Can Anyone Get a License to Carry a Weapon in California?
Obtaining A CA License To Carry A Weapon
In California, obtaining a license to carry a weapon is a complex and heavily regulated process. California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and applicants must meet several eligibility requirements and undergo a rigorous screening and training program before being legally allowed to carry a weapon.
Let us explore the intricacies of obtaining a California license to carry a weapon, including who can get an LTC (License To Carry), the eligibility requirements, and the restrictions of a license to carry a gun in California.
Legal Framework for Carrying a Weapon in California
In California, carrying a weapon is subject to strict regulations and licensing requirements. In most cases, carrying a firearm in public without a valid license is illegal. The county sheriff solely issues these licenses to county residents or the city’s chief of police to city residents in California.
Obtaining a license to carry a weapon in California is not a walk in the park. California operates on a “may-issue” policy, which means that the decision to grant a license is at the discretion of the local law enforcement agency.
California law also requires that applicants demonstrate a valid reason for needing a carry license. There are numerous restrictions on where and how a weapon can be carried, even with a valid license.
Who Can Get a License to Carry a Weapon in California?
To be eligible for a license in California, the applicant must meet specific requirements as outlined in Penal Code 26150 and 26155 PC, including:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be of good moral character
- Pass a firearms safety course (16-24 hours)
- Obtain a passing score of at least 75% on a written test
- Meet relevant residency requirements
In addition to these requirements, one must demonstrate a good cause for carrying a weapon. For example, if one’s family is in serious danger or the person has a reason to believe they are being targeted.
Who Cannot Obtain a License to Carry a Weapon in California?
Not everyone can get a license to carry a weapon in California. Some of the individuals who are prohibited from owning or carrying firearms under state and federal laws include:
- Individuals who have been convicted of a felony under Penal Code 29800 PC
- Juveniles who have been convicted of violent crimes
- Persons who are subject to a restraining order
- Anyone with conditions of probation that prohibit the possession of firearms
- Drug addicts and alcoholics
- Anyone with a history of domestic violence
- Persons who have been diagnosed with a mental illness that makes them a danger to themselves or others
- Those who have been hospitalized more than once per year for mental health conditions
Restrictions for Carrying a Weapon
Gun restrictions remain even if an individual is granted a license to carry a weapon. In California, some of the critical restrictions that come with having a valid permit include the following:
- Prohibited Locations: License holders are prohibited from carrying a weapon in specific locations, including schools, government buildings, and public transit systems.
- Alcohol and Drugs: It is illegal to carry a weapon while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. One is also prohibited from carrying a weapon in a bar or other establishment serving alcohol.
- Transportation: A weapon must be unloaded and stored in a locked container and placed in the trunk of a vehicle or other secure location during transport. The gun cannot be left in an unattended vehicle unless it is in a locked container.
- Self-Defense Only: License holders can only use their weapons for self-defense. Using a gun in any other situation, such as angrily threatening others, can result in criminal charges.
Anyone carrying a weapon in California must always comply with these restrictions. Violating any of these restrictions can result in the revocation of the license and criminal charges.
Contact Our Skilled Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
If you are facing criminal charges for a weapons offense in California, contact the skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at the Kosnett Law Firm today by calling (310) 445-5900 or online to discuss your case. We can protect your rights and provide a strong legal defense to mitigate the potential consequences of a weapons offense charge.