CCW (Carry a Concealed Weapon) FAQ
PUBLISHED BY THE LAW OFFICES OF BRUCE COLODNY
By Bruce Colodny, The California Gun Attorney
Revised & Copyright © 2016
Will I Be Taken To Jail If I Am Caught Carrying Without A CCW License?
That depends on many factors such as whether you have a prior criminal record, what law enforcement agency apprehended you, whether the handgun was listed in your name in the California AFS (Automated Firearms Systems), etc. In looking at those cases I have had in my law office, it appears that approximately 50% resulted in the issuance of a traffic ticket style citation to appear while the remaining 50% resulted in a traditional arrest result with the suspect being booked into a jail facility.
If I am Caught Carrying Without A CCW License, Will I Get A Warning?
It is possible, but I certainly wouldn't count on it. Consider that it is the people who get caught and arrested or issued citation to appear in court that call my law office, not those who may have been let go with a warning. I will mention that, time and time again, a new client has told me a story to the effect of, "I told the officer about my gun as soon as I was I stopped. I was cooperative and honest but he arrested me anyway."
What Are The Penalties For Carrying Without A CCW License?
Depending upon the circumstances, you can be charged with either misdemeanor or felony violations. If you are charged only with misdemeanor offenses, the maximum penalties are one year in the county jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Certain circumstances (for example, a prior conviction) can result in imposition of a three month minimum jail sentence. If you are charged with a felony offense, the maximum penalty is three years in state prison. Even if only misdemeanor charges are filed, conviction may subject you to up to three years of probation with conditions prohibiting you from possessing firearms and subjecting you to search on demand.
Can And How Do I Obtain A CCW License In California?
According to the California Penal Code, the Sheriff of the county in which you reside may issue you a CCW license upon a showing of good cause. If you reside in a city that has its own police department, the Chief also has the authority to issue you a CCW. Unless you are a judicial officer or retired law enforcement, the term is two years. Current California law requires new applicants to complete at least 16 hours of approved training and renewal applicants must complete at least four hours of approved training.
If I Am Denied A CCW What Are My Remedies?
Under current California law, local law enforcement is afforded great discretion whether or not to issue a CCW license. Thus, issuance policies vary greatly throughout the State. If you are denied by the law enforcement agency, there is no statutory appeal process so you must proceed to court. You will either have to hire an attorney or represent yourself. Some court cases arising out of CCW license denial have lasted for years and generated attorney's fees well into the six-figure range.
Is A CCW License From Another State Recognized in California?
This article is general information; it is not legal advice. The information contained within, is subject to change as a result of future court decisions and/or new legislation.
If you have questions concerning a specific item or your personal situation, you should consult The Law Offices of Bruce Colodny 800-560-8000.