How to Appeal A Conceal Carry License (CCL) Denial in California Gun Laws and Rights

Denied a CCW? Let’s Appeal!

Recent Second Amendment litigation has led to significant changes in California’s CCW process.  As of January 1, 2024, a new California law, known as Senate Bill 2, allows people denied a CCW license to appeal the case to the superior court in a proceeding called a Petition for Writ of Mandate.  California is now a “shall issue” state with a few requirements to qualify for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

The requirements under Penal Code section 26155 are:

  1. The applicant is not a disqualified person to receive such a license under Penal Code section 26202. (see below)
  2. The applicant is at least 21 years of age and presents clear evidence of the person’s identity and age.
  3. The applicant is a resident of that city or city and county.
  4. The applicant has completed the relevant training court (16 hours for initial issuance).
  5. The applicant is the registered owner, with the Department of Justice, of the pistol, revolver, or other firearm for which the license will be issued.

The prohibiting categories in Penal Code section 26202 (requirement 1 above) are that the applicant:

  1. Is reasonably likely to be a danger to self, others, or the community at large, as demonstrated by anything in the application for a license or through the investigation, or as shown by the results of any psychological assessment.
  2. Has been convicted of contempt of court under Section 166.
  3. Has been subject to any restraining order, protective order, or other type of specified court order that expired within the last 5 years.
  4. In the 10 years prior to the CCW application, the applicant has been convicted of an offense listed in Penal Code section 422.6, 422.7, 422.75, or 29805.
  5. Has engaged in the unlawful or reckless use, display, or brandishing of a firearm.
  6. In the 10 years prior to the CCW application, has been charged with any offense listed in Penal Code section 290, 667.5, 1192.7, 1192.8, or 29805 that was dismissed pursuant to a plea or dismissed with a waiver pursuant to People v. Harvey (1979) 25 Cal.3d 754.  (A Harvey waiver is an agreement to pay restitution for a dismissed count or charge).
  7. In the 5 years prior to the CCW application, has been committed to or incarcerated in county jail or state prison for, or on probation, parole, postrelease community supervision, or mandatory supervision as a result of conviction of an offense, an element of which involves controlled substances, as described in Health & Safety Code sections 11053 to 11058.
  8. Is currently abusing controlled substances, as described in Health & Safety Code sections 11053 to 11058.
  9. In the 10 years prior to the CCW application, has experienced the theft or loss of multiple firearms due to the applicant’s lack of compliance with federal, state, or local law regarding storing, transporting, or securing the firearm.
  10. Failed to report the loss of a firearm as required by Penal Code section 25250 or any other law requiring reporting of the loss of a firearm.

The investigation that a CCW issuing agency must perform before issuing a permit includes (this relates to prohibiting category 1 above):

  1. An in-person interview with the applicant.
  2. Interviews with at least three references, one of whom should be the applicant’s spouse or cohabitant, if applicable.
  3. A review of publicly available information about the applicant, including publicly available statements published or posted by the applicant.  (Think social media posts)
  4. A review of the information provided in the application for the CCW permit.
  5. A review of information provided by the Department of Justice in the live-scan report.
  6. A review of the California Restraining Order system accessible through the California Law Enforcement Communications System (CLETS).

An issuing agency may perform additional investigative efforts to determine whether a CCW applicant is suitable for a license to carry a concealed firearm.

If a CCW licensing agency denies a license, the applicant has 30 days to file a request for a hearing in court to challenge that CCW license denial. (PC 26206)  A District Attorney (prosecutor) then has the burden of showing by a preponderance of evidence that the applicant is a disqualified person.

If the applicant wins at this hearing, then the judge will order the CCW licensing agency to proceed with the CCW licensing process.  If the applicant loses at this hearing, they may file a new application after 2 years from the date of the hearing.

If you are denied a CCW license, it’s a good idea to retain an attorney to assist you in the court process and fight to get the judge to find that you are not a disqualified person under the law.  Don Hammond at Criminal Defense Heroes, P.C. is an NRA Certified shooting instructor and a Critical Response Attorney for the United States Concealed Carry Association.  He understands the Second Amendment, and your right to carry a gun.  Give us a call to discuss your CCW license appeal today!

At Criminal Defense Heroes, P.C., our attorneys have years of experience defending the gun rights of Californians. We understand the nuances of the law and the best strategies for maintaining Second Amendment rights. Contact us today at 323-529-3660 for a consultation.