California Penal Code 12050 states: “The sheriff … upon proof that the person applying is of good moral character, that good cause exists for the issuance … may issue to that person a license to carry a pistol … capable of being concealed upon that person.”
Let us focus on the words “good cause” and “may issue.” Among the 50 states and commonwealths, California is one of only a handful issuing concealed weapons permits under a “may issue” law. More than 40 states have “shall issue” laws.
The difference is that under “may issue,” the local sheriff or police chief determines what is or is not “good moral character” and “good cause” and may or may not issue a permit. The sheriff or police chief is the gatekeeper for permits. Read more
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