“While [the Monterey County Concealed Carry Weapons permitting process is] open to everyone, that doesn’t mean everyone gets one,”  sheriff Scott Miller [above] told mercurynews.com. “In our last batch, we had 18 approved and 11 rejected. If we have one reason that makes you look like a queasy CCW holder, you won’t get one.” And boy is he looking. “For the first time, applicants must undergo a psychological exam that can take several hours. In addition, deputies interview neighbors, spouses, friends and co-workers and have applicants undergo a voice stress analysis.” Would you go through all this to [not] get your CCW license?

63 Responses to Question of the Day: Would You Take a Psych Test for a CCW?

  1. Thank you Sheriff Miller. Thank you for publicly stating your process is arbitrary, capricious, and most of all, lacking in any foundation under law. Thank you for bolstering the claims of those seeking their carry permits.

    • In addition, deputies interview neighbors, spouses, friends and co-workers

      Sounds to me like he’s out to stigmatize people.

      Isn’t that abuse of authority?

  2. Hell no. The fact that there is even a permit process in the first place (in most states) makes me mildly sick to my stomach, let alone this nonsense. Leave California, let them continue to drown in their own debt and stupidity.

    • And California’s sickness will be quarantined by that giant wall at its border? Don’t count on it.

      As one wag puts it, with nationalized policies, we’re becoming “The United State_ of America.” E pluribus unum run amok.

  3. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.*

    * Subject to terms and conditions. Not valid in the States of California, Maryland, Hawaii, Washington D.C., New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Illinois. Void where locally prohibited. Contributors to large enough political foundations, celebrities, and law enforcement officers are not subject to terms and conditions applied above. Offer of civil liberties subject to expiration without notice by the US Supreme Court and is non-transferable to foreign countries.

  4. “Subject to terms and conditions. Not valid in the States of California, Maryland, Hawaii, Washington D.C., New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Illinois.”

    Washington D.C. is not now and never has been a state…

    And no, I would not submit to a psychological evaluation to be issued a concealed carry permit. I would simply move to a less ridiculous state if things ever went that far where I was living.

  5. Had those been the requirements when I applied for my permit, there is no way I would ever have gotten it, especially if they talked to my neighbors. The only satisfaction I would have gotten would have been to do likewise unto him if he applied for his.

    Just sayin’.

  6. I suspect that once the county supervisors get hit with a large bill from defending against the resulting lawsuit, the sheriff will be told, in no uncertain terms, that if it happens again, he’s on his own. (It’s my understanding that’s what happened in Sacramento County, CA. Subsequently, Sacramento is rapidly approaching “shall issue” status. Again, if my source is correct)

    • To be fair it was never Sacramento itself that was shall issue, it was what-his-name from Isleton. Though they basically ran him out for it iirc.

      • Actually – I live in Sac – current Sheriff states: Good Cause is Personal Defense. However, he doesn’t hand them out to just anyone – pretty thorough background check, NICS, fingerprints, etc… plus up to 16 hours training. Sheriff Jones has been clear that even if you have a clean record, if you have shown bad judgement in the past (too many speeding tickets, etc…), he will decline your application.

        The lawsuit referenced was a Calguns (and maybe SAF) lawsuit with two different people, one in Sac and one in Yolo county (just across the river). The former Sheriff McGuinnis agreed to opening up the CCW process in Sacramento to make the lawsuit go away, the next Sheriff (Jones) is a stronger proponent of the 2nd Amendment and the campaign seemed to veer towards more CCW permits being issued. I believe Sheriff Prieto (Yolo) decided to fight the lawsuit – I don’t know the status of it at this time.

        Fortunately, a psych exam is not necessary – the Sheriff is probably going against quite a bit of resistance from the County Supervisors/other politicians and other groups in the State Capital of the Peoples Republic of California.

        While I don’t like the process completely, it is heading in the right direction. (I believe currently we are close to a year in backlog to get an initial interview) – I think part of that is the many people wanting to exercise their RKBA, but also the process is a bit time-consuming – Sheriff Jones has added more personnel to handle the applications.

        We didn’t get to this state overnight, nor will we get out of it overnight – it takes time, effort, money, the right elected officials, and constant battling. Is it fair? Probably not – but I know who I will be supporting in two years for Sheriff of Sacramento County in 2014.

        • I’m not sure that a few speeding tickets says a lot about whether you have good judgment or not… unless maybe they are tickets for “30 over” or something like that.

        • Well – it is a gray area, which can lead to abuse, but I understand what he is trying to do. Not that I agree with it – I tend to lean more towards liberal issuing (or no CCW requirement). But too many folks think we should be required to get X amount of training, background checks, pay fees, register guns, and have a piece of paper in our wallets. I am pretty sure the bad guys don’t have it and usually make themselves known eventually. If more people could carry (without spending the $475 or so dollars to get a permit), perhaps the bad guys will think twice. Silly me…

  7. What? You wouldn’t put your life in Scott Miller’s hands?

    I’m sure he cares as much for your life and your family’s safety as he does his own…..

