California Carry

February 22, 2017

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California Carry

Californians may soon regain their Second Amendment right to carry a gun. The laws and their administration and interpretations have virtually disarmed law abiding citizens of the nation’s most populous state. This month all that is under stack on two front – a case before the Supreme Court and a bill introduced into the California Assembly last week.

Since 2012, California law has forbidden residents from openly carrying even unloaded firearms in a public place. Concealed carry permits are issued at the discretion of county sheriff’s and are routinely denied.


California is one of nine so-called “may-issue” states along with Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. In may-issue states local police may issue a concealed firearms carry licenses if they feel like it and if the applicant shows “good cause” for wanting to carry a gun.

In the 29 “shall-issue” states, the law stipulates that police shall issue a concealed carry permit provided the applicant is a resident of a stipulated age who passes a background check and pays a fee.  Some states require concealed carry permit holders to be fingerprinted, and complete a class or demonstrate proficiency with a gun. Citizens of those states do not have to show good cause for wanting to carry a gun that “distinguishes” them, to use the wording of California law, “from the mainstream and places the applicant in harm’s way.”

Twelve states lightly regulate or do not regulate the open or concealed carrying of firearms at all. For example, Montana forbids carrying your concealed gun into town. Vermont, on the other hand does not.

Generally, shall-issue states allow a non-resident to carry a concealed firearm if he has a concealed carry permit from another shall-issue state.


About 70,000 people have concealed carry permits in California. The state has a population, not counting undocumented immigrants, of about 39 million. About half of those permits were issued in seven of the Golden State’s 58 counties. And of course, concealed carry permit holders visiting from other states are forbidden to carry a loaded or unloaded firearm in California.

The California gun ban was tested in federal court in 2014 in a case titled Peruta v. San Diego. Peruta thought the bans on both open and concealed carry violated the Second Amendment which guarantees the right “to keep and bear arms.” A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that every citizen has a right to carry a weapon. But the case was then reconsidered by the entire appeals court which ruled last June that “there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.”

The Supreme Court agreed last September to hear an appeal of the Peruta ruling and to date 26 states have filed friends of the court briefs on behalf of the people’s right to be armed. The most recent, yesterday, was Kentucky whose governor, Matt Bevin, said in a press release: “As states and individuals, we must stand united against arbitrary government overreach and this unconstitutional attack on the Second Amendment. In America, our freedom and liberty have been purchased at a great price. We must do everything in our power to preserve them for the generations yet to come.”


Last week, a California Assemblywoman named Melissa Melendez introduced Assembly Bill 757 which would change California to a shall-issue state. “It is our Constitutional right to defend ourselves,” Melendez said in her press release. “Californians should not be subjugated to the personal beliefs of one individual who doesn’t believe in the Second Amendment. If a citizen passes the background check and completes the necessary safety training requirements, there should be no reason to deny them a CCW.”

“Equal protection under the law applies to more than just illegal immigrants and liberal college students,” Melendez said.  “The Constitution enumerates the right to own a gun; it is not a privilege only to be granted to a select few.”

“Our current system of issuing concealed carry permits is not equal. It comes down to being lucky enough to live in a county where the Sheriff believes in upholding the Second Amendment.”


17 Responses to “California Carry”

  1. Paladin Says:

    @ Meh,

    If one repairs firearms or make parts for firearms, but does not assemble those parts into completed firearms for sale, one is not considered by the ATF to be a manufacturer of firearms. However, if one manufactures completed lower receivers (AR-15 / AR-10, etc.) one is considered a manufacturer, because the ATF considers the lower receiver to be the firearm. The exception to this would be if one were only manufacturing 80% finished receivers. 80% completed receivers require an additional 20% of machining to be serviceable and are therefore not considered by the ATF to be completed firearms. BTW; to clear up any possible confusion, I am not an attorney.

    Long May You Ride,


  2. Meh Says:

    Slightly off-topic but there aren’t a huge number of lawyers registered as manufacturers to ask and gun owner “barracks lawyer” opinions aren’t useful.

    Have ITAR regulations made it more difficult to be a manufacturer? (ITAR for those not familiar is a legalist end run around the Second Amendment which under Obama threatened many gunsmiths by considering common gunsmithing tasks as “manufacturing” including ordinary machining, welding and making of minor parts.)

