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Local applicants seeking a permit to carry a concealed weapon now only have to say that they need one for self-defense or personal safety.

BY DAVID MONTERO / STAFF WRITER
Published: Feb. 19, 2014 Updated: Feb. 20, 2014 1:59 p.m.

The Orange County sheriff loosened requirements Wednesday for obtaining a concealed-weapons permit in light of a recent federal appellate court decision that deemed many urban counties in California to be overly restrictive in saying who can and can’t carry a concealed weapon.

Local applicants seeking a permit to carry a concealed weapon now only have to say that they need one for self-defense or personal safety. Previously, applicants were required to prove “good cause,” a standard that typically limited concealed weapons in Orange County to people who carry large sums of cash or valuables, or who could prove an existing mortal threat.

“Bottom line is the sheriff is going to abide by the law,” said Lt. Jeff Hallock, a spokesman for O.C. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.

“Before the court’s decision, good cause was something that was evaluated by the sheriff. What she considers good cause may not be same as Los Angeles, Riverside or San Diego as good cause. But in looking at the decision, some of the subjectiveness is taken out of it.”

The Feb. 13 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was widely seen as the court’s attempt to unify the vast differences in how the state’s urban and rural counties issue concealed weapons permits. Urban counties tended to be much tighter in issuing permits while rural counties were more expansive in interpreting an applicant’s “good cause” assertion.

San Diego County, which was the defendant in the case, hasn’t filed an appeal of the 9th Circuit 2-1 decision, though the deadline is Feb. 27.

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