    After all, he’s a professional.

  8. Anyone else deeply disturbed by the fact that they list everyone with a CCW in that county at the bottom of the article?

    • Yeah, that was a neat touch. In Florida that information is confidential by state law, and is exempt from state public records laws. Glad I live here.

  9. The sad part, the REALLY SAD part is that there isn’t enough pro 2A money and aggressive lawyers out there. When I was a kid I watched guys like him in the South treat blacks in their own discriminatory way. This city should be sued and have every dime taken from them. Bankrupt them. This POS should be sued individually and have his life destroyed. There is no middle position here.

    • The Second Amendment Foundation is doing Yeoman’s work in the court. We should all support their efforts with a few of our Starbucks dollars.

  10. Nobody noticed that Clint Eastwood got his CCW from this fellow? Which of course raises the obvious question: What’s Clint carrying? A .44 magnum seems a bit big for concealed carry. My money’s on a .380 pocket pistol, maybe a Colt Mustang.

    • I believe Clint had his CCW long before this Sheriff was in office. And, of course, renewal applicants won’t be required to take a psych exam.

  11. Anyone know what happened to the review on this website on ar-15 stocks? They were performing drop test and other tests but I cant seem to locate it on here. Any help would be appreciated.

  12. There are several cities in RI that now require you to take this worthless test at $350 a pop. I wish the NRA would get involved and force them to stop this silly practice. This test can be avoided if you apply directly to the AG’s office, and you can save yourself a ton of money. The people who handle the applications at the AG’s office are very helpful and polite, and they have been approving qualified candidates who show proper need for a permit.

    • I could barely afford this with all my other life expenses and I make the average US income. Sad what this kind of expense must look like to one less well off, living in a worse area, the thought actually makes me kind of queasy.

  13. These provisions give the power to deny law abiding citizens the ability to own a firearm to academics who skew liberal. I wonder how long until the smallest psychological problem leads to being denied a fundamental human right?

    • How long? Yesterday. This whimsical policy–and tyranny is always capricious–is a trifecta of statist abuse. Not only is the rubric highly subjective. Not only is the Subject’s enumerated Right subjugated to a highly intrusive examination where the process is the punishment.

      But the applicant’s (supplicant’s?) qualification for exercising a freeborn’s Right is medicalized. That way, you don’t have merely an opinion nor a reasonable need, but in fact need treatment for what ails you.

      You’ll never guess who will soon be providing the care, the medical correction, for your suspicious behavior.

  14. I wonder how much it cost to send deputies around to do interviews? Don’t they have better things to do with their time?

  15. I remember when I was applying for my Top Secret SCI security clearance in the military, they had us take one of these pysch tests. They ask me if I was a spy working for a foreign government. I said “no.” But I was thinking to myself… “but if I was, do you honestly think I would tell you?” They also ask me if I had “ever engaged in any kinky or bizarre sexual behavior.” Just for fun, I asked the interviewer if there was military definition of “kinky or bizarre sexual behavior.” He rolled his eyes and said “just answer ‘no’ so we can move on.” Overall, I found the test to be pretty dumb.

    • Back in the 1980s the government was concerned about homosexuality, today it’s not even on the questionnaire and can’t be asked about. Getting a BJ was considered extreme at some point too but Bill Clinton took care of that problem.

  16. Q. So Sir, you say you need a weapon for self defense?

    A. Yes. To protect myself, my wife and my kids, as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.

    Q. Sir, aren’t you being just a little paranoid? After all don’t you know the police are there to protect you?

    A. “Laughs Gently” Uh, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away and sir, I remind you that in Warren v. District of Columbia, the courts have ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect citizens. So, I, with the help of the 2nd Amendment, will protect my family.

    Q. Let me get this right… In your delusion of grandeur, you think you can protect your family better from harm than can the well trained police force from an attacker that in your paranoia, you think means you harm.

    A. Well sir, I’m an expert marksman with my weapon. I fired over 2000 rounds through my weapon in just the past year, undergone intensive training with NRA experts. Compare this with the average police department which trains with an average of 20o rounds a year and has a shot to hit ratio of less than 20%. Yes, I’m better equipped and trained to protect my family.

    Q. You believe and TRAIN with those NUT JOBS at the NRA? Sir, this interview is OVER. I am going to report to my superiors that you frequent with fringe groups, have delusions of grandeur, and extreme paranoia and as such have not the mental capacity to carry a weapon.

    ————— If’n I was living in Berkley, I think the horse and I would mosey our way down the road.

