In order to qualify for a license to carry a firearm, the applicant must meet certain
(a) Be a resident of unincorporated Sonoma County or the Cities of Windsor, Sonoma, Cloverdale, Cotati or Healdsburg.(Penal Code § 26150; Penal Code § 26155).
(b) Be at least 18 years of age (Penal Code § 29610).
(c) Fully complete a Department of Justice application form that will include substantial personal information. Much of the information in the application may be subject to public access under the Public Records Act.
You can download the CA Department of Justice Standard Application for License to Carry a Concealed Weapon here.
(d) Be free from criminal convictions that would disqualify the applicant from carrying a firearm. Fingerprints will be required and a complete criminal background check will be conducted.
(e) Be of good moral character (Penal Code § 26150; Penal Code § 26155). The
applicant shall provide at least three letters of character reference.
(f) Show good cause for the issuance of the license (Penal Code § 26150; Penal Code § 26155).
(g) Pay all associated application fees. These fees are set by statute and may not be refunded if the application is denied.
(h) Be free from any psychological conditions that might make the applicant unsuitable for carrying a firearm.
(i) Complete required training (Penal Code § 26165).
GOOD CAUSE FOR ISSUANCE:
The applicant must establish that there is good cause for the Sheriff to issue a California Concealed Weapons (CCW) license in the County of Sonoma. The defensive benefit of carrying a concealed firearm in public must be weighed against the risk of surprise to law enforcement, the risk of avoidable and dangerous conflict escalation in a public setting, and the risk to general public safety that discharging firearms poses to law enforcement and bystanders alike; therefore, the Sheriff has determined that good cause to issue a CCW license will generally only exist in conditions of necessity. Accordingly, applicants should be able to provide convincing evidence of the following:
(a) There is an existing and significant threat of death or grave bodily injury to the
applicant, or his/her immediate family, which cannot be reasonably avoided or
adequately dealt with by existing law enforcement resources, and which threat would be significantly mitigated by the carrying of a concealed weapon.
(b) The applicant establishes that circumstances exist requiring him or her to transport in public significant amounts of valuable, or inherently dangerous property, which would be impractical to entrust to the protection of an armored car or equivalent service for the safe transportation of valuables.
(c) The applicant is currently employed by a security firm having all requisite licenses, and provides satisfactory proof that his or her work is of a nature that requires the carrying of a concealed weapon in public.
(d) The applicant is a duly appointed Sonoma County Reserve Deputy as defined in Penal Code § 830.6.
(e) The applicant is a member of the magistrate either presiding and/or residing in the County of Sonoma.
MORAL CHARACTER / GOOD JUDGEMENT
Applicants must demonstrate that they have a history of using sound judgment, and that their everyday lives are unsullied by traits that may impair their ability to safely handle a firearm, under stress, in a public setting. A determination as to one's moral character and judgment is discretionary, and based on the totality of the applicants qualifications presented on a case by case basis. Factors or traits which will bear negatively on issuance are:
(a) A long-term history of mental or emotional instability, alcoholism, drug use or addiction to controlled substances.
(b) A history of fault in serious accidents with firearms, automobiles or other dangerous instruments / equipment.
(c) A history of citations, arrests, convictions, civil law suits, employment discharges, license denials, license revocations or other actions indicating a possible propensity for violence, moral turpitude, dishonesty, or carelessness with weapons.
APPLICATION PROCESS, FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETION:
Read the application in its entirety, including all sections and Attachments on pages 12 and 13: Firearms Prohibiting Categories. Complete sections 1 through 3 (pages 3 through 5) and section 7 (pages 9 and 10). Bring the completed application to the front desk, patrol lobby, of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A $20.00 non-refundable application fee will be collected when you submit your application. A Community Service Officer will witness your signature on page 3: Public Disclosure Admonition, page 8: Agreement to Restrictions and to Hold Harmless and page 11: Release of Information and Declaration. Please be sure to write your email address on the face page of the application.
After initial review of your application, you may be contacted to schedule an interview with an Investigator. (Please be sure to include your best phone contact information on your application.) You will be notified in writing of the approval or denial within 30 to 90 days of submitting your application to the Sheriff's Office. If your application receives initial preliminary approval and moves on to the next step in the application approval process, you will be notified in writing to provide the following:
Beginning with DOJ LiveScan (fingerprinting) conducted at the Sheriff's Office, you will also be required to provide proof of completion of an initial CCW course taught by one of the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chiefs' Association (SCLECA) approved CCW training providers, three original and individual letters of character reference and your physician's attestation (statement) of suitability. The Sheriff's Office will not ask you to provide any of the above documentation until we have received your DOJ and FBI fingerprint clearance. Once we receive these clearances, we will contact you in writing and provide additional information on what is required next.
Depending on DOJ and FBI clearance response times, the entire application/ approval process can take up to 90 days.
ISSUED FIREARMS PERMITS:
In the event a license to carry a firearm is issued by the Sheriff, the following shall apply:
(a) The license will not be valid outside the state of California.
(b) The license will be subject to any and all reasonable restrictions or conditions the Sheriff has deemed warranted, including restrictions as to the time, place, manner and circumstances under which the person may carry the firearm.
1. All such restrictions or conditions shall be conspicuously noted on any license
issued (Penal Code § 26200).
2. Each license shall be numbered and clearly identify the licensee.
3. All licenses shall be subjected to inspection by the Sheriff or any law
(c) The license will be valid for a period not to exceed two years from the date of issuance (Penal Code § 26220).
1. A CCW renewal course must be satisfactorily completed every two years incident to renewal of your CCW license. See below for our list of approved CCW training providers. Click here for the renewal application. Submit your renewal documentation approximately 30 days prior to your CCW expiration date.
2. A license issued to a state or federal magistrate, commissioner or judge will be
valid for a period not to exceed three years.
3. A license issued to any reserve peace officer as defined in Penal Code §830.6 (a) or (b), or a custodial officer employed by the Sheriff as provided in Penal Code § 831.5 will be valid for a period not to exceed four years, except that such license shall be invalid upon the individual's conclusion of service as
a reserve or custodial officer.
(d) If the licensee's place of residence was the basis for issuance of a license and the licensee moves out of the county of issuance, the license shall expire 90 days after the licensee has moved (Penal Code § 26210(d)).
(e) The licensee shall notify this department in writing within 10 days of any change of place of residency.
(f) Carrying a weapon is not authorized when the licensee is under psychiatric care.
(g) Carrying a weapon is not authorized when the licensee is under the influence of medication, illicit substances, or has consumed any alcoholic beverage.
(h) Carrying a weapon is not authorized when the licensee is present on the premises where the service of alcoholic beverages is the primary function.
(i) Absent an exemption noted on the license, the licensee is expressly prohibited from carrying firearms on the property of any school, court building, court room, jail or prison facility, or any other place where firearms are prohibited.
Call the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Bureau (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at (707) 565-2185.
SONOMA COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT CHIEFS' ASSOCIATION
APPROVED CCW TRAINING COURSE PROVIDERS
PETER KOCH ASSOCIATES
Napa County, CA
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute