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Police Chief Had Good Cause To Revoke CCW Privileges From Retired Peace Officer Who Has Severe Emotional Distress And PTSD
LCW Associates Christopher Frederick and Michael Gerst successfully represented a city in a retired peace officer’s appeal of his revoked endorsement to carry a concealed weapon (CCW).
In November 2019, a police officer retired after 17 years with a city’s police department (Department). Prior to his retirement, he was involved in three officer-involved shootings between 2005 and 2017. From 2005 to the present, the officer received psychological counseling and treatment for various issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Upon his retirement, the officer received a retirement certification card with a CCW endorsement.
California Penal Code Section 26305 and the Department’s policies provide that no CCW endorsement shall be issued to an officer retiring because of a psychological disability. Between November 2019 and January 2021, the officer was treated with multiple doctors for his continuing PTSD and severe emotional distress, including increased anxiety and irritability. One of the doctors noted that it would not be advisable for the officer to return to law enforcement due to his chronic and significant PTSD.
In February 2021, after reviewing the officer’s medical records, the Department’s police chief revoked the retired officer’s CCW privilege in accordance with Department policies and the Penal Code. The officer appealed to a three-member panel board for a hearing. The officer argued that the police chief did not have good cause to revoke the CCW endorsement. The panel board disagreed, unanimously finding that the officer’s medical records detailing his severe emotional distress and PTSD symptoms established good cause to revoke his CCW privilege. The hearing board stated explicitly that the law required the chief of police to revoke the retired officer’s CCW endorsement.
The retired officer presented commendations, performance evaluations, and letters of appreciation he received during his employment. The panel board noted that while the officer’s personnel records show a distinguished career in law enforcement, that information had no relevance as to whether good cause existed to revoke a CCW endorsement.