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View Full Version : The process for re-qualifing for a CCW as issued by Santa Clara Sheriff's.


QuarterBoreGunner
01-03-2008, 10:29 AM
I thought it might be interesting for people to know what the exact procedure for re-applying and re-qualifying for a CCW via the Santa Clara Sheriff's Office is.

This will be a two part post to comply with the 10k character limit.

NOTE: My intention is for this to just be a little insight into what is otherwise a mysterious and unknown process. I don't want to get into *how exactly* I qualified for a CCW, nor do I want to go into my justification statement. Suffice to say that my process for the original issuance was NOT the approved process and let's just let it go at that.

This is my fifth time through the system; the standard license being good for two years.

Expiration date on my past license was 12-08-07, so right around early October I phoned up the Sheriff Administration office and talked to Pat in admin, she confirmed my mailing address hadn't changed and said she'd mail me off the form that day. She also informed me that the next range qualification day was Friday, November 9th; I said that was fine and she put me on the qualification list for that day.

Two days later a very official looking envelope from the Sheriff's Office arrived with my re-application form inside. Now the initial application process is pretty hairy and they ask a lot of questions, some of which require extensive written answers, but the subsequent application form is a single double sided page. The front is nine questions, yes or no, with room for elaboration, regarding basically your current legal status: Nope, I haven't become a criminal. Nope, still no restraining orders, etc.

The back of the form is where you write out your justification statement. My justification wording hasn't changed in eight years and so I simply copied, word for word, from my very first application back in 1999. Made copies of everything and mailed it off to the Sheriff's Administration.

Thursday, November 9th rolls around. Check in at the Sheriff's range is 0900 sharp. They do not admit you late; you must arrange to make the next available range day if you're late for the class. (I always figured that qualifying for your CCW was pretty important and endeavored to arrive early. The SO's rangemaster is serious about this. If you're late, he will not let you qual that day.)

The Sheriff's range is located in South San Jose, just north of the Santa Clara Shooting Field Sports (http://www.sccgov.org/portal/site/parks/agencychp/?path=%252Fv7%252FParks%2520and%2520Recreation%252 C%2520Department%2520of%2520%2528DEP%2529%252FPark %2520Activities%252FSports%2520Facilities%252FShoo ting%2520Range) facility and it is an outstanding training site. They have three outdoor ranges raging in length from 30 yards out to 75 yards, suitable for handgun, rifle, shotgun and sub-machinegun. There is also an onsite 'shoot house' and a 300 yard precision rifle range. In fact the Santa Clara SO's host the 'Best in the West' SWAT/SERT competition (http://www.sccgov.org/portal/site/sheriff/agencyarticle?path=%2Fv7%2FSheriff%2C%20Office%20o f%20the%20(ELO)%2FPress%20Releases&contentId=8929aa43503cd010VgnVCM10000048dc4a92____ ) every September and I've had the privilege to attend as a vendor representative several times. The best description of the 2 day event is a BBQ and gun show in a combat zone. The SO's has a couple of big grills going with all sorts of tasty animals being cooked. There's a vendor tent for all types of LEO hardware, guns and gear. And there's the periodic burst of machine gun fire from the ranges. Good times.

The class this time around numbered about a dozen (the largest class I've been in so far) and consisted of a retired deputy (they have to range qualify too), a superior court judge and his wife, a lawyer or two, a rancher from the south valley, a retired Army Colonel,
a jeweler, a few I couldn't identify and yours truly. The retired Army Colonel is an old customer of mine when I was still in the business, so I was able to catch up with him which was nice. He's a Vietnam Vet and always has some good stories.

The Sheriff's RO/FTO that handles the re-qualification is a great guy that's been with the SO's for a very long time and is truly 'one of us', a 'firearms enthusiast' *cough*gun nut*cough*. The classroom work is pretty much exactly what you'd expect; a Power Point slide show reviewing when you can and cannot use lethal force, all boiling down to: to defend your self or others around you from the threat of immediate physical violence, yes. To protect property or to prevent the theft of property, no. Also stressed where the factors of imminent danger, ability to commit violence and proximity to the threat (the guy with the baseball bat on the other side of the 20' tall chain link fence that's verbalizing threats, has the ability and the intention, but is not in immediate proximity, therefore, no, you can't use lethal force.) After about 3 hours of classroom review we get to the fun stuff. Let's go shoot!

The Sheriff's department requires you to qualify using a holster (preferably the one you're going to be actually carrying in), no exceptions. This bit me in the *** once when I was trying to get a North American Arms .32 Guardian (http://www.naaminis.com/guard.html) on my license; now the NAA .32 is about the same size as a Seecamp. It's a lil' tiny thing and I hadn't planned on carrying it in a holster, just tossing it in a pocket. When I showed up on the range day, I found out about the holster requirement. So no holster, no qualify. Double rats.

