There were around 1,300 concealed weapons permits (CCW) issued in San Diego County in February of last year. Through this April that number has risen to more than 2,400 permits.
“To get a concealed carry permit you have to have good cause,” said San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. “We’re evaluating the good cause — we’ve expanded some of the categories and that’s why you see the increase.”
Gore said to get a concealed weapons permit people need to show they are in harms way. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department website stipulates, “Applicants for a CCW should be able to set forth a set of circumstances that distinguishes the applicant from other members of the general public and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way. Simply writing ‘self defense’ or ‘personal protection’ on an application does not provide the requisite proof of good cause.”
Gore said the sheriff’s department has been working to more broadly define what “good cause” means.
“What we have done is looked at what that good cause requirement is and try to broadly define it as we can — because I don’t want anyone to be a victim of a crime out there or be injured because they were unable to get a concealed weapon permit,” Gore said.
Gore has been working with the political action committee San Diego County Gun Owners on this issue. The group has a section on it’s website titled, “How to apply for a CCW.”
Gore said the county has always had a high standard for concealed weapons permits. He said self defense is not “good cause.”
“Be able to articulate your good cause — why you need it,” Gore said. “Obviously, you have to have good moral character — no criminal background — but the big change has been in getting people to apply and how we interpret that good cause.”
Gore said there was a myth in the past that San Diego county never gave out concealed weapons permits.
“‘Don’t even apply because the sheriff doesn’t give them out’ that’s never been — couldn’t be further from the truth,” Gore said.