Concealed-weapon permit applications flood O.C. Sheriff’s Department

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OCRegister: People are applying for concealed-weapon permits in droves in Orange County, after a federal court ruled Californians don’t have to justify their need for the permit.

In less than two weeks, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has received more than 500 applications for concealed-weapon permits – about the same number of applications received in all of 2013.

“They’ve been absolutely inundated,” said Lt. Jeff Hallock about the personnel assigned to process the applications.

The deluge of applications came after a Feb. 13 federal appeals court ruling that said applicants wanting a concealed-weapon permit in California no longer have to justify their need for one.

The decision was praised by gun-rights groups as a landmark decision, and sheriff’s officials said the applications quickly came in.

However, the large number of applications has not meant an immediate increase in approvals, officials said. Because of the surge of applications, known as CCWs, for Carry Concealed Weapon, the process for approval has been significantly slowed down.

Before the court decision, applications were typically approved in less than a month, Hallock said. Those applying for a CCW today can expect to wait until August or September until the application is processed, he said.

That’s because the number of applications submitted immediately after the ruling has created a backlog for required interviews, Hallock said.

Last year, the Sheriff’s Department approved a total of 438 concealed-weapon permits and denied 101. In comparison, more than 500 applications were received since Feb. 13, Hallock said.

Because of the backlog, the county’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday discussed the possibility of increasing funding for the Sheriff’s Department to provide the staffing that would review the applications.

Supervisor Todd Spitzer suggested adding temporary staff to hurry the process along. “That suggestion is great,” Supervisor John Moorlach said.

Concealed-weapon permits are typically attained through sheriff’s departments in California. Until now, applicants were required to show “good cause” to be approved.

Critics claimed the requirement was applied unequally throughout the state. The federal court ruling stated applicants did not have to explain why they needed a permit.

Sheriff’s officials are keeping a close eye on the decision, in case it is overturned or challenged in the Supreme Court, Hallock said.

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said in the board meeting applicants are still being asked for a “good cause statement” in case the court ruling is overturned, but officials are reviewing applications according to the new ruling.

“She’s committed to following the law,” Hallock said.

As of Tuesday, all of the applications filed after the court ruling are still under review, Hallock said.

There were a total of 906 active concealed-weapon permits issued in Orange County as of last week.


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6 years ago

Only negative so far is that it is taking so long to get your permit. Hope the ruling stands because it should, period.

6 years ago

Thank you DCG for this interesting post. Clearly, we have a judge who is using common sense and logic.

6 years ago

Wow, something GOOD actually came out of California? & Orange County at that! (Wonders never cease! Congrats OC! 😉 )

6 years ago

Orange County is one of the few largely conservative counties in the state, but even then I’m kinda surprised the judge ruled according to the constitution and not the demands of the Democrats who are ruining this state. Perhaps now my friend who runs a local pistol range can obtain a CCW so he has protection while opening and closing up shop. Currently, when he arrives at the range in the morning, he has to open the place up, then open the gun room/vault… THEN arm himself. How insane is that? Luckily there are still some good cops out there… Read more »

6 years ago

I am so supprised, did they not learn anything that the Government put out last year on hiding under your desk or using scissors or peeing your pants to scare off a attacker. You cant just protect yourself and get a CCW. Call the darn cops they are there to help by finding the person who killed you and call the mortician to pick you your body. Your taking away their job, and we know there are not enough jobs any more.