Concealed Weapons Permit

The California Penal Code provides that the Sheriff may issue a license for a person to carry a firearm concealed upon the person "upon proof of all 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.

Good cause is determined on an individual basis. Applicants for a CCW should be able to set forth a set of circumstances that distinguishes the applicant from other members of the general public and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way. Simply writing "self defense" or "personal protection" on an application does not provide the requisite proof of good cause. However, the following criteria, upon proof, may establish good cause:

  • 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 personal risk and / or criminal attack, greater than the general population.
  • A task of the business or occupation of the applicant requires 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 firearm.
  • Personal protection is warranted to mitigate a threat to the applicant that the applicant is able to substantiate.
  • Good cause could include, but is not limited to, verifiable documented instances of threats to the personal safety of the applicant, his or 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 or her family, or employees. Non-specific, general concerns about personal safety are insufficient.

It is the goal of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department that those persons who present proof of good cause, and meet all other qualifications, be issued a CCW if they so request. The Sheriff's Department recognizes 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. These threats should be articulated by the applicant and clearly identify his I her unique circumstances.

Note: The above 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.

Download an application by clicking here

Verification of good cause will be requested on an individual basis. Residence verifications and proof of good cause are required with subsequent (renewal) applications.

Applications must be submitted to Sheriffs License Division in person. The first part of your interview will determine your need and the required documentation. Initial interviews are conducted Tuesdays through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please call for an appointment. You will need to allow an hour for the interview. You will be given additional information and instructions to bring with you for your second interview.

The Department of Justice and San Diego County Sheriff's Department are both involved in the processing of this application, each agency requires certain fees. Fees will be collected at the end of your second interview.

The current fee schedule is as follows:

Initial Application Fees

Cash or check made payable to San Diego Sheriff’s Department for $12.63 plus the applicable fee below. The remainder $50.51 to be submitted at the time of issuance.

  • Standard (Two-year) license - $93.00
  • Judicial (Three-year) license - $115.00
  • Reserve Peace Officer (Four-year) - $137.00

Renewal Fees

A single payment in the form of cash or check made payable to San Diego Sheriff’s Department shall be submitted for renewal of a CCW permit as shown below:

  • Standard (Two-year) license - $73.52
  • Judicial (Three-year) license - $95.52
  • Reserve Peace Officer (Four-year) - $117.52

Fees are subject to change as allowed by law. They are processing fees and as such are not refundable regardless of the decision made on the application. Please Note- CCW Firearm Instructors will conduct the inspection, qualifying and approving of all firearms on your CCW.

If there are other questions, please call Sheriff’s License Division at 858-974-2020.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Contract All | Expand All
What is the minimum age to apply for a concealed weapon permit?
The minimum age is 21.
What are the acceptable forms to prove residency?
This could include voters registration, a recent unpaid utility bill (shows your name), lease/rental agreement, vehicle registration or anything recently mailed to you with a recent postmark.
Are San Diego permits limited to 3 firearms?
Yes
What is the process and fee for changing a firearm on a permit? Is requalification required?
In order to change a firearm on a permit, you would need to go to one of the approved safety instructor's on the current list and qualify with the weapon. You would then make an appointment to come in to Licensing and amend your license. There is a $10 fee for this service.
Are character letters still required?
No, we do not require reference letters.
Are permit holders required to immediately notify a peace officer upon contact?
Not at this time, however it is highly recommended that you do so for the safety of all parties.
When and where should I qualify with my firearm?
CCW qualifications will now be conducted by the Instructor you have selected from the Approved List of Safety Instructors as part of your required safety training.
Who are the currently approved instructors for CCW firearms training?
The current list of approved trainers can be downloaded here.
How can I become a CCW Firearms Instructor?
The Licensing Division periodically opens recruitments for CCW instructors. The next recruitment is expected in 2018. When open, information will appear at the top of this page concerning the application process and requirements.