CCW Update: Good Cause Requirement Ruled Unconstitutional

By: Michael McGill, Esq.   

    As you may recall, the recent decision in Gore v. Yolo County District Attorney’s Office (2013) 213 Cal.App.4th 1487 has negatively impacted peace officers’ rights to protect themselves when they separate service in any way short of a retirement.  In that case, the court held that a peace officer who resigns and later collects a retirement pension is not an “honorably retired” under the penal code for purposes of obtaining a CCW endorsement.  This is so even if there are no other reasons for denying the endorsement, i.e., discipline.  The decision makes absolutely no sense because it means that an officer must go directly from actually working to a retirement status in order to qualify.  This means that theoretically an officer could work 29.5 years as a peace officer, have zero discipline with nothing but commendations in their file, and still be denied a CCW endorsement simply because they took an early retirement of 6 months.

     The situation makes even less sense in light of the 9th Circuit’s recent decision in Peruta v. County of San Diego (2014) 2014 WL 55586.  In Peruta, the 9th circuit ruled that the “good cause” requirement most counties have for granting a citizen’s CCW permit is an unconstitutional restraint on their Second Amendment right.  So, an officer who resigns in good standing to pursue another profession or take an early retirement is not considered “honorably retired” and therefore denied a CCW but a citizen can obtain a CCW regardless of their employment status and without even demonstrating good cause.  I believe it is safe to say that under the current status of the law, it is easier for a citizen to get a CCW than it is for a peace officer.  Clearly this makes no sense and there are likely to be challenges to both of these decisions.  Should you have any questions about your rights, please contact AFF.

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