How to Legally Carry in States Like California

Concealed carry permits have changed in recent years in the US.  Almost daily, we hear new stories about armed citizens protecting each other and saving lives. Unfortunately, there are some parts of the country where this wonderful trend is struggling. States like New York and California have instituted gun control to extents that the 2nd Amendment has been de facto abolished. Using California as an example, here are a few ways you can retain at least some measure of your rights.

Get a CCW License

This is the most direct method to legally carry in California, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. It’s no secret that California gun control is draconian. The major hurdle is the clause that requires CCW applicants to demonstrate “good cause” for obtaining the license. Ultimately, whether a cause is good enough or not is solely at the discretion of local law enforcement.

In the major metropolises, obtaining a CCW is next to impossible. But, in more than half of the counties in California, CCW permits are issued with regularity. While restrictions can apply to any given permit, they are typically valid across the state. In short, you need to be a resident of one of the conservative counties to get your license as you would in most states.

Use a Firearm Alternative

Gun laws don't apply if it's not a gun, right? While a firearm is ideal for self-defense, there are viable alternatives. Legal knives, pepper sprays, stunners, and other defensive items are permitted for carrying in California. The state largely permits concealed carry of non-lethal defensive tools. It also allows for the carry of knives that are either openly sheathed or stored in a closed position (think of a pocket knife which can be folded in your pocket).

Local laws do vary on specific restrictions, so it’s always best to have a list of things you’re allowed to carry. This one will get you started. If you want to learn more about carrying knives in California, there is a deeper discussion here.

Improve the Law

This probably isn’t what you were hoping to see. We all want to find ways to beat the system, but sometimes the system itself is the answer. It’s extremely unlikely that California, New York, and other hard-left states are going to change their stance on guns, but it is not impossible for Congress to act.

A national reciprocity law has been bouncing around federal legislation for the past two years. If this is an issue that is important to you, get in contact with your Senator. Currently, there is a national reciprocity bill that has passed the House. A single Senate vote could make the difference with this law before the new year.

Remember that gun control is still the law of the land in many areas. It may violate the Constitution and your inalienable rights, but violating the law comes with risk. These loopholes and tricks can help you overcome some hurdles, but we ultimately need national changes to guarantee everyone’s right to self-defense.

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