Each firearm is inspected by the RO to make sure all it's safety devices function and that the weapon is in good working condition. The guns ranged the complete spectrum, from my Glock 30 and S&W 637, to an old school single action revolver of indeterminate make in .45 LC (the rancher's I believe). There were a fair number of Sigs and Glocks, a couple of wheel guns and one old and busted pre-war Walther that was disqualified from the shoot because of a safety issue. Not sure what it was but he had a back up so it worked out. And oddly not a single 1911 or H&K in sight.

Currently the license as printed by the DOJ has space for four handguns. I've heard of some counties and cities that allow more. When I first qualified back in 1999, the limit was four. Then about four years ago, the Sheriff decided that now, only two would be allowed on each license she signed off on. The reasoning behind that decision (as explained to me by the Range Officer was that you wanted to carry and practice with the same guns all the time, and not have to worry about a different manual of arms for four different guns sort of the "beware of the man that carries one gun he probably knows how to use it well" school of thought. They also instituted a caliber floor then also; no handguns below .380 ACP. Whatever. I have to play by their rules. Strangely enough out of the dozen people in the class only myself and four others had two guns to qualify with (except for the guy who's Walther DQ'd).

After the safety inspection and serial number verification, we were all issued soft body armor to wear while on range. That's new, so I asked what gives? Turns out they had an incident where a shooter was hit in the chest by a ricochet. No serious injury and they're not really sure how the heck it even happened, but new range rule is all shooters get a vest. *sigh* ok, I can do that even though it interferes with my draw from IWB carry.

I said we were going to shoot right? And so we did. The RO gave it to us straight; he's not there to teach any of us how to shoot. If we're responsible enough to be approved for the CCW, we should be responsible enough to maintain proper gun handling skills. That means range time and appropriate training by qualified instructors.
Now the course of fire for the SO's CCW class is pretty darn basic and seriously if you can't pass then you really shouldn't be carrying a gun.
Course of fire as follows:

Five shots at 15 yards in 30 seconds. Reload, re-holster, repeat.
Five shots at 10 yards in 20 seconds. Reload, re-holster, repeat.
Five shots at 7 yards in 10 seconds. Reload, re-holster, repeat.
(Seeing a pattern here yet?)
Five shots at 3 yards in 5 seconds. Reload, re-holster, repeat.

All on a standard full size B-27 silhouette target (http://alcotarget.com/osb/itemdetails.cfm?ID=142), to pass qualification, 80% of your shots have to fall within the 8-ring. Pretty simple, though at 15 yards, I had to slow down appreciably when shooting the S&W 637 (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=14761&langId=-1&isFirearm=Y); you need a steady hand for that little 2" barrel to get your rounds where you want them.

The shoot was straight forward and we didn't even have to pick up our own brass (they have a crew of inmates and weekenders from the county jail do that!). I wore my old set of Pro Ear (http://www.pro-ears.com/) Linear Elite electronic ear muffs which are a great thing to have when you're going to be listening to range commands.

QuarterBoreGunner
01-03-2008, 10:29 AM
Part 2.

No major malfunctions on the range and no safety violations (ok the guy with the single action was a little clumsy and the RO stood right behind him the entire time), but no one went home with more holes than they started with and all the rounds went that way, which is what you want on a hot range.

After the last of us were done, all firearms were secured and I packed up and left the range (interesting note: since this is (usually) a LEO only range, there's a sign just past the front gate that you can only read as you're leaving. It says:
"Did you remember to reload?")

Approximately one month later in the second week of December, the nice lady in Sheriff's Administration called to say that my license was ready to be picked up. They cannot mail it to you as you need to supply a right thumb print... and cut them two checks. One check to the California DOJ for the sum of $52.00. And then a second check made out to the SO's for... $380.00. Can you believe it? It went up a $100 since the last time. At this rate I may not be able to afford this much longer.

Signed off on the license, applied my right thumb print (in triplicate) and I was done for another two years.

So there it is. The re-qualification and reapplication process for a CCW as issued by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

Desert Rat
01-03-2008, 12:29 PM
................................ I sure am glad I live in San Bernardino County. Two year renewal consists of furnishing three money orders, (1) for $52 to DOJ,
(1) for $24 to SBSD for administrative fees and (1) for $25 to SBSD for four hour CCW renewal class. There is no live fire requirement for renewal.

Gawd I love living in a Cowboy County!

QuarterBoreGunner
01-03-2008, 12:34 PM
There is no live fire requirement for renewal. Yeah but the live fire is the only fun part of it!
Wow your fees nothing compared to Santa Clara County's.

