FAQ

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Calguns Foundation FAQ:

Contents

General Firearm Questions

What firearms are Legal in California?

I am moving to California. What CAN'T I bring with me?

New residents may bring almost anything except:

  • "Assault Weapons"
  • Machine Guns
  • Suppressors (silencers)
  • Magazines that hold more than 10 rounds
Are there "sunset" provisions in any of California's gun laws (large capacity magazine ban, safe handgun roster, assault weapons ban, etc)?

No.

Can I get an Assault Weapon or Machine Gun permit?

Good luck. The law allows for ‘assault weapon permits’ and ‘machine gun permits’; those are in practice unobtainable.


Can I own the Taurus Judge or similar firearms in California?

No, the Taurus Judge and other handguns that can fire shotgun shells are defined as ‘short barreled shotguns' by California law.

Can I build a carbine from a MechTech kit?

Yes, but it will be difficult.

To Be CA Legal

Because you are manufacturing a centerfire, semiautomatic rifle, when the Mech Tech kit is installed onto a 1911 or Glock frame, it will need a magazine lock or 'bullet button' to prevent it from being an 'assault weapon'.

Magazine lock = grinding down the magazine release until it was below the surface of the frame and at the point where a person can no longer operate it, unless a tool is used.

Only 10 round or fewer magazines can be used in the magazine locked Mech-Tech.

The Over All Length (OAL) of the Mech-Tech with the extending stock is too short to be legal.

The full stock version has to be used or a 4" barrel extension has to be added for the extending stock version.

To Be Federally Legal

Once, the Mech-Tech is installed onto a 1911 or Glock frame, you have now made a rifle.

In order to legally install a pistol slide/barrel to the 1911/Glock frame, you must get BATFE approval to make a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR). BATFE will not approve the making of a SBR in CA, unless the maker has a Dangerous Weapons Permit issued by the CA DOJ BOF.

Can I bring a handgun into California if it isn't on the Safe Handgun roster?

Yes. The Handgun Roster refers to handguns dealers may sell – it has no effect on what you may own.



What is an OFF LIST LOWER (OLL)?

An OFF LIST LOWER (OLL) is a part of a semiautomatic centerfire rifle which is NOT listed by name as a California ‘assault weapon’. A common example is a lower receiver for an AR-15 type rifle.

Such parts may be bought and sold, and carefully assembled into rifles to avoid manufacturing an ’assault weapon’ by combination of features.

The part of California Penal Code which allowed more ‘assault weapons’ to be added to the list was repealed, effective 2007.

How do I LEGALLY MANUFACTURE A FIREARM?

It is legal to make your own firearm for your own use, provided the one you build is legal for you to own in your state/municipality.

No license is required, either Federal or California.

There is no legal requirement for serialization or registration as long as you build a non-NFA firearm.

You may not make a firearm with the intent to sell it, unless you possess a valid manufacturer's license.

Purchasing Questions

How do I buy a gun (general)?

California requires substantially all firearms transfers to take place at a CA-licensed FFL. Other states allow “face to face” (FTF) transfers, involving only private individuals, but California does not (unless it is a C&R long gun that is at least 50 years old, see here).

There are two general methods to buy a gun: Dealer Sale, the topic here, and Private Party Sale (see below).

Except for some C&R firearm transfers, every firearms transfer to non-licensed persons has some common factors:

  • DROS and 4473 paperwork are both required.
  • Dealer fees and the purchase price are both required.
  • During that 10 days, CA-DOJ will perform the background check.
  • Before delivery, the buyer must have an appropriate safety device.

How do I buy a long gun (rifle or shotgun)?

  • DROS is simple; no firearm identification information is recorded.

How old do I have to be to buy a gun?

18 years old for a long gun, 21 years old for a handgun (18 for a handgun if acquired through an intrafamily transfer).

How do I buy a handgun?

  • Unless the buyer is exempt, or the handgun is one of the exempted models/kinds, a handgun must be on the Roster.
  • Identifying information is recorded: handguns are registered to the buyers.

How do I buy a C&R long gun (rifle or shotgun)?

  • If you are buying it from a gun dealer (FFL) the process is the same as for any other long gun.
  • If you are buying it from a private party, and it is at least 50 years old:
    • It is a cash-and-carry transaction between you and the private party (FFL not required)
    • There is no waiting period
    • No paperwork is required
    • See here for background info

How can I find out if I'm eligible to purchase or possess a firearm?

This DOJ document summarizes the federal and state prohibiting categories. You can also choose to perform a Personal Firearms Eligibility Check

I have a Safe Affidavit, do I still need to purchase a gun lock?

Not if you are purchasing a long gun, but you probably will for a handgun.

Federal law, as currently enforced by BATFE, will not allow the California Safe Affidavit as a substitute for a lock.

Some gun shops will still accept the safe affidavit, but don't rely on that.

See here, here and here for more info.

Can I buy a gun outside California?

If you do not have any kind of FFL, NO.

