California Gun Laws
California State Gun And Self-Defense Laws: YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL. Always Consult An Attorney
|Rifles & Shotguns||Handguns|
|Permit to Purchase||YES*||YES*|
|Registration of Firearms||YES**||YES**|
|Licensing of Owners||NO||NO|
|Permit to Carry||NO||Yes (in incorporated areas and concealed anywhere)|
* Department of Justice record purchases from dealers (all purchases).
*As of January 1, 2015, a firearms safety certificate is generally required to purchase or acquire a firearm. A currently valid handgun safety certificate may still be used to purchase or acquire a handgun until it expires.
** Residents moving into California have 60 days to register their handguns.
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, but implementation is now delayed while the court's injunction is in effect. More information is available here: CLICK HERE
Self-Defense Laws : Always Consult An Attorney
|Duty to retreat before using Deadly force outside of Special Places||NO|
|Crimes Justifying use of Deadly Force outside of Special Places||"Atrocious felony" i.e.; Murder, mayhem, rape, and robbery|
|Duty to Retreat when occupying special Places - Special places Mentioned in Statute such as Home, Workplace, Occupied Vehicle||NO|
|Presumption of Reasonableness in Special Places - Unlawful Acts justifying use of Deadly Force in Special Places||Yes - "Atrocious felony" i.e.; Murder, mayhem, rape and robbery|
|Immunity from Civil liability||Yes, Case Law|
|Notable Provisions of this State's Self-Defense Law||Warning: California penal code 197 statutes has been changed dramatically by case law and jury instructions. WARNING: Defense of a third person limited to specific persons: Wife, husband, parent, child, master, mistress, servant|
How To Obtain A Concealed Carry Permit In California
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