State Gun 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.
California Sate Gun Laws Vary From All Other States
State gun laws vary significantly from in California to all other states. The laws identify different gun related laws including the possession, the use, and the sale of firearms and ammunition, and in some states it even regulates accessories that can be used on the gun including the capacity of magazine sizes for both semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Also, many states even including California have regulations regarding the number of rounds that can be in a shotgun tube or magazine. (For Hunting) There are even specific gun laws unique to the District of Columbia and for US held territories.
Many state gun laws are even more restrictive than federal laws in both their content, their form, and the restriction of what types of weapons and ammunition can be sold within the state and the manner in which they can be possessed by state or territorial residents. It is vital that all residents of California know ALL of the State Gun Laws!
As of 2019 there are 44 states that have some special provisions in their state constitutions that are very similar in language used in the second amendment of the United States Constitution, specifically language which protects the citizens of the State the rights to keep and bear arms.
In California As In All States You Must Know The Gun Laws
The states which are well known to be anti-gun, and seem to have obvious political leanings against the Second Amendment are New York, California, New Jersey, Iowa, Minnesota and Maryland. Luckily, in the US supreme court decision of McDonald vs. Chicago; That the protections of the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms for self defense in one’s home apply against state governments and their politically motivated provisions, thereby preventing a state from abolishing completely any second amendment protections afforded by the US Constitution.
Typically, and in many cases State Gun Laws (Firearms) of California are usually less restrictive than federal laws yet is not always the case, and one must be aware of these restrictions anytime they are purchasing or carrying a firearm in California especially while using a concealed carry permit and traveling between states. There are many states that have reciprocity agreements and California may be one of them, the recipocity are very specific on what states your particular permit will be accepted and recognized.
If You Travel From California With A Gun Know The Recipocity Laws!
Keep in mind that although your California permit may have a reciprocity agreement with a state you plan to visit the visiting state may have individual gun restrictions preventing your particular firearm or type of ammunition from being in their state, it is always wise to do your homework before traveling, keep in mind that a reciprocity CCW permit is not a blanket approval.
Remember this does not automatically include any de jure immunity against prosecution for violating any California state gun laws or possible violations of any federal gun laws!
It should be noted that California state and local police departments are generally not legally required or obligated to enforce federal gun laws as per the US Supreme Court ruling in Printz vs. The United States.