Concealed Weapons Permit

CCW STATUS UPDATE    March 26, 2015

Interested applicants may already be aware that litigation has been pending in the case of Edward Peruta, et al. v. County of San Diego concerning the application of California Penal Code §26150. Penal Code §26150 requires CCW applicants to show proof that “good cause exists for issuance of the license.” [Subsection (a)(2)]

In 2010, Sheriff Gore was granted summary judgment by the U.S. District Court for his existing application of the above-referenced statute. The Plaintiff appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On February 13, 2014, a three judge panel issued a 2-1 opinion in favor of a more generalized issuance criteria based on “personal protection” and remanded the case back to the District Court.

While Sheriff Gore decided not to appeal the decision of the three judge panel, several other parties, including the California Attorney General, filed motions to intervene in the case, as well as petitions for rehearing en banc with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On February 28, 2014, the Ninth Circuit granted a stay in the case. Since that time, the Ninth Circuit has sought briefing on various issues, with the most recent pleadings being filed by December 24, 2014. On March 26, 2015 Chief Judge Thomas of the Ninth Circuit issued an order for the case to be heard en banc by the full Ninth Circuit.

Given the status of the case with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the fact that there are other procedural steps before the court’s decision becomes final, the Sheriff’s Department’s policies and procedures remain in effect and are unchanged.

The Sheriff’s Department continues to process CCW applications for those applicants that meet the current legal requirement to show good cause.

Applications for CCW’s based on the cause of “personal protection” may be dropped off at the Sheriff’s License Division and will be held in abeyance until the Ninth Circuit has completed its analysis of the issue.

Should the case be decided on the basis of “personal protection,” the Sheriff’s Department will begin to process applications held in abeyance in the order that they were received. Applicants will be contacted by the Sheriff’s Licensing Division with instructions on how to complete the process.

CCW applications are currently being processed Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 9:00am to 3:00pm. Those wishing to place an application in abeyance pending the outcome of the Ninth Circuit Court decision may still continue to drop them off in person at the License Division any time during business hours.

CCW Firearms Training     - Effective January 1, 2016 the San Diego Sheriff’s Department will no longer require CCW applicants to go through the Sheriff’s Department Weapons Training Unit for weapon qualifications. All CCW firearm training courses, weapon inspections and course of fire will be the task of the approved CCW Firearm Instructors. This will now include an added task and function consisting of inspecting, qualifying and approving a firearm to be added to a CCW during the license term. Additional fees may be incurred by the firearm instructor for this process.

2017 Firearms Instructor List     - The License Division in conjunction with the Sheriff's Weapons Training Unit is updating the firearms instructors list for the concealed weapon licenses issued by this Department. The deadline for applications in July 1, 2016 - No Exceptions.

As part of the California State requirements PC26165(a)(c) which requires the course of training in firearms acceptable to the licensing authority, the Sheriff's Department will be reviewing those currently on the list and allowing any new firearms instructors to be placed on the list.

To continue to be on the Department's CCW Recognized Instructors List, you will need to provide this office with proof of attendance of at least sixteen (16) hours of continued professional training applicable to instructional methods and/or firearms updates. This is required for every individual working with each approved instructor and must include a copy of your current BSIS Firearms Instructors Permit.

Download Instructor Letter and Guidelines

The Sheriff may issue a concealed weapon license to law abiding residents of San Diego County provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  1. The applicant is of good moral character
  2. The applicant demonstrates good cause for the issuance of the license
  3. The applicant presents proof of residency within San Diego County

The concealed weapons license allows the licensee to carry a pistol revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.


Download an application by clicking here. Please review the application carefully. If you choose to submit the application, complete all sections with the exception of the three signature areas. This is a two-part interview process.

Each applicant will be interviewed by License Division Staff to determine initial eligibility. Applications accepted will be individually investigated to determine residency, moral character, and good cause, anyone on any form of probation is automatically disqualified. There are four issuing categories in which the County of San Diego issues concealed weapons. Applicants will be required to submit documentation to support and demonstrate their need for any of the categories. The categories are:

  1. Protected law enforcement
  2. Personal protection (w/documented threats)
  3. Security
  4. Business

For Initial applications, you will need to allow one hour for the interview. During that interview, you will be given additional information and instructions on what 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.

All applications must be submitted to Sheriff’s License Division in person. CCW applications are processed Tuesday - Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 3:00pm. Please call 858-974-2020 to make an appointment.


Cash or check made payable to San Diego Sheriff’s Department for $12.63 (the remainder $50.51 to be submitted at the time of issuance) plus a money order made payable to the Department of Justice as shown:

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


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.


All new applicants must demonstrate they are residents of San Diego County, have good cause and good moral character, pursuant to Penal Code §26150. For purposes of this application, applicants must submit proof of residency in the form of two current utility bills that list their name, service address and mailing address (or other similar type proof).

Good cause is an individual issue; however, if applying for business purposes, proof that you are a legitimate and fully credentialed business will be required as well as having to demonstrate that good cause for carrying a firearm exists. The same applies for those wanting to apply strictly for personal protection; the required documentation will be discussed at the time of the initial first interview, additional documentation may be requested. A valid California identification is also required.

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

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


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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?
We require two proofs of residency in the form of utility bills dated within the past 30 days. The bills must list the individual’s last name, service address and mailing address or other similar type of proof.
Are San Diego permits limited to 3 firearms?
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 the Sheriff’s Range on a scheduled qualification day 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 2016. When open, information will appear at the top of this page concerning the application process and requirements.