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Pasadena’s Updated Concealed Carry Permit Application Process Would Require Psychological Exam, Interview with Chief of Police

Published on Thursday, October 20, 2022 | 4:59 am

A Pasadena police representative told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee Wednesday that the Police Department’s newly-revised Concealed Carry Weapon permit process would require the applicants to undergo a psychological exam and an interview with the Chief of Police.

The updated policy was crafted in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June which struck down a New York state law that restricted who could obtain a permit to carry a gun in public. 

Under the law in place since 1913, New York residents were required to show proper cause, or an actual need, to carry a concealed handgun in public for self-defense. The Supreme Court said that the law conflicts with the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

While the decision removed the “good cause” mandate, the statute still requires the applicant to be of good moral character, to be a resident of the city, and to complete a firearms course of training as described in California Penal Code 26165.

As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, on August 1, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department returned the Concealed Carry Weapon permitting duties to local agencies due to the expected influx of applications. 

Pasadena police plan to start implementing the new application process by November 1. 

Since August, the Pasadena Police department received 10 permit applications so far, according to acting Lieutenant Thomas Blanchard. 

Under the proposed procedure, applicants are required to submit a completed federal Department of Justice application, completed background interview questionnaire and three letters of reference, among other documents. 

After submission of the required documents, the Police Department will conduct a background investigation on the applicant, with a 90-day turnaround, and inspect the firearm that’s being licensed.

The applicant will also go through a psychological evaluation and will be interviewed by the Chief of Police, and be required to undergo a polygraph test if necessary, as part of the final procedures.

“During the interview process with the chief, [if he finds] any discrepancies with the applicant’s [application], he can request for a polygraph for the applicant to move on to the process,” said Blanchard. 

According to the Department’s proposal the permit processing fee costs $337.14. The psychological exam costs $150 while the PPD Live Scan Fee costs $93 for new applications and $52 for renewals. Those who want to change the weapon they are using should pay an amendment fee amounting to $10. 

New applications, according to the updated procedures could cost up to a total of $580.14, and renewals can cost up to $389.14. Psychological evaluation is not required for renewals. 

The fee schedule is proposed to go to the finance committee for consideration in November, according to Blanchard. 

During the meeting, public commenter Michael Vogler expressed concerns regarding the updated policy. 

“I believe there are serious constitutional issues on what is proposed today,” said Vogler. “Any restrictions must be reasonable and well defined.” 

Vogler also said “the psychological exam is not required under any existing law but is simply an option.” 

Councilmember Tyron Hampton also expressed the same sentiments.

“I like how the presentation has come across but I have to say that it does seem as if we are trying to restrict people from doing what is their constitutional right to do,” Hampton said.

“The fee cannot be so onerous that no one could afford this fee,” he also added. 

Hampton also said requiring applicants to be of good moral standing should also be removed in the draft policy. 

“That should be [struck down]. That sounds like a potential violation of someone’s constitutional right,” he said. 

Mayor Victor Gordo asked the city attorney to look at possible legal issues that may arise with the implementation of the new policy and present the information to the City Council at a future meeting. 

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