Federal law requires interstate transfers to go through a CA FFL for CA residents.

It is illegal for either a FFL or a private person to sell a firearm to someone who does not live in the same state as the seller.

It is illegal for a person to somehow acquire a firearm outside his state of residence and bring it back to his state.

You CAN select a firearm from out of state and have it shipped to a California FFL to complete the transaction.

Geography is not relevant; the current location of the gun does not determine whether the transfer is interstate – the state of residence of the current owner does.

What is the "Safe Handgun Roster?"

The California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale. It lists the handguns which a non-Law Enforcement California resident can buy new from a dealer. More info here and here.

Can I buy a handgun not on the "Roster” from an FFL/Dealer?

No, unless you are a Law Enforcement Officer or otherwise exempt.

Is there any way to buy a handgun that is not on the Safe Handgun Roster?

Yes. Current law enforcement (not retired) is exempt from the Handgun Roster, and may resell off-Roster handguns to non-LEO.

Non-LEO may also sell off-Roster handguns through the CA Private Party Transfer (PPT) process at an FFL.

Can I just buy an "off-Roster" handgun from an out of state FFL?

No. Since interstate transfers must go through a California FFL, ordering an off-Roster handgun from a gun sales web site or an out of state FFL will not work.

Are C&R handguns exempt from the roster?

Yes, as per 12132(g) PC

What is a Private Party Transfer (PPT)?

California requires substantially all firearms transfers to take place at a CA-licensed FFL. Other states allow “face to face” (FTF) transfers, but California does not, except for some C&R transfers.

What are the requirements for performing a PPT?

A California Private Party Transfer (PPT) requires all the formalities of a dealer sale – 10 day wait, DROS and 4473 paperwork, lock for the firearm.

So I can't just give my friend the money and take my new gun home?

No.

Are there any exceptions for Curios and Relics or other firearms?

Yes. The only exception is for Curio and Relic (C&R) long guns. Handguns (pistols and revolvers) still need to go through a PPT even if they are C&R.

Can I buy a handgun that isn't on the "safe handgun Roster" via PPT?

Yes. PPT is exempt from the Handgun “Roster”.

Am I restricted to one handgun PPT every 30 days?

No. PPT is exempt from the “purchase only one in 30 days."

Can I perform a PPT with a non California resident?

No. The DROS software will accept only CA identification, so PPT is currently limited to only California residents.

What if I buy a gun from an out of state resident?

While an out of state resident may sell you their gun at a California FFL, it will not be a PPT but an interstate transfer. If it is a handgun, it will need to be on the Roster and subject to the "one handgun in 30 days" restriction.

Is a firearm sold on consignment considered a PPT?

Yes.

If the consignment firearm is a handgun, does it need to be listed on the "Roster?"

No. Since the consignment gun is treated as a PPT, it is not required to be on the Roster.

What is a STRAW PURCHASE?

A straw purchase is when a buyer uses an intermediary (the "straw man") to purchase a firearm(s) from a licensed firearms dealer. The purpose is to hide the true identity of the actual purchaser of the firearm(s).

Straw purchases are a felony violation of the Gun Control Act of 1968 for both the straw purchaser (who can be charged with lying on Federal Form 4473) and the actual possessor.

Frequently, the actual purchaser is a prohibited person under federal law.

It is legal for one person to purchase a firearm as a gift for another person.

It is legal for a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) to purchase an off-Roster handgun and later sell it to another California resident – that would not necessarily be a ‘straw purchase’.

Gun Buyback Questions

Can I stop someone on their way to a gun buyback and offer to buy their guns?

Yes.

What risks are involved if I buy a gun like this?

It might be stolen.

If the gun is C&R (over 50 years old) can I buy from someone at a gun buyback cash and carry?

Yes, if it is not a handgun (you can buy a rifle or shotgun this way).

Registration Questions

Can I buy/sell/own an unregistered firearm?

Yes.

California does not require firearms to be registered.

Handguns that have gone through CA FFLs are registered through the DROS process.

Long guns, other than 'assault weapons', are not registered through DROS, since no firearm information - make, model, caliber, etc. - is recorded.

Sales since 1991 have been required to use an FFL, so nearly all transfers since then have gone through DROS.

See also: Firearms Registration

What is an INTRAFAMILY TRANSFER?

‘Intra’ (means ‘within’) is different from ‘inter’ (means ‘between’).

California has some special rules for transferring firearms among certain family members. The Federal government has nothing similar.

For these rules, a family is parents, grandparents and children/grandchildren. Brothers, cousins, uncles and nephews are NOT included.

Husbands and wives may also transfer firearms one to another under slightly different rules.

Intrafamilial transfers of firearms are exempt from using an FFL if the transfer is inside California. Federal law still requires interstate transfers to use an FFL.

Intrafamilial transfers of LONG GUNS are paperless. No record is required.

Intrafamilial INHERITANCE (the giver is deceased) of LONG GUNS from correctly related family members who live outside of California is also exempt from the FFL (Federal law exempts inheritance) and paperless.

