Getting a CCW permit Process Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

What you should know if you plan to get a CCW permit in Los Angeles County 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to process a record number of CCW permits applications in 2022. As crime rates rise, residents of Los Angeles County seek to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Sheriff Villanueva has set the wheels in motion for lawful issuance of concealed weapons permits in Los Angeles County. CCW applicants should be aware the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department is taking about 365 days to process an initial CCW application. There are some specific requirements to meet and process to navigate which are covered in this article.

Every year, thousands of people in California are prosecuted for illegal firearms possess and/or transportation. This article was written as general information and is in no way an to offer to provide legal advice. It is important for Californians to know the laws pertaining to legal possession and transportation of their firearms. Surprisingly even a minor, misdemeanor criminal conviction can cause the novice gun owner to lose their gun rights under new gun control laws signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. An in-advert violation of firearm transporting and possession laws may cause a gun owner to lose their future gun rights and thousands of dollars in legal defense expenses.

What does a CCW permit allow a permit holder to do?

A concealed carry permit allows a lawful permit holder to carry a loaded concealed weapon on their person in public. The permit is valid for 2 years statewide in California. In some cases, the issuing agency limits the permitted carry to the city or county of issuance. It is up to the permit holder to know where it is lawful to carry his/her gun concealed.

What does “CARRY” mean into context of handgun possession?

California Penal Code 25400, defines and regulates both concealed and open carry of handguns in California’s public places.

  1. Carry any concealed handgun in any vehicle under persons control or direction; or
  2. Carry any concealed handgun on your person; or
  3. Cause a handgun to be carried concealed in a vehicle where you are on occupant.

**These applies regardless of if the gun is “loaded” or “unloaded.”

If a California resident wishes to carry a gun in “public places” they must be issued a permit to do so. This article covers specific CCW topics and considerations for persons considering carrying a handgun in Los Angeles California.

What type of CCW training is mandated by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department?

Training can range from a minimum 8 hours to max 16 hours of mandated training with a written test requirement. “Live fire,” firearms qualification is pass or fail. Different guns can be used, and the applicant must fire 50 rounds with the primary handgun and 20 rounds with each secondary handgun. A total of 3 handguns can be added to the CCW permit.

How many guns can I get approved on a CCW?

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department currently offers up to, 3 handguns per CCW permit.

What is the Criteria for issuing a CCW in Los Angeles County?

By California law, Penal Code 26165, issuing law enforcement agencies must create and make available their official written policy explaining exactly what requirements are necessary for obtaining a conceal weapons permit. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office has posted its CCW requirements and process online.

Good Cause-

Historically, LASD has used this requirement to deny the majority of the CCW applications. The issuing agency determines what “Good Cause” qualifies. Sheriff Villanueva’s Sheriff department is making a good effort to widely grant a CCW to members of the community that wish to arm themselves.  Good Cause statements in writing, are an applicant’s best chance to clearly articulate why they should be issued a CCW permit.

            (**This requirement is no longer required or enforced due the Supreme Case ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association Vs. Bruen)

Good Moral Character-

This is a very vague requirement. Criminal convictions and arrests will be relevant in the application of this requirement.


The applicant must live or work in the jurisdiction where they are applying for a CCW. The County Sheriff and the municipal Chief of Police concur on CCW application process. Some Chief of police issue the license while others divert CCW applicants to the County of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

Training Required-

The issuing agency will determine the training requirements and live fire qualification standard.


What laws affect CCW permit holders once they have their permit?


Penal Code 25400- Carrying a Concealed Handgun:

Penal Code 25100- Criminal Storage of a Firearm:

No consumption of alcohol, marijuana or illegal drugs

Criminal Justice System


Use of force-

The only legal justification for using lethal force is the defense of self-defense. The caveat is that the defender must meet 5 critical elements to qualify for self-defense. Here are the elements for proper implementation of self-defense as a legal defense for the use of deadly force.

The 5 Common Elements necessary to implement Self Defense as legal defense:

  • Innocent- The defender cannot have started the altercation by either verbal or physical instigation.
  • Imminence- The threat must be real, in the moment and about to occur.
  • Proportionality- defensive lethal force can only be used to respond to an imminent lethal threat to the defender or other innocent party. Under common circumstances, punching or pushing are not considered life threatening attacks. O.C. Spray could be used as a proportional defense against and open hand attack.
  • Avoidance- in California defenders to not have the duty to retreat. However it will be hard to defend any use of force, if the Defender could have deescalated the altercation by simply deny the aggressor access. Case in point if you get out of your car to engage in a verbal altercation in traffic or exit the “safety” of your home, to engage with the aggressor on the sidewalk, you could have placed yourself in a position of greater risk of prosecution. It is a different scenario if you use lethal force to defend someone actively kicking-in your house door  versus going out to the front yard to engage in a verbal altercation with aggressor. Lethal force is justified when the victim must use it due to their circumstances not just because they “felt” legally justified in doing so.
  • Reasonable- A rational belief that force was necessary at the time it was utilized is another element. Other people facing the same scenario would consider the actions taken as reasonable.

The use of a firearm in a deadly encounter can have lasting effects and change the course of a person’s life. CCW holders should seek out proper training so that they understand the legal ramifications of implementing lethal force to defend themselves and their family. Andrew Branca has published a book, The Laws of Self Defense. He also offers online educational training that can keep the average CCW holder from making critical mistakes.

There are various training schools listed on the approved list of trainers for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. I went to Firearms Training Associates in Norco, CA for my initial CCW training course. This is not a paid endorsement, but I did enjoy training with them and found it valuable. However, do your research and find a reputable training facility that is a good fit for you.

  • Langosta hobby writer and Gun enthusiast.

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