The provisions of California Gun Laws are among the most restrictive or strictest in the United States. So, if you are planning to sell, transfer or possess a handgun in this state, here are the key rules provided by California Gun Laws that you should know about:
1. Selling or transfer of firearms require license under California Gun Laws. Only guns that passed firing, safety and drop tests, plus those that appear on the “Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale” are allowed to be offered for sale or transfer.
2. A buyer of a gun must supply the necessary information to validate his identity like driver’s license or State ID, thumbprint and proof of residence. The dealer must furnish the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and local police or sheriff a copy of the application where additional screening will take place.
3. Sale or transfer of handgun is not allowed without a Handgun Safety Certificate or HSC. This certificate good for 5 years is only issued upon passing a written test administered by a CA DOJ certified instructor. Then, a gun buyer, prior to receiving a firearm from a dealer, must possess or purchase a CA DOJ approved safety device. The list of all CA DOJ recognized safety devices can be found at its official website.
4. A handgun can only be sold or transferred to a person who is at least 21 years old. The sale or transfer of a long gun and ammunition is allowed for a person under 18. But minors are not allowed to possess a BB device without the permission of a parent or guardian. If the minor is under 16 and participating in a recreational activity involving handguns, he is allowed to possess a handgun if accompanied by a parent or guardian, or with a written permission from any of these people.
5. An individual who has been convicted of a felony, drug addict, presently or formerly committed to a mental facility or acquitted in court by virtue of insanity is not permitted to own or possess a firearm. If convicted of misdemeanor, a person has to wait at least 10 years after his date to conviction to be able to apply for gun ownership. On the other hand, a person has to wait until he is 30 years of age to be able to apply for gun ownership if convicted with certain offenses in juvenile court.
6. Assault weapons or those that are capable of using .50 caliber BMG rounds are not allowed to be possessed or sold by individuals. Those who are still in possession of these types of guns after the expiration of the registration allowed by the state are required to surrender it to law enforcement authorities, sell it to authorized dealers, destroy them or remove them from the jurisdiction of the state.
7. Subject to the previous item, a person can only use or possess an assault rifle at a shooting range or target facility recognized by the government.
8. A magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds above .22 caliber is not allowed. An exemption to this is a magazine registered within the state prior to January 2000.
9. Loaded guns are not allowed in public places and areas which have been incorporated. Open carry under these places are also illegal.
10.The possession of a loaded gun is only allowed under circumstances wherein a person is at home, at a temporary residence, at a campsite, engaged in attempting to make a lawful arrest, he or his property is in immediate danger or when the use of the gun is necessary for preservation within his property.
11. Any form of alteration in the identifying marks of the gun is illegal.
Possible Changes in California Gun Laws
Currently, owners of rifles and shotguns do not require registration, but according to the NRA website, this may soon be amended under California Gun Laws. The other items enumerated here are subject to change as well if new amendments are introduced in California Gun Laws.
Validity of California Gun Permits in Other Jurisdictions
Permits issued by other states are not recognized by California Gun Laws. However, gun permits issued in California are recognized by 20 other states such as:
- North Carolina
- South Dakota