    FWIW, my daughter, who attended an event at Stanford University a few years ago while still 15 was placed in the awkward position of while participating in a “break out group” having a Stanford professor and his associates verbally attack the war on terrorism and our nations deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. She stood up, stated “my father is currently on his second tour in Iraq on the orders of the President. He does NOT want to be there but feels obligated to do so to protect the lives of fellow Americans. I can not and will not sit here and have the honor of my Father and the brave Americans with whom he serves attacked while I’m expected to idly sit and accept your wisdom.” She turned and departed and emailed me in Iraq shortly after. I could not have been prouder of her emailed statement “if Stanford offers me a full scholarship, I think my principles will force me to turn it down.”

    • “I could not have been prouder of her emailed statement “if Stanford offers me a full scholarship, I think my principles will force me to turn it down.””

      Well, Tex, did they and did she?

      • We’re not yet to the point where scholarships have been announced or offered. She has been admitted and is fully intent on attending the University of Texas at Austin. She’s quite the debater and won her district and will be attending the Texas State match next month. Her debate coach is aggressively pursuing scholarships.

        Any scholarships she receives will of course be welcome but right now, I’m lucky enough to have served long enough to transfer my GI Bill benefits to her.

    • TexanHawk, we can be proud of your service and still hate the wars.
      Just because the President orders something, don’t make it right or good.
      Just because America goes to war, don’t mean there’s a reason to.

      I am proud of your service, and I’d like to personally thank you, because someone has to do your job, and I’m glad I have the freedom to choose for it not to be me. From the depths of my heart, thank you, and I’m glad you got home safe.

  17. You only know half the story. Miller promised during the election that he would accept self-defense as “good cause.” (California law requires proof of “good cause” for issuance of a CCW but the term is not defined by statute so is widely and wildly interpreted. It is NOT enough in LA, SanDiego, SF or any other large urban area except Sacramento.) And apparently he did, and at least that part of his promise was kept.
    But what he gave in lip service to the 2A he took away as recognized by this news article. Another part of the “test” to get a CCW is proof of good moral character, another undefined term. This latter category is the legal authority that allows the Sheriff of the county to do background investigations, interview friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers and bosses, and/or require written reference letters (usually two or three). The licensing statute permits an interview by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist, but limits the qualified providers to be those who do the psych evals for the police agency, and further require that the fee cannot exceed $150. [But then there are reports of persons paying $400 for the exam.] The Sheriff specifically states that he has a duty to make sure that anyone carrying a concealed weapon is not in the least bit “questionable.” Um Hmm. The local state organization doing a lot of fighting on the CCW litigation front, CalGuns, has taken notice and is intending to act, but they do have a full plate and three important 2A cases on the docket in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that will significantly impact the future of gun rights in this state.
    No one knows exactly why the newspaper published the names of the CCW holders in that county. Yes, they are a discoverable public record, BUT there was nothing in the story that had anything to do with those identities, nor consideration for the potential increased risk these people may face because of the publication. We do note, however, that such publication is a favorite tactic of the banners and grabbers.

  18. Alas, I live in California, but just came back from a visit from Wisconsin. I support shall – issue for CCW, but as liberal as California is, I’m often surprised that they allow concealed carry at all. It’s tough living in such a liberal state, but folks like me are here in part to inject some real wisdom regarding responsible gun ownership. Wisconsin made vast changes in CCW, and it certainly seems to be working well.

    So I vote, send bothersome emails to my elected officials, voice my opinion in political polls, buy tons of ammo (and Starbucks), and blog on TTAG to help keep from going nuts…

  19. My state of Delaware has similar requirements including a newspaper post for 10 days announcing the the world you will be carrying concealed, which defeats the purpose of concealing the gun really.
    You need 5 references from people in your voting district, and that’s pretty small. A Prothonotary application is made, 250 dollars for the required safety class is needed and that has to be taken before you apply. It can all be turned down for any number of unknown reasons. I went into a police station and inquired about getting a permit when I moved here 10 years ago and the cop took the occasion to grill me on why I thought I needed to carry. I ended the discussion with a simple question
    “So I can count on you to protect me 24/7 if I don’t?”
    ” Well, no of course not”
    ” OK, then I’ll get an application from you and start filling it out”
    Fortunately the next year Gov Minner (a strong gun advocate) signed reciprocity legislation over the objections of the press. Now I can carry with my Florida permit and so can 2 dozen other states residents.

  20. I’d take the psyche test if it was an essay exam but not short answers. ‘Cause my memory isn’t what it used to be, but I write pretty well.

  21. After reading these comments, I can tell there is a lot of anger out there! I would not issue most of these people a CCW, based on my past experience and fear of this anger they portray. I have not seen any posts of SELF-CONTROL OR MATURITY OF ISSUE.

    JDB Lt col USMC/ Civilian profiler for the National Psychiatric Association

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