Assemblymember McCarty Introduces CCW Reform Legislation

Thursday, June 23, 2016

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) introduced two bills to reform the concealed weapon process. The bills would require a showing of a reasonable need to obtain a concealed weapon permit and ensure that the fees to obtain that permit cover all the costs to the county or city issuing that permit.

  • AB 450 CCW Permit Fees
    • Would require that the fee charged for a CCW application must cover the full costs of both issuing and enforcing the permit.
  • AB 466 CCW “Good Cause” Definition
    • Would require that the applicant present facts to distinguish the applicant from the average person and must show that the applicant faces greater harm that the general public.

The existing requirements for obtaining CCW permits are that the applicant must show that they have a “good cause” to obtain the license and that they are of good moral character.  The issuing authority, usually a county sheriff, may charge a fee to process the permit application.  However, there is no guidance on what constitutes a “good cause” or how much to charge for the application fee.  A recent U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, Peruta v. County of San Diego, has given some guidance.   In Peruta, the Court found that the policies of San Diego and Yolo County Sheriffs, which require that an applicant show that they face more harm than the average person, did not violate the 2nd Amendment. 

The current law has caused unequal treatment across California and budget shortfalls for local governments.  Sacramento County is facing a $250,000 shortfall caused by inadequate CCW application fees and is facing cuts to essential programs. 

“A CCW permit is a privilege and should only be given to those who have a genuine need to carry a concealed firearm,” said Assemblymember McCarty, adding “already strained local governments shouldn’t be forced to cut essential programs because the fees for this privilege don’t cover the full costs to Police and Sheriff’s Departments.”

"The wild wild west of CCWs needs to be reined in with common sense guidance on who gets to carry and who doesn’t. A recent example of a CCW holder, who stated he hates government, found blocks from the state capitol with weapons and ammo, raises serious concerns about our sheriff’s ability to decide who gets to carry a concealed weapon."  Said Steve Hansen, Sacramento City Councilmember.

“California taxpayers should not be forced to pay for someone’s privilege of carrying and concealing a firearm” said Phil Serna, a Sacramento County Supervisor who recently challenged the use of discretionary county general funds to subsidize the issuance of CCW permits.  His colleague, Supervisor Patrick Kennedy, who also questioned CCW funding, added that “As a county supervisor, I can tell you we have many other needs for scarce general fund monies, including putting more well-trained law enforcement officers on our streets.”

AB 450 will be heard in the Senate Committee on Public Safety on Tuesday, June 28th.