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Calguns Concealed Carry County Information Forum Information on how to get a LTC in yourCounty

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Old 08-08-2018, 3:31 PM
BML BML is offline
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Exclamation CCW Apprv'd After Psych Eval in Orange County

Hello All,

I want to share with you the process I went through to receive my CCW permit in Orange County and my thoughts about it in light of having to undergo a psychological evaluation. I suspect that this information may be helpful to some in this forum.

On April 2, 2018, I submitted my OCSD CCW application online (along with all the other required documentation). On page nine of the application, question #2 asks, "Have you ever been in a mental institution, treated for mental illness, or been found not-guilty by reason of insanity? If yes, please explain." I supplied this honest answer (there was a steep word limit to the answer!): "15 yrs ago I was prescribed anti-depressant medication. I haven't needed nor taken any such medications for the last 10 years. I've never been suicidal nor violent. I've never been in a mental institution. I've never been found not-guilty due to insanity."

April 6, 2018 - I took and passed the required CCW safety/qualification course. I also submitted my Live Scan to the CA DOJ the same day.

April 16, 2018 - I had my in-person interview with one of the Sergeants at the OCSD office in Santa Ana. She asked me about my depression disclosure. I answered that it had to do with my divorce at the time and that for the last 10 years I have been fine. She simply went over my entire application and took my picture. She was very professional and down to earth.

May 31, 2018 - I received the following letter in the mail from the OCSD Professional Standards Division: "...In order for the department to proceed, you are being referred to the psychological examination portion of the CCW process in accordance with California Penal Code Section 26190(f)(1). There will be a non-refundable fee of $150.00 paid by you the applicant for this service... If you wish to proceed in the CCW process, you will be required to contact Dr. Susan Saxe-Clifford's office..."

June 26, 2018 - I finally decided that I was willing to undergo the psychological evaluation and made an appointment with the above-mentioned psychologist's office in Encino, CA. I took so long to make this decision because I was convinced that there was no way this process would play out in my favor due to what I thought would be bias against the 2nd Amendment by the psychologist and anyone else involved. I concluded that I'd end up getting denied at the end of the day for even the slightest issue that might come up during the evaluation. But I decided to go for it anyway and reasoned that if I wanted to protect my family and myself to the best of my ability and take my 2nd Amendment right seriously, I needed to at least try and finish the process. The earliest appointment I could get was on August 1, 2018.

I researched this exam and the psychologist online as best I could ahead of time. I read of several horror stories about this exam and about the OCSD denial letters that followed them. Everything I read (including from some old threads in calguns.net from 2014) seemed initially to confirm my suspicions of a biased system. I found and read almost nothing positive about the exam and the end result.

August 1, 2018 - I went to take the evaluation. I walked in hoping for the best and expecting the worst. I went in expecting to undergo all manner of Jedi mind tricks and to be exposed to some serious mental gymnastics. Here's how it played out:

1.) The first written portion of the evaluation consisted of a two page (double-sided) "yes" or "no" questionnaire. Questions about your personal history and any criminal activity, drug/alcohol usage, child protective services issues, pornography viewing, marriage or individual counseling attendance... and too many other related questions to remember. Bottom line, it asked a lot of direct personal questions on a wide range of behaviors that could possibly be construed as dangerous, reckless, and/or that show a poor lack of judgment on the part of the applicant (that's my personal assessment). I felt that these questions were legitimate.

2.) The second portion of the evaluation consisted of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). This was a series of almost 600 true-false questions answered on a scantron sheet. I don't really remember many of the questions but I do remember thinking this is not difficult. It did not bother or phase me and seemed fair.

3.) The third portion of the evaluation was the Psychological History Questionnaire (PsyQ). This was a series of 340 yes/no questions answered on a scantron. I wish I could describe the questions but I just can't remember any of them specifically. But I do remember thinking that some of the questions seemed odd.

4.) The fourth portion of the evaluation was the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF). This had close to 200 multiple choice questions, answered on a scantron. I remember next to nothing about those questions but do remember thinking they were reasonable.

5.) The fifth portion of the evaluation consisted of the Law Enforcement Sentence Completion Form. It had 50 incomplete sentences that I had to complete. Some sentences only had one word and I had to supply a sentence from it. "Hispanics are usually..."; "Black people..." "Asians usually..." "White people..." "Homosexuals..."; "My mother..."; "My father..."; "I hate..."; "I regret..."; "I think my boss..."; "Supervisors are..."; "Jails..." and dozens more like them.

6.) The sixth portion of the evaluation was a two-page Autobiography Form. It asks the applicant to simply sketch a brief autobiography and indicate the things that are most important to you. It specifically said you need to fill the form up. There was no more guidance given for this. I was only able to fill 1.5 of the 2 pages up.

