Concealed Carry Laws for California
California State Gun And Self-Defense Laws: YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL. *Always Consult An Attorney.
home, workplace, occupied vehicle.
How to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit in California
* Department of Justice record purchases from dealers (all purchases).
California requires approval of ALL Firearms and Safety Devices within the State. The list can literally change daily! This link is to the California Department of Justice which is responsible for maintaining the list. Please see this page before making a purchase or traveling into California with a Firearm.... CLICK HERE
*** On June 29, 2017 a federal district court blocked enforcement of California's new ban on possession of magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. The ban was set to go into effect on July 1. UPDATE! Implementation is now in effect. More information is available here: CLICK HERE
The authority to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) is set forth in California Penal Code Sections 26150 through 26225. These sections state in part: PC 26150 The Sheriff of a County, upon proof that the person applying is of good moral character, that good cause exists for the issuance, and that the person applying is a resident of the County, may issue that person a license to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
Except in extremely limited circumstances, you may not carry a concealed firearm on your person in public unless you have a valid concealed weapon (CCW) license issued in the State of California. California law does not recognize CCW licenses issued in other states.
Licenses can also be granted by local law enforcement agencies: If you live in a city within the County and where another agency is your police you may be required to first contact your local police department about their application process. If they are not issuing licenses, then contact your local Sheriff’s Department for a CCW application.
Any person who has a conviction for any misdemeanor listed in California Penal Code 29508 including a domestic violence misdemeanor, or for any felony, or is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, or has been held involuntarily as a danger to self or others pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 8103 is prohibited from buying, owning, or possessing firearms. Various other prohibitions exist for mental conditions, domestic restraining/protective orders, conditions of probation, and offenses committed as a juvenile. On February 24, 2009, the United States Supreme Court, in the case of United States v. Hayes, upheld the provision of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 which prohibits anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from possessing a weapon.
California Gun Purchasing Laws
Generally, all firearms purchases and transfers, including private party transactions and sales at gun shows, must be made through a California licensed dealer under the Dealer’s Record of Sale (DROS) process. California law imposes a 10-day waiting period before a firearm can be released to a purchaser or transferee. A person must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a rifle or shotgun. To purchase a handgun, a person must be at least 21 years of age. As part of the DROS process, the purchaser must present "clear evidence of identity and age" which is defined as a valid, non-expired California Driver's License or Identification Card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A military identification accompanied by permanent duty station orders indicating a posting in California is also acceptable.
If the purchaser is not a U.S. Citizen, then he or she is required to demonstrate that he or she is legally within the United States by providing the firearms dealer with documentation containing his/her Alien Registration Number or I-94 Number.
Purchasers of handguns must provide proof of California residency, such as a utility bill, residential lease, property deed, or government-issued identification (other than a drivers license or other DMV-issued identification), and either (1) possess a Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC) plus successfully complete a safety demonstration with their recently purchased handgun or (2) qualify for an HSC exemption.
(Pen. Code, § § 26800-26850.)
State Of California Firearms Links:
- California Firearm Laws
- Handgun Safety Certificate Program
- Handgun Safety Certificate Study Guide
- Hunting in California
- Live Scan Fingerprinting
- Live Scan Fingerprinting Locations
- Personal Firearms Eligibility Check (PFEC) Application
- Prohibitions for Ownership or Possession
- State of California Department of Justice FAQ's
- State of California Department of Justice Bureau Of Firearms
- State of California Department of Justice Forms And Publications
- State of California Department of Justice Firearms Regulations/Rulemaking
- New and Amended Firearms/Weapons Laws 2019
NEW GUN LAWS FOR 2020
• If you have a gun-violence restraining order, you’ll be prohibited from buying a firearm for up to five years, under AB 12
• An employer, coworker, employee or teacher can seek a gun-violence restraining order from a court, allowing police to remove firearms from someone making threats, under AB 61
• You cannot buy guns in California if you are prohibited from buying guns in another state, under AB 164
• California law enforcement agencies before Jan. 1, 2021 must develop and adopt written policies and standards regarding the use of gun violence restraining orders AB 339.
• Suicide warning labels must be on gun packages and in gun stores by June 1, under AB 645.
• Certain gun “precursor” parts must be sold through a licensed vendor under AB 879
• No more firearms and ammunition can be sold at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego after Jan. 1, 2021, under AB 893
• The $100 cap on processing fees for concealed firearm licenses is going away with the passage of AB 1297
• If you have a gun-violence restraining order against you, you can fill out a form that says you’re willing to relinquish your guns, under Ting’s AB 1493.
