How do I get a Concealed Carry License (CCW) in the Bay Area?
Up until now, getting a CCW has been notoriously difficult in many California counties. But that is changing. On June 23rd, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled the "just cause" requirement that California, among other states used to deny law abiding citizens the right to protect themselves while away from home is unconstitutional. This means that now, unless you are barred from owning a firearm, you should qualify for a CCW license.
California is attempting to counteract the new ruling by beefing up and adding to existing requirements, while keeping the language the Supreme Court has ruled on. This includes requiring applicants to submit 3 "character witnesses" along with their applications, as well as taking additional firearm storage and safety classes. San Francisco county is also requiring psychological testing before being granted a CCW.
At the time of publishing this page (July 16, 2022) California has not yet passed this new law. This means now is the time to apply for your CCW!
The steps involved in getting a CCW vary slightly from county to county, but in general they are as follows:
1. Go to your county Sheriff Department website and fill out the CCW application.
For Alameda County the link to the application is here.
For Contra Costa County click here.
For San Francisco County click here.
For Marin County click here.
For Solano County click here. Please note, Solano County the sheriff requires an appointment to submit your CCW application.
For San Mateo County click here.
For Santa Clara County click here.
You get the idea.
2. Submit the application per your county's requirements.
4. Wait some more.
It can take 3-6 months for counties to process your application. Be patient.
5. When instructed to do so, submit a Live Scan to your Sheriffs Department.
You can get a Live Scan at most UPS stores. Call first to make sure they offer the service.
6. Wait again.
8. Once your Live Scan and application have been cleared, you will be instructed to take a CCW safety class. As of right now this is the only required class to get a CCW (except for San Francisco). But that will most likely change in the near future.
Some counties, like Alameda, let you take a CCW course from a private instructor certified for this type of class. Other counties, like Contra Costa, require you to take the safety class through the Sheriffs Dept. The Dept. will instruct you on how you can take this class.
After you've taken the CCW safety class you will submit proof of the class to the Sheriffs Dept. and you will be issued your CCW!
(Be sure you THOUROGHLY understand the laws around legal defensive gunfire. A surprising amount of people don't understand these laws, and may find themselves as a defendant even after receiving a CCW.)