7.) The next portion of the evaluation was an in-person, oral interview with the psychologist, Dr. Cathy Goodman. She was very nice and friendly. She came across very fair-minded, relatable, and reasonable. She asked me questions about my relationships with various family members. She asked a lot of the same questions that I answered in the first written section of the evaluation and she compared my oral answers with my written answers on that form. She asked how many firearms I possessed. She asked why I wanted a CCW. I summarized my good cause statement from my CCW app to her. She asked about my season of depression 15 years ago. FYI... SHE HAD MY OCSD CCW APPLICATION IN HAND AS SHE ASKED ME ABOUT THAT! I suppose she wanted to verify a consistent story from me. She commented in passing that my answer on the original CCW application showed that I was honest and that that was probably the reason why I landed in her office. I explained to her that my season of depression was the result of having gone through a tough divorce and she asked a few more clarifying questions about that, all of which were reasonable and fair. She audibly concluded that it seems like my symptoms were only experienced during that time after my divorce and they all now seemed resolved. I eagerly concurred! She asked me if I had any "ego issues" regarding carrying a firearm. She seemed to want to make sure that I wouldn't turn into some kind of cocky cowboy with a savior complex while carrying a gun. She asked how I handle interacting with people who are angry with me. I don't remember her other questions but I never felt that any of them were outrageous. She was professional and never came across as biased against the 2nd Amendment at all. The interview lasted about an hour. I don't think I can say enough kind things about her at the end of the day.

The entire process took five hours and I walked away cautiously optimistic. Granted, I do believe that most of this process was unnecessary but it's the reality on the ground, especially if you disclose any mental illness diagnoses on your application.

August 8, 2018 - I received a voicemail, text, and an email indication that my application had been approved! I picked up my CCW permit from the Sheriff's office. I asked if I would have to undergo the same psychological evaluation every time my renewal came up. I was told no as long as no issues come up regarding me. I also asked if I had to continue to disclose that season of depression from 15 years ago. I was told yes. Oh well. That's the price for honesty! At least I have a clear conscience! I walked out smiling and grateful.

I am glad that I didn't give up. It was worth the hassle. I now have my CCW permit!

I hope this summary helps someone with knowing what to expect if you have to undergo a psych eval.
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Old 08-08-2018, 3:56 PM
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Great first post. Welcome and thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-08-2018, 4:50 PM
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You did all that just to get a CCW? Amazing!

Didn't know they did psych evals for CCW applicants. Is that something only Orange County does or do other counties do it likewise?

FWIW, the psych eval sounds pretty similar to what I had to do to get hired as a deputy sheriff, which was a crueling 2 year process but there was a lot more in it for me to become an LEO than just getting a CCW.

Kudos for successfully completing the process.
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Old 08-08-2018, 5:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgt1372 View Post
You did all that just to get a CCW? Amazing!

Didn't know they did psych evals for CCW applicants. Is that something only Orange County does or do other counties do it likewise?

FWIW, the psych eval sounds pretty similar to what I had to do to get hired as a deputy sheriff, which was a crueling 2 year process but there was a lot more in it for me to become an LEO than just getting a CCW.

Kudos for successfully completing the process.
Thanks!

And yes, I did it all just to get my CCW. I feel that it's priceless and worth it.

I've heard of other counties requiring certain applicants to get psych evals. Orange County can flag anyone they want, apparently. However, I suspect I was flagged because of my depression disclosure as I mentioned in my post.

I asked if the process of the psych eval was the same for law enforcement applicants and was told that it was definitely similar.
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Old 08-08-2018, 5:20 PM
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Appreciate your sharing the experience and also your willingness to go through it for the sake of a CCW
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Old 08-08-2018, 8:45 PM
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Default CCW Apprv'd After Psych Eval in Orange County

For your first post.....well written.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 08-09-2018, 2:15 AM
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Thank you BML,good showing and godspeed. Retired psychRN Mark Cleary
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Old 08-09-2018, 6:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgt1372 View Post
You did all that just to get a CCW? Amazing!

Didn't know they did psych evals for CCW applicants. Is that something only Orange County does or do other counties do it likewise?

FWIW, the psych eval sounds pretty similar to what I had to do to get hired as a deputy sheriff, which was a crueling 2 year process but there was a lot more in it for me to become an LEO than just getting a CCW.

Kudos for successfully completing the process.
The penal code allows the issuing agency to require psychiatric evals at their discretion. PC 26190(f)(1) is applicable. Most don't or only require in certain cases like the OPs.
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Old 08-09-2018, 6:15 AM
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Thank you for the effort in producing your excellent write up, BML. I hope your story will encourage those who are on the fence, for various reasons, about applying for a CCW. Congratulations!
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Old 08-09-2018, 6:25 AM
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Congrats on the permit and getting through your life issues, carry on.
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Old 08-09-2018, 9:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psssniper View Post
Appreciate your sharing the experience and also your willingness to go through it for the sake of a CCW
Thanks, psssniper!
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Old 08-09-2018, 9:57 AM
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Originally Posted by marcusrn View Post
Thank you BML,good showing and godspeed. Retired psychRN Mark Cleary
Godspeed to you too, Mark.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
For your first post.....well written.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I appreciate that, yodaman.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puropuro View Post
Great first post. Welcome and thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the welcome, puropuro. This is a great forum!
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Old 09-13-2018, 7:34 PM
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Congrats on your success.

I went through my 16 hour training course and received a letter about a psych eval. I called the person who signed the letter, he was super friendly, and after looking my name up said it was assigned randomly. He also encouraged me to play the lottery because my chances are, for some reason, better than others. There was nothing on my application or anything that would have triggered this, which is why I called to inquire.

Problem is finding time to go from north oc to encino. I've never been to encino, had to look it up on the map.
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