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California: NRA & CRPA Call Out Orange County Sheriff for Adopting Strict CCW Policy Following Court Order in Peruta Case

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

California: NRA & CRPA Call Out Orange County Sheriff for Adopting Strict CCW Policy Following Court Order in Peruta Case

As reported last week following the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ order to rehear Peruta v. San Diego County–invalidating the 2014 opinion holding that the San Diego County Sheriff’s policy of refusing to issue licenses to carry firearms in public absent proof of a special need is unconstitutional–Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has unnecessarily decided to revert to her strict “good cause” standard for issuing such licenses claiming that she is legally bound to.

In Sheriff Hutchens’ recently released statement, she explains that new carry license applicants and those applicants currently in the process of obtaining a license must comply with her strict “good cause” standard and show proof of specific evidence proving they are in immediate danger, such as a police report or a protective order, or be in a special class of people who carry valuables. As explained in last week’s alert, this will not only affect those Orange County residents wishing to apply for a carry license in the future, but those who have already dedicated the time and money to start the process but have yet to complete it.

NRA & CRPA Letter to Sheriff Hutchens

The NRA and CRPA have submitted a letter to Sheriff Hutchens informing her that she is not legally obligated to enforce a strict definition of “good cause” for a carry license. Any Sheriff can choose, as a policy matter, to accept the rationale of the Peruta decision voluntarily, even if they are not required to do so by the court. Sheriffs have the discretion to accept self-defense as “good cause” for a carry license and many California sheriffs do. Just like those sheriffs, Sheriff Hutchens can also continue to issue under a “shall-issue” standard, regardless of the status of the Peruta case. Her claims to the contrary are erroneous and demonstrate that she is either receiving bad legal counsel or using the law as a pretext for her policy preference in favor of restricted issuance of carry licenses.

Since last week there have been many testimonials of people who have already applied for a CCW and have commenced the required training, but are now being asked to prove they meet the Sheriff’s new strict “good cause” standard.  Accordingly, the letter also explains that Sheriff Hutchens is precluded by state law from doing so and that if she continues to apply this new standard to those applicants, the NRA and CRPA are prepared to take action necessary to stop her.

Orange County residents are encouraged to contact Sheriff Hutchens and respectfully tell her that you do not support her choice to revert to a strict “good cause” standard for the issuance of CCWs. Call or submit a complaint today, and tell your friends and family to do the same.


  • Call the Public Affairs Office of the Sheriff: (714) 647-7042
  • Submit a complaint to the Sheriff here.
  • Tell the Orange County Board of Supervisors know that you oppose the Sheriff’s policy change here

NRA Backed Litigation Against Sheriff Hutchens

Even before the Peruta decision was issued, and in response to continuing complaints from Orange County firearm owners and Second Amendment civil rights activists over Hutchens’ restrictive CCW policy, attorneys for the NRA filed a federal lawsuit in September 2012 challenging that policy. That case is McKay v. Hutchens. Like Peruta, the lawsuit seeks to compel Sheriff Hutchens to issue licenses for self-defense. That case was stayed pending final resolution of Peruta and is still currently stayed. But if Peruta is upheld, the court in the McKay case will be bound by it.            

Help Us Help You

Please help us fight for your right to choose to own a gun for sport, or to defend yourself and your family. CRPA and NRA work together in California to fight for you in Sacramento, in cities and counties across the state, in regulatory agencies, and in the courts. Even with the generous rates that our team of civil rights attorneys, legislative advocates, experts and consultants grant us, these ongoing efforts are still expensive. You can support our pro-Second Amendment efforts in California by donating to the CRPA Foundation (CRPAF). CRPAF is a 501(c)(3), so contributions to CRPAF are tax-deductible. Or donate to NRA Legal Action Project. All donations will be spent to specifically benefit California gun owners.

Second Amendment supporters should be careful about supporting litigation or other efforts promised by other individuals and groups that lack the experience, resources, skill, or legal talent to be successful. The NRA and CRPA national team of highly regarded civil rights attorneys, legislative advocates, and scholars has the experience, resources, skill and expertise needed to maximize the potential for victory in California’s often hostile political environments.


For a summary of some of the many actions the NRA and CRPA has taken on behalf of California gun owners, including the groundbreaking Peruta case, click here.



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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.