• Nonprofits “that are at high risk of terrorist attack due to ideology, beliefs, or mission” can apply for state grants of up to $200,000 from a newly formed State Nonprofit Security Grant Program to beef up their onsite security. The bill, AB 1548
• Starting Jan. 1, the fees Californians pay the state when purchasing a firearm will climb to $38.19, with the passage of AB 1669
• If you are younger than 21, you cannot buy a semiautomatic center-fire rifle starting Jan. 1. SB 61
• Beginning Jan. 1, the owner of any unlocked gun taken out of a home by a child or a “prohibited person” can be charged with a crime and penalized with a 10-year ban on gun ownership under Portantino’s SB 172.
• The number of transactions a gun seller can make without a firearms dealer license is now limited to six per year under SB 376.
Concealed Carry Permits In California Is Governed By A State Constitution
State constitutions generally govern the ability to obtain a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit, however, not all states require them. There are states like; Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, Kansas, Oaklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, which include what’s called “constitutional carry” laws in their legal structure, and a permit is not required to carry a concealed firearm. There are other stipulations within constitutional carry, however, that demand that anyone carrying a concealed weapon identify it when in contact with any Peace Officer. Failure to do so can result in felony charges being filed. Make sure you know the laws in California.
Do you know the laws where you live in California, you may be able to take advantage of the streamlined application process that exists within “Shall Issue” states. The standard approval process usually includes a background check, one or more required classes, qualification with your firearm (safety and marksmanship), and paying the required fee. Currently, Utah, Nevada, and Florida are the easiest states to obtain a Shall Issue CCW.
Concealed carry laws, or CCW’s, in California refers to the legally issued permit which allows for the carrying of a handgun or other weapon in a concealed manner within any place open to the general public.
Not all weapons that fall under concealed carry state laws in California are lethal, there are some states that regulate non-lethal items such a pepper spray that are carried over a set volume requiring the obtaining of a CCW permit. (In some states non-lethal items require a separate permit)
Concealed Carry Permits In California Are Different From Other States
While obtaining a Concealed Carry permit requires an application for most citizens, even when acquiring one, it doesn’t mean that it is free from restrictions. For instance, in California you may only be allowed to carry a revolver rather than a semi-automatic pistol, or you may only be allowed to carry a specific caliber of firearm.
Additionally, you may have to undergo testing for proficiency regarding weapon safety and marksmanship, and in some instances, your CCW permissions may be limited to the county or city where the permit was issued. Where proficiency testing does occur, it usually happens on either an annual or semi-annual basis.
Concealed Carry Education
In order to obtain a Concealed Carry permit, most states require citizens to take a concealed carry education course in-person. Once they complete the entire course, they are eligible to purchase a permit/license. Typically, a course will consist of two sections: theory and hands-on training. Generally, most people would rather take the theory portion of the course on their own time, in the comfort of their own home. Thankfully, there are a few states that allow qualified applicants to take the theory portion online, and the following states happen to be one of these states. Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Texas, Utah, and Virginia!
If you do decide to take a concealed carry course online, We recommend ConcealedCarry-Ed . This handgun education program is committed to delivering the most up-to-date material that is both accurate and meets the state’s education requirements. After passing the course, you can print out your certificate. This certificate is proof that you have taken and completed the online course. Some states will require you to take a field day after taking the course. In other words, you will still have to take the physical portion of the test.
Bring your certificate to your field day expert as proof that you have taken and completed the theory portion of the course. Once you complete all the requirements and passed all the exams, you should be able to apply for your permit/license.
There are three types of Concealed Carry In States, Shall Issue, May Issue, and Constitutional Carry
Although some issuers of CCWs are not as strict as others, acquiring a CCW in California may not be an easy process. There are “Shall Issue” states and “May Issue” states, ( and Constitutional Carry which do not require any permit) and if your state happens to be a “May Issue” state, then the local authorities are generally given discretion as to whether they believe it should be issued or not. However, no matter which type of issuance your state’s laws command, you will still have to go through a lengthy application process. In most locales, this means a long application requiring extensive information, some may also require a convincing letter that provides justification for your need of a Concealed Carry permit, and possible an oral interview as well.
Every State's Concealed Carry Laws Are Unique In California
While in California there is no current federal law that specifically address the issuance of concealed carry permits for private citizens as each state is responsible for the control of concealed carry permits within its sovereign borders. All 50 states have passed laws allowing their respective residents to carry certain concealed firearms in public, either without a permit or after obtaining a permit from their local Sheriff’s office or Chief of police.
In all states and in California the only federal law concerning CCW’s is the Peace Officer Safety Act of 2004, (H.R. 218) to lean about this and all other states Concealed Carry Laws see our database on our website US Precision Defense where we maintain a comprehensive listing of every States weapons laws.
Find out how to obtain a CCW - CHL in every State by clicking here; concealed carry permits