Concealed Carry FAQ's

What are the requirements to obtain a CCW?

The licensing authority may issue a California License to Carry upon proof of the following:

  1. The applicant is of good moral character.
  2. Good cause exists for issuance of the license.
  3. 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.
  4. The applicant has completed a course of training as described in Section 26165.

Who issues a concealed carry license in California?

Licenses and permits to carry concealed firearms in California are issued by the sheriff of a county or the chief or other head of a municipal police department.

Are background checks required?

Yes, the licensing authority should collect fingerprints when submitting an application and submit them to the California Department of Justice which initiates the background check.

What are the training Requirements?

For new license applicants, the course of training for issuance of a license under Section 26150 or 26155 may be any course acceptable to the licensing authority, shall not exceed 16 hours, and shall include instruction on at least firearm safety and the law regarding the permissible use of a firearm.

The licensing authority may require a community college course certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, up to a maximum of 24 hours, but only if required uniformly of all license applicants without exception.

For license renewal applicants, the course of training may be any course acceptable to the licensing authority, shall be no less than four hours, and shall include instruction on at least firearm safety and the law regarding the permissible use of a firearm. No course of training shall be required for any person certified by the licensing authority as a trainer for purposes of this section, in order for that person to renew a license issued pursuant to this article.

The applicant shall not be required to pay for any training courses prior to the determination of good cause being made pursuant to Section 26202.

How long is a CCW valid for?

A California License to Carry is valid for up to 2 year from the date of the license.

Does having a CCW exempt you from background checks when purchasing a firearm?

No, having California License to Carry does not exempt you from the background check required when purchasing a firearm in California. The one exception is a California Entertainment Firearms Permit but that doesn’t apply here.

What places are off limits when carrying in California?

The following places are off limits while carrying concealed in California:

  • At a gun show or event unless you are security personnel or sworn peace officer. You cannot posses a firearm or ammo designed to be fired from that firearm at the same time (vendors exempt).
  • State Capitol, any legislative office, any office of the Governor or other constitutional officer, or any hearing room in which any committee of the Senate or Assembly is conducting a hearing, or upon the grounds of the State Capitol, which is bounded by 10th, L, 15th, and N Streets in the City of Sacramento.
  • At or in the vicinity of a polling place
  • While engaged in picketing or other informational activities in a public place relating to a concerted refusal to work
  • Courtrooms
  • Any public place or street while masked
  • Establishments where the primary purpose is dispensing alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption
  • All Public and Private K-12 Schools and College University Campuses
  • Any county property in San Francisco
  • Issuing authorities can include any reasonable restrictions or conditions to your California License to Carry

What are the laws involving alcohol and concealed carry laws?

You cannot consume any alcoholic beverage or be in a place having a primary purpose of dispensing alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption while carrying concealed in California. You also cannot be under the influence of any medication or drug, whether prescribed or not while carrying concealed in California.

Are you allowed to carry in State Parks, State/National Forest, WMA's, or Road Side Rest Areas?

You are allowed to carry concealed in:

State Parks: Yes
State Forests: Yes
National Forests: Yes
Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s): No
Road Side Rest Areas: Yes