Huge increase in concealed weapons applications in San Diego County

SAN DIEGO - More people could soon be walking around San Diego County with concealed weapons after court ruling said gun permit guidelines were too restrictive.

"I think that is my right under the Second Amendment," said Michael, who didn't want to give his last name.

Team 10 was at the San Diego County Sheriff's Department as he dropped off an application for a concealed weapons permit for the reason of self-protection.

Until now, citizens had to have a "good cause" reason for a CCW in San Diego County. That means someone had to prove why they needed a gun, like a business owner carrying a large amount of cash.

"Which virtually makes it impossible for everyone else," said Michael.

A three-judge panel said those rules were too restrictive and other counties in California started granting permits for the purpose of self-protection.

The state's Attorney General asked a larger panel to weigh in on the decision. The county is taking applications but not granting them until that panel makes a ruling.

The manager at the American Shooting Center in San Diego said calls about CCWs have quadrupled since the court ruling and applications are up nearly 800% at the county since last year.

Officials said 120 CCW applications were turned in last year, compared to 966 applications handed in this year.

San Diego sheriff's spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said 1,800 people have called asking about the new rules.

"Before, we did an extensive background and we still will have to do that, but if the person does not have the justification that we once required and the law now says we can't require them, that is the path we are going to have to take," said sheriff's Cmdr. Michael Barletta.

Even if this ruling is upheld, anyone with a CCW must complete a number of requirements including a background check and take a safety class.

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