Long Beach residents could begin applying for concealed carry permits as soon as next month after the City Council approved a fee schedule that would charge hundreds of dollars for the ability to carry a weapon in the city.
To be eligible, a person would have to be a resident of the city, be at least 21 years old, pass a background check and a psychological evaluation, and complete a gun training course.
The city’s fees would cost about $495, with applicants having to pay for additional steps like the background check ($93), a psychological evaluation ($150) and firearms training, which can cost several hundred dollars depending on the vendor. Applicants will also have to “be of good moral character.”
Under state law, people who have been convicted of a felony, have lost their gun rights due to domestic violence or have been diagnosed with a mental illness are barred from owning guns and would be barred from obtaining a permit.
In total, the city estimated that a permit could cost just over $1,000 for applicants who successfully complete all steps. Renewing a license would cost about $227, according to a presentation given to the City Council on Tuesday night.
The Long Beach Police Department and other agencies were given the task of processing concealed carry permits after the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department told the city and 43 other agencies last August that they would have to start issuing the permits through their own departments instead of relying on the sheriff to do so.
The move by the LASD came after the June 2022 Supreme Court decision that struck down a requirement for people seeking concealed weapons permit to demonstrate a “proper cause” before being issued a license. Six justices joined in a majority decision to strike down that clause, which opened up permitting in states like California, which had a similar rule.
LBPD Chief Wally Hebeish said that his department has not issued a permit since the decision, but it could open the application process as soon as mid-April.
Councilmembers deliberated on whether they should raise the fees from what was proposed by the department Tuesday night. Some were in favor of raising the city’s portion of the fees to over $600, similar to what Santa Monica established earlier this month. A gun rights group has already threatened to sue Santa Monica over its fees.
“I applaud Santa Monica for toeing a hard line and I think we should do the same, actually, for the privilege to carry a weapon,” said Councilmember Megan Kerr.
City officials advised the council that the maximum fees they could charge for cost recovery was $495, which is about $140 more than the city fees that were proposed by the Police Department.
The renewal fee of $25, which is set by California law, is something that the city could advocate to change in the future. The council’s vote Tuesday added the issue to the city’s legislative lobbying agenda for this year, meaning it will support proposed state bills that could increase those fees in the future.
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