For ordinary citizens who live in the state of California, getting a CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) permit has traditionally been no small feat because the Golden State is a may-issue state. In California, the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) of a specific county or municipality has the final say and discretion to authorize such permits. Different counties have different decision making processes to screen applicants they deem worthy of having these licenses. For most citizens living in California, the reality is that often times California CCW permits are something that are only granted to the privileged few with connections and special relationships.
In light of the Bruen case heard before the United States Supreme Court last year, the San Francisco’s Sheriff’s Department has issued its first CCW permit (pending the final training class for this applicant). The City And County of San Francisco have always had a strict reputation when it came to approving license-to-carry permits. According to San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, prior to the Bruen ruling, only individuals considered to be in at-risk positions such as diamond jewelers or judges would have even been considered for a CCW permit in San Francisco. “The significant change from the Bruen decision was that they took out the ‘good cause’ requirement for someone who is applying for a CCW license,” Miyamoto added. “Which basically means as long as you clear our vetting process, our background procedures, and as long as you take a safety course and demonstrate you’re responsible, you’re given an opportunity to have a license.” Sheriff Miyamoto also elaborated on the fact that his office is currently processing 72 new CCW permit applications, and that they expect this number to more than double in the upcoming year. “This is very different from the four [applications] we processed in the past 10 or so years,” he said.
Another detail that Sheriff Miyamoto mentioned is the fact that the county of San Francisco will be the first of any Bay Area counties to require a psychological evaluation as part of their CCW permit screening process.
In spite of the Bruen ruling and the fact that the Sheriff’s Department is changing its protocols to reflect the law of the land, not everyone in San Francisco is happy with these new developments. There are several policy-makers in the Bay Area like Catherine Stefani and Hillary Rosen, both members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who are strongly opposed to the shift in CCW permit approval standards and pride themselves for the fact that the City of San Francisco is at the cutting-edge of gun-control. There are plans to draw up new city-specific ordinances concerning the carrying of handguns in certain areas and additional requirements in obtaining CCW permits in San Francisco. Besides last years’ Bruen case, these changes are coming at a time where many people in California are strongly concerned about the rising levels of crime and the ability of local law enforcement to police their communities.