Credit: Courtesy

Since the Supreme Court opened up the rights of U.S. citizens to obtain concealed weapons permits on June 22, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has received 125 new applications. Of those, three have been denied and the rest are still awaiting final determination. 

In June, the Supreme Court voted to abolish the “good cause” clause, used by local governments to limit concealed weapons permits only to those who show a good cause for such protection. Judges and jewelry store salespeople fit the profile. 

In Santa Barbara, Sheriff Bill Brown was notably stingy in issuing such permits; in other jurisdictions, they are more freely disseminated. To apply for a license in Santa Barbara, applicants must submit a Department of Justice background check, a three-page autobiography, and three personal references attesting to one’s good moral character, as well as undergo 16 hours of training and four hours of testing by a psychologist located in Ventura County. 

Under the Supreme Court ruling, Sheriff Brown has 90 days to process application. Given the high volume of applications and staffing shortages, Brown’s department may struggle to meet the court-imposed deadlines. Applicants can also submit applications to the Lompoc and Santa Maria Police chiefs. 

Prior to June 22, the Sheriff’s Office had issued 93 concealed weapons permits.

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