Desert Rat
01-03-2008, 2:33 PM
........................... Consider tap dancing to someone else's music fun. Fun is a day plinking at my gun club range. With respect to California, SBC CCW renewal fees are fairly reasonable.


Yeah but the live fire is the only fun part of it!
Wow your fees nothing compared to Santa Clara County's.

Wulf
01-03-2008, 2:38 PM
No live fire in Placer either.

QuarterBoreGunner
01-03-2008, 2:38 PM
I Never........................
........................... Consider tap dancing to someone else's music fun. Fun is a day plinking at my gun club range. With respect to California, SBC CCW renewal fees are fairly reasonable.

Well good for you then.

510dat
01-03-2008, 2:55 PM
Is a 9mm luger equivalent to a .380 ACP, or smaller?

PonchoTA
01-03-2008, 3:01 PM
Ok, this just KILLS me!!

When you can and can't use lethal force (i.e., the purpose for getting a CCW in the first place)
to defend your self or others around you from the threat of immediate physical violence, yes. To protect property or to prevent the theft of property, no.

According to EVERYBODY I've discussed this with, to clarify my "justification statement" (which is horse**** in the first place), including a CCW instructor, "Self Defense" is NOT a good reason or justification for the Sheriff's Office to grant a CCW. If you carry lots of jewelry, money, cash, items of high value, etc.: THOSE are good reasons. To protect yourself and/or others from harm, NOT good reasons.

So, why don't the reasons you can or can't use deadly/lethal force coincide with their own training curriculum??????
:mad: :mad: :mad:

NONE of it makes any sense. WA was so easy being a "shall issue" state, it was up to the state to justify NOT giving you a permit.

Can anybody please explain this reasoning???

QuarterBoreGunner
01-03-2008, 3:03 PM
Is a 9mm luger equivalent to a .380 ACP, or smaller?
Reply With Quote

No; their the SO's caliber floor is the actual .380 cartridge, so if you have a Walther or a Bersa in that caliber it would be ok. But nothing in .32 or .22 would qualify. So they're referring to caliber designation, not actual bore size. Anyway 9mm is something like .356' I think.

QuarterBoreGunner
01-03-2008, 3:07 PM
Can anybody please explain this reasoning???
Nope. Carrying large amounts of cash, having had documented death threats, those are all supposed to be good reasons, but don't those just come down to 'self-defense'? I guess the thinking is, that there is a 'clear and present' danger in those situations, but for Joe Blow, who might get mugged or possibly need to defend themselves are SOL.

CSDGuy
01-03-2008, 3:25 PM
Out of curiosity, what is the breakdown of the fees you paid to the Santa Clara SO? The DOJ fee is obvious... but what's the breakdown of the $380 fee?

QuarterBoreGunner
01-03-2008, 3:30 PM
but what's the breakdown of the $380 fee?
No clue; they do not provide an itemized receipt. But I'd love to know what cause a $100.00 increase in two years.

rkt88edmo
01-03-2008, 3:33 PM
Thanks for the informative post.

maxicon
01-03-2008, 3:34 PM
Excellent post, even for those of us in SCL who will likely never make the cut. Thanks for taking the time to write it up!

510dat
01-03-2008, 3:39 PM
No; their the SO's caliber floor is the actual .380 cartridge, so if you have a Walther or a Bersa in that caliber it would be ok. But nothing in .32 or .22 would qualify. So they're referring to caliber designation, not actual bore size. Anyway 9mm is something like .356' I think.

Thanks for the reply.

I picked up a 9mm because it's my most accurate caliber and because of the lower cost of ammunition. It would be unfortunate to find out that it's disqualified for CCW here.

trashman
01-03-2008, 4:29 PM
Thanks, Chris -- great writeup, and I know Bay Area folks like myself appreciate the insight.

cheers,
Neill

GuyW
01-03-2008, 4:54 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I picked up a 9mm because it's my most accurate caliber and because of the lower cost of ammunition. It would be unfortunate to find out that it's disqualified for CCW here.

510: 9 mm is the same bore size as the .380 which is also known as the 9 mm short (kurtz). Called .380 ACP to (hopefully) minimize 9 mm confusion.

So your 9 mm Luger (or Parabellum) has a longer case, higher bullet velocity, greater energy, than a .380.

You're good to go...

socalguns
01-04-2008, 12:31 AM
IIRC, the backstop at the sheriffs range is just a pile of dirt,
so eventually ricochets will happen

metalhead357
01-04-2008, 1:18 AM
This all makes for a good argument for a statewide issue CCW> this is nuts.... between no live fire requal to what the Op has had to go through....

Butte is a 4 hr renewal including re-qual with all fireams you want on the permit + basic fees, which IIRC was $119