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California DOJ Updates CCW Instructor Qualifications, Expands Training Options

The California Department of Justice has introduced an emergency regulation package that significantly impacts Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) license regulations and the qualifications for becoming a DOJ Certified Instructor. Initially filed with the Secretary of State on January 2, 2024, the regulation mandates applicants to present a training certificate from designated programs, including the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, and accredited schools for firearm training.

However, this restriction sparked considerable feedback from the public, with around 2,000 comments emphasizing that the qualifications for becoming a DOJ Certified Instructor were overly restrictive. Respondents argued that the list failed to acknowledge other comparable training programs, leading to a revision of the initial proposal.

In an effort to address these concerns, the Bureau of Firearms (BOF) has proposed to broaden the list of acceptable training programs. Additions include POST Concealed Carry Tactics Instructor, firearms instruction certifications from the California Highway Patrol or California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and National Rifle Association Law Enforcement Instructor qualifications. Notably, the inclusion of NRA-Law Enforcement Instructors and Basics of Personal Protection Outside the Home Instructors – contingent upon their certification as both an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and Personal Protection in the Home Instructor – marks a significant reversal in policy. This change reopens the door for NRA Certified Instructors to teach qualifying CCW classes, providing California residents with increased options to obtain their CCW permit.

This regulatory amendment emerges in the backdrop of the Legislature’s urgent concern for public safety, particularly aimed at preventing individuals prohibited from owning or possessing firearms from obtaining CCW licenses. The proposed changes reflect a balanced approach to enhancing public safety while accommodating the diverse training backgrounds of CCW license applicants.

The Department plans to file this emergency rulemaking package with the Office of Administrative Law imminently. Public comments on the Finding of Emergency or the proposed text are encouraged, with a submission deadline of five calendar days following the Department’s filing with OAL. This development represents a pivotal moment for California’s CCW license regulations, potentially broadening access to qualified instruction and reinforcing the state’s commitment to responsible gun ownership and public safety.

For those interested in expressing their views on the proposed rules, comments can be submitted in writing to both the Department of Justice and the Office of Administrative Law. This regulatory change underscores the importance of public engagement and feedback in shaping policies that affect the rights and responsibilities of gun owners in California.

Department of Justice
P.O. Box 160487
Sacramento, CA 95816
[email protected]

Office of Administrative Law
300 Capitol Mall, Suite 1250
Sacramento, CA 95814

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