Concealed Carry Guide

california state seal


Carry In Vehicle SEE DETAILS
Must Notify Officer SEE DETAILS
Carry In State Parks Allowed SEE DETAILS
No Weapons Signs Enforced NO
Open Carry Permitted NO
Carry In Liquor Establishments YES
Constitutional Carry NO

Permit Information

California gun laws that have been enacted are very restrictive. As a “May Issue” state the issuance of a permit is left entirely up to the discretion of the local sheriff. This can range from no issue in mostly urban counties to “shall Issue” in rural counties. Restrictions can be placed on a permit and non-residents of California are not eligible for a permit. Enforcement of these laws varies with rural counties being more lenient and urban counties strictly enforcing all firearms laws.

states that
honor a california permit
state permits
california honors

CCW Reciprocity Map


CCW license recognition
  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Issuing state

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin
California does not honor any other states permits.


California is a “may issue” state for concealed carry.
Residents only.
The permit is valid for 2 years.

  • Minimum age of 18
  • You are of good moral character
  • You have good cause to justify the permit
  • You are a resident of the county or your place of work is in the county
  • You have completed an approved firearms training class
  • You have not been convicted of a felony or certain types of misdemeanors
  • You are not addicted to drugs
  • You have not been diagnosed as mentally ill
  • Federal Law – Prohibits the following persons
Follow these steps

  1. Contact the country Sheriffs Office to obtain information about training courses.
  2. Complete the training course. The length of course and fees will vary for each county. Most courses will be under 16 hours.
  3. Present your certificate of completion to the Sheriffs Office.
  4. You may be required by some counties to take a psychological test to assess your moral character and judgement.
  5. Obtain a CCW application form. Some parts of the form will need to be filled out in front of a witness at the Sheriffs office.
  6. You will be notified by mail within 90 days if your application has been approved or declined.
The cost varies between counties. The legal limit is $100.

New Permits: $70 – $100 state
Renewal: $44

There are also fees for fingerprint scans and firearm classes that can work out to $300 for a 2 year permit. The Licensing authority is allowed to charge an additional fee equal to the actual cost ($100) but it must not exceed $100.


Where You Can Carry

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Road side rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • All areas of the state – except those listed below

Where You Cannot Carry

  • Public schools, colleges and universities
  • Law enforcement agency facilities
  • Gun show or event if you have ammunition that fits firearm
  • State Capitol, any legislative office, any office of the Governor or other constitutional officer, or any hearing room in which any committee of the Senate or Assembly is conducting a hearing, or upon the grounds of the State Capitol, which is bounded by 10th, L, 15th, and N Streets in the City of Sacramento.
  • State wildlife management areas
  • Polling station – this includes any person, uniformed peace officer, private guard, or security personnel or any person who is wearing a uniform of a peace officer, guard, or security personnel, who is stationed in the immediate vicinity of, or posted at, a polling place without written authorization.
  • Demonstrations related to refusal to work
  • While masked to conceal your identity
  • Any place that sells alcohol for consumption
  • You may not carry a firearm if you are consuming alcohol
  • You may not display a concealed firearm
  • Carry a concealed weapon not listed on the permit
  • Carry a concealed weapon at times or circumstances other than those specified in the permit
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

Details on California Gun Laws

Concealed carry permits/licenses are issued by the county Sheriff or Chief of Police in your area of residence.
90 Days
The application for a concealed carry permit/license must be processed within 90 days of the application being received.
YES/NO – Must Inform Officer on Contact By Law
Residents Only
California gun laws do not say you must inform a law enforcement officer you are carrying a concealed firearm or that you need to carry your permit. However, some counties are putting restrictions on permits that state the holder of the permit must inform if stopped by law enforcement that they have a concealed firearm. If you have such a restriction then you must inform. It’s also best practice to carry your permit and photo ID whenever you have a firearm on your person.
“No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in California gun laws. There are no legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs. They have no force of law unless they are posted in areas that are mentioned by the law as being off limits.

GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons” sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.

YES – Without a Permit/License
You can carry a handgun in a vehicle provided you are 18 or older, you reside in California and the firearm is unloaded and stored in a locked container other than the utility or glove compartment. When the handgun is being carried to or from the vehicle it must be in a locked container.
If you have a concealed carry permit then you can carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

Open carry is not legal even with a permit.
YES/NO – In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol
“Yes” or “No” states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Some restaurants may be posted with “NO GUN” signs. Check with the staff if this means just the bar area. If we have indicated a “Yes” then it should be legal to have a meal without drinking alcohol.
The California issuing authority can put a restriction on your permit stating No Bars, if that is the case you cannot enter any place that servers alcohol.
YES with limits
Residents Only

You can carry in a state park but buildings are off limits. Any building in a state park is government property and it is illegal to take a weapon inside. Carrying a firearm in a WMA (wildlife management area) is illegal.

Get in Touch

California Bureau of Firearms


Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Address 4949 Broadway

CitySacramento, CA 95820

Phone (916) 227-7527

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