCW) just got a lot harder to get. . .

Are you having problems associated with your CCW (carry concealed weapon) permit?

Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.

Without a CCW – a concealed carry permit, it is illegal to carry a gun in public. Orange County Sheriff’s Department is one of the few departments who had relaxed the standards for issuing concealed weapons permits following the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in February 2014. In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in the case Peruta v. San Diego County that San Diego County violated the Constitution’s Second Amendment by requiring residents to show “good cause” to obtain a concealed-weapons permit. “The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” the court said in the majority opinion.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to rehear the Peruta case “en banc”.

This means that the court considers the issue exceptionally important or wants to maintain uniformity of decisions within the circuit and the case will be heard by at least 11 judges rather than the usual panel of 3. The prior decision no longer has precedential value. The court order for rehearing can be found here.

How long will it take for the Ninth Circuit to rehear the case?

The court has no time limit to rehear cases. However, it is hopeful the court will rehear it this summer.

What does this mean for the issuance of permits by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department?

The OCSD had previously maintained that if the Peruta case was reheard en banc, it might change its relaxed policy on issuing CCW permits back to the previous “good cause” standards which requires more than just a desire for self defense. Indeed, after notice of rehearing on Peruta, Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens changed the policy on all permits approved after Thursday, March 26, 2015. Rumor has it if you are in the final processes of obtaining a permit and have a date to pick it up, your pickup appointment will be “rescheduled”.

If I already have a CCW, will I be able to keep my permit?

Yes, all current licenses are lawful and will not be recalled. However, when it is time for renewal, if the court has not yet issued its decision, licensees will likely be required to provide supplemental information and documentation supporting “good cause” according to previous pre-Peruta standards to maintain their permit.

What is the current standard for “good cause” in Orange County pending rehearing?

The OCSD “good cause” standard is articulated in Policy 218.

“1. Criteria that may establish good cause include the following:

  • Specific 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 high personal risk and / or criminal attack, far greater risk than the general population.
  • A task of the business or occupation of the applicant requires frequent 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 weapon.
  • Personal protection is warranted to mitigate a threat to the applicant that the applicant is able to substantiate.
  • Good cause could include, but not be limited to, documented instances of threats to the personal safety of the applicant, his / 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 / her family or employees.
  • The finding of good cause should recognize that individuals may also face threats to their safety by virtue of their profession, business or status and by virtue of their ability to readily access materials that if forcibly taken would be a danger to society. Threats should be articulated by the applicant by virtue of his / her unique circumstances.
  • Note: These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive they are provided merely for your reference. Also, state and local laws do not prohibit an adult from having a concealed firearm in their home or place of business.”

Here is the statement posted on the OCSD website shortly after the notice of rehearing:

“The Peruta v. County of San Diego panel decision has been withdrawn by a decision to rehear the case en banc in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. New applicants, and those applicants currently in process, will be required to articulate their safety concerns and provide supporting documentation in accordance with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s (OCSD) Policy 218. Each application will be evaluated individually based on the merits of the applicant’s good cause statement and the totality of their circumstances. CCW Licenses issued under the previous Peruta standard of good cause are lawful and will not be recalled. Current licensees may be required to provide supplemental information and documentation in support of their good cause statement when they attempt to renew their CCW license. All renewal applications are subject to the legal standards at the time of renewal. Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend their scheduled appointments and submit their CCW applications for consideration. Applications approved after Thursday, March 26, 2015, are subject to the good cause requirement in OCSD Policy 218.”

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