  3. Wino Enzed Says:

    Imagine if nobody had Guns, just fists, boots ,knives and clubs.

    What Fun

  4. Whitepride Says:

    Mass. is like Cali. Liberal run anti 2nd Amendment states. Here in Mass. i the licenses are issued by the chief of police in the town that you live in. If the chief doesn’t like you or a member of your family he can deny you a license and it forces you to hire a lawyer and try to fight it. Sad for what is supposed to be a Constitutional right

  5. RLG Says:

    @Dutchboy, I think it has to do with the interstate commerce laws. CCW is not classified as commerce related (by the courts?)

    I was amused that in New Mexico carrying a concealed firearm w/o permit is a misdemeanor — but carrying a concealed knife is a felony!

  6. Dutchboy Says:

    How is a driver’s, marriage, or any other licence issued by another state valid on the Left Coast but my CCW isn’t? Pass Shall Issue and the number of “criminals” will immediately go down. Not because bad boys suddenly turn good but because good guys won’t have to break an unfair law to defend themselves and family.

  7. panamaa Says:

    I’ve never really thought about not being able to carry a firearm. I’ve never lived in a State that did not allow you to carry one as long as you weren’t a convicted felon.. Gezzz, here in Florida if you don’t carry one you’re fucked….

  8. Paladin Says:

    @ Shyster,

    At the present time, I hold an 07 manufacture’s FFL with a SOT (special occupational tax) certificate, which allows me to manufacture and deal in all NFA weapons.

    I have always been a devout supporter of the Second Amendment and an individual’s right to self defense with firearms, whether in one’s home or in public, concealed or otherwise. When I was teaching, there were always civilians in my classes.

    I have seen first hand the results of what happens when good people are denied the right to defend themselves against bad people. The California legislature should be forced to view what I have seen. If they were, they might think differently about denying an individual their God given right to self defense. Then again…

    Long May You Ride,


  9. Shyster Says:

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed Paladin.


  10. Drifter Says:

    I was really into this in the mid 90’s. Seemed most OF the California CCW permits I was knowledgeable about, were issued to family members, cronies, known and friendly acquaintances to the political powers/PIGS, that made the decision in the particular areas. Favoritism appeared to be rampant, where as necessity appeared to be a low priority in the decision process for a CCW permit.

  11. Viking Trotter Says:

    good I have a sweet little subcompact 9m springfield XD-9 that is sooo much better than my old Glock, and cheaper too. Wouldn’t mind having a CCW at times.

  12. TX_Biker Says:

    Arizona is constitutional carry also. We are working on it here in Texas.

  13. Bone Head Says:

    It may be that both firearm reform and replacement of loons masquerading as judges will need be accomplished. To ignore The Constitution and any of the Amendments is proof of little or no understanding of the law as far as I’m concerned.

  14. Spike Says:

    Right on Melissa. Finally a CA politico who understands. And yes, I am a resident of The Peoples Republik of Kalifirnia.

  15. Neuro Says:

    Just say yes to concealed carry.

  16. brianF Says:

    NH just passed constitutional carry. No permit for either concealed or open.

  17. Paladin Says:

    “Last week, a California Assemblywoman named Melissa Melendez introduced Assembly Bill 757 which would change California to a shall-issue state. “It is our Constitutional right to defend ourselves,” Melendez said in her press release.”

    The problem is and always has been the fact that there is no language in the State of California’s Constitution that pertains to a California citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. The foregoing, combined with the ass clowns presiding on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has kept any form of firearm law reform from taking place and has allowed the continued passing and implementing of more and more draconian laws relating to the ownership and carrying of firearm.

    There is also the problem of apathy. There was a move backed by a couple of California pro-gun groups to put the recently proposed California firearm and magazine bans on the 2018 California State ballot. All that was required was a petition with 300K signatures for a referendum. Those petitions never came close to getting the number of signatures required. As a result, Lt. Governor Newsom’s ballot measures passed into law with flying colors.

    Until the California State Constitution is amended to include language that guarantees its citizens the right to keep and bear arms, I see little chance for firearm law reform.


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