Retired California Game Warden

Did you know you could loose your CCW Authorization?

Most of us retirees know that we have to qualify every 5 years to maintain our retired ID card with CCW authorization. We also know that we need to do it annually to be able to carry in states other than California. We also know that we need to keep our nose clean, as they say. Don’t break any laws that could lead to your authorization being revoked.

Did you know that if you are ever arrested, even falsely arrested for a crime, such as domestic violence, that would prohibit you from possessing a firearm, the Department can deny issuing you an ID card with CCW authorization. Additionally, if you already have your ID card, you could loose your CCW authorization, either temporiarily or permanently for violating the law.

Yes, I said violating the law, not being convicted.  Of course, if convicted of a crime that would prohibit you from possessing a firearm is a reasonable reason for the Department to immediately revoke your CCW authorization and to demand that you return your current ID card. Should you ever be in the unfortunate position where you are arrested, say for example, for domestic violence, your Department issued ID will be revoked. You will received a letter telling you that you have 15 days to ask for a hearing regarding the revocation.  And remember, the DOJ will notify the Department if you are arrested.  Additionally, if you happen to be applying for a renewal at that time, the renewal will be denied and you will receive a letter telling you that your application has been denied.

If you happen to find yourself in this situation, you may think that you need to wait for the trail date so that you can be exonerated or so that the DA can dismiss the charges or chose not to proceed to trial before you respond to the Department.

What do you do? Do you respond withing those 15 days, even though the case has not yet come to court and the charges have not been dismissed yet?  Well, you need to respond immediately!!! Don’t let the 15 days go by without responding to the Department to ask for a formal hearing.

Let me give you a quick background in how the Department has to manage your CCW authorization. The authority to deny or revoke comes from Penal Code Section 26305.

Penal Code 26305 states in part:  

(b) A retired peace officer may have the privilege to carry a concealed and loaded firearm revoked or denied by violating any departmental rule, or state or federal law that, if violated by an officer on active duty, would result in that officer’s arrest, suspension, or removal from the agency. (c) An identification certificate authorizing the officer to carry a concealed and loaded firearm or an endorsement on the certificate may be immediately and temporarily revoked by the issuing agency when the conduct of a retired peace officer compromises public safety.    (d) An identification certificate authorizing the officer to carry a concealed and loaded firearm or an endorsement may be permanently revoked or denied by the issuing agency only upon a showing of good cause. Good cause shall be determined at a hearing, as specified in Section 26320.

That means, that if you violate the law, or if you are arrested because you are suspected of violating the law, the Department may revoke or suspend your CCW authorization. They have to give you a hearing, but as I have hinted at, you really need to pay attention to the hearing process or your authorization can be revoked permanently.

Unfortunately, the letter you would receive from the Department does not give you all of the info you need to make an informed decision when you receive such a letter. It does not tell you that your failure to respond to the letter and ask for a hearing would result in a permanent revocation. (I have drafted a letter to the Department asking them to correct this situation.)

If it is a denial of your application, their letter quotes Penal Code Section 26310 which states that the Department can deny your application for an ID card with CCW authorization but must give you 15 days to respond to said denial of your CCW authorization.

Penal Code Section 26310.  (a) Issuance of an identification certificate authorizing
the officer to carry a concealed and loaded firearm or an endorsement may be denied prior to a hearing.    (b) If a hearing is not conducted prior to the denial of an endorsement, a retired peace officer, within 15 days of the denial, shall have the right to request a hearing. A retired peace officer who fails to request a hearing pursuant to this section shall forfeit the right to a hearing.

Unfortunately, they don’t provide you with the following section which is most important:  Penal Code Section 26312 (c) which states26312 (c) A retired peace officer who fails to respond to the notice of hearing within the 15-day period shall forfeit the right to a hearing and the authority of the officer to carry a firearm shall be permanently revoked. The retired officer shall immediately return the identification certificate to the issuing agency.“

If the letter is a revocation of your current ID card with CCW authorization, they would send a slightly different letter, quoting section 26315 of the Penal Code.

26315.  (a) An identification certificate authorizing the officer to carry a concealed and loaded firearm or an endorsement may be permanently revoked only after a hearing, as specified in Section 26320. (b) Any retired peace officer whose identification certificate authorizing the officer to carry a concealed and loaded firearm or an endorsement is to be revoked shall receive notice of the hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be served either personally on the retiree or sent by first-class mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested to the retiree’s last known place of residence.  (c) From the date the retiree signs for the notice or upon the date the notice is served personally on the retiree, the retiree shall have 15 days to respond to the notification. A retired peace officer who fails to respond to the notice of the hearing shall forfeit the right to a hearing and the authority of the officer to carry a firearm shall be permanently revoked. The retired officer shall immediately return the identification certificate to the issuing agency.   (d) If a hearing is requested, good cause for permanent revocation shall be determined at the hearing, as specified in Section 26320. The hearing shall be held no later than 120 days after the request by the retired officer for a hearing is received.   (e) The retiree may waive the right to a hearing and immediately return the identification certificate to the issuing agency.

26320.  (a) Any hearing conducted under this article shall be held before a three-member hearing board. One member of the board shall be selected by the agency and one member shall be selected by the retired peace officer or his or her employee organization. The third member shall be selected jointly by the agency and the retired peace officer or his or her employee organization.    (b) Any decision by the board shall be binding on the agency and the retired peace officer.

So the bottom line is this: If you receive a letter from the Department denying your application for an ID card with CCW authorization, or you receive a letter from the Department revoking your authorization, do not delay in responding to the letter.  As noted above in Penal Code Section 26312 (c) or 26315 (c), your future ability to carry a firearm is in jeopardy.

 

2 thoughts on “Did you know you could loose your CCW Authorization?

  1. Greg Johnson

    This is scary. Has anyone had this problem? Makes you wonder if you have to have a permanent attorney on retainer.

  2. CaptJack Post author

    As I expected, after contacting the Chief of Patrol, headquarters rectified the situation and contacted the retired warden. Yes, I know that I am biased because I believed, especially after spending half of my career at headquarters, that the Chief would do the right thing, and he did.

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