SANTA MONICA—At the Santa Monica City Council meeting held on Tuesday, March 14, city staff decided in an unanimous 7 to 0 vote that the SMPD will charge residents up to $457 for a renewal fee for Concealed Carry Weapon Licenses. Those fees are subject to change should the state laws change. The Santa Monica Police Department will be issuing these licenses and this is the first time they’ve done this in several years.
Before, the SMPD would refer those who wanted to apply for a CCW to the Los Angeles County Sheriff. The department would approve or deny licenses based on the California penal code. In order for one to qualify the applicant had to prove that they had good cause to carry a weapon and some applicants would be disqualified if they applied for “personal convenience.”
According to the California supreme court, “Good cause shall only exist if there is convincing evidence of a clear present danger to life or great bodily harm to the applicant’s spouse or dependent child.”
In June of 2022, the case for New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. Bruen was heard by the Supreme Court and they determined in a 6 to 3 vote that New York’s law was unconstitutional and that the ability to carry a pistol in public was a constitutional right under the Second Amendment which is the right to bear arms. The California Attorney General determined shortly thereafter that the California penal code is likely unconstitutional as well since both states had similar language for their gun laws.
According to the California Penal code, if one decides to apply for a CCW license they must undergo psychological evaluation. The renewal process occurs every two years and according to the police force they must have a just cause to have the applicant undergo psychological evaluation again.
To qualify one must be a resident of Santa Monica, at least 21 years of age, is of good moral character and has no prior criminal convictions.
In Santa Monica there are currently 46 residents who have a CCW. There are restrictions on where one can carry a weapon which include but are not limited to places of worship, schools, and certain government buildings. There is also pending legislation to expand that list.