Intrafamilial INHERITANCE (the giver is deceased) of HAND GUNS from correctly related family members who live outside of California is also exempt from the FFL (Federal law exempts inheritance) but can be more complicated. See also Transferring firearms Interstate.

IF YOU CAN, GO GET THE HAND GUNS IN PERSON, and then file the form. While the Federal law exempts inheritors from using the FFL, commercial shippers will often feel bound not to ship to an unlicensed individual. See also Shipping Firearms Within California for a related discussion.

Intrafamilial transfers of HAND GUNS

  • require filing a form and paying a fee – one fee for all guns transferred at one time.
  • are exempt from the Roster (even if interstate)
  • are exempt from the ‘1 in 30 days’ rule (even if interstate)
  • are exempt from the requirement that the receiver be 21 years old (they must only be 18 years old)

While brother cannot use this rule to directly give a firearm to a brother or sister, there is a work-around. Brother1 can give the firearm to a parent; parent can then give the firearm to Brother2.

All transfers must be UP or DOWN, never SIDEWAYS.

Intrafamilial transfers of HAND GUNS from correctly related family members who live outside of California are one way to get hand guns which are not on the Roster .

See here for more info: Transferring Firearms Among Some Family Members

Possession Questions

Where can I HAVE A FIREARM?

Can I have a handgun anywhere within my home?

Yes.

Can I carry a concealed handgun within my home without a concealed carry permit (CCW)?

Yes. See the Unlicensed Concealed Carry article for more information.

Can I carry a concealed handgun within my home without a CCW if I live within a school zone?

Yes.

Can I carry a concealed handgun within yard or property without a concealed carry permit?

Yes, but only if your yard is fully enclosed such as by a fence.

If it is not fenced, it is considered a "public place" even though it is private property and you can not carry a loaded, unlocked firearm there.

See here for more info.

Can I carry a concealed handgun on private property I own without a concealed carry permit?

Yes. See here for more info.

Can I carry a concealed handgun in my friend's house or on his property without a concealed carry permit?

Yes, if he/she has given you permission to do so. See here for more info.

Can I have a firearm in a state park?

Yes, but only if it is unloaded and rendered temporarily inoperable or are packed, cased, or stored in a manner that will prevent ready use, and only at your temporary residence or in/on your vehicle. (per CA State Park Regulations)

Do I need to keep my guns locked up?

Only if minors might gain access to them (expand).

If I have my firearms locked in a safe or other device and law enforcement requests that I open it, am I required to?

No.

Can I have a handgun in my place of business?

Yes. See the Unlicensed Concealed Carry article for more information.

Where can I transport a handgun?

Handguns may generally be transported anywhere except onto school property and into certain public buildings and other places.

Penal Code 12026.2 has a list of places, which it acknowledges is not exclusive:

  • firearms collector’s meetings
  • hunter safety classes or sporting events involving the firearm
  • fixed businesses that repair firearms
  • gun shows and swap meets
  • licensed target ranges
  • lawful campsites, if not otherwise prohibited

Holders of licenses to carry concealed weapons have more options.

I have a permit to Carry a Concealed Weapon (CCW). Where can I transport a handgun that would otherwise be prohibited?
Can I carry a concealed weapon while hunting?

Yes, if you have a hunting license you can carry a concealed firearm while hunting or going to and from a hunting expedition (12027(g) PC). However, you cannot carry loaded unless you are in compliance with 12031. A hunting license does not give you any special privileges regarded loaded carry: 12031 takes precedence over the CA hunting regulations.

Can I carry a concealed weapon while fishing?

Yes, if you have a fishing license you can carry a concealed firearm while fishing or going to and from a fishing expedition (12027(g) PC). However, you cannot carry loaded unless you are in compliance with 12031. A fishing license does not give you any special privileges regarded loaded carry: 12031 takes precedence over the CA fishing regulations.

Where/when are some places/times that I CAN NOT HAVE A FIREARM?

  • On the grounds of any K-12 school, college or university without written permission from the school's superintendent/president, designee or equivalent authority. (626.9 PC)
  • On post office property, including the parking lot and grounds, even if it is in a locked container (39 CFR 232.1(l))
  • In any state or local public building (171b PC)
  • At any government-related meeting that is required to be open to the public. (171b PC)
  • Upon the grounds of the State Capitol (171c PC)
  • In any legislative office, or any office of the Governor or other constitutional officer (171c PC)
  • In any hearing room in which any committee of the Senate or Assembly is conducting a hearing (171c PC)
  • Within the Governor's Mansion or any residence of the Governor, or any residence of constitutional officers or legislators (171d PC)
  • Within any sterile area of an airport or boat passenger terminal (171.5 PC)
  • While masked so as to hide your identity, while on a public street or in a public place (12040 PC)
  • While labor picketing in a public place, cannot carry a concealed or loaded weapon (12590 PC)
  • In some areas of federal public lands (national forests, BLM, etc.) See here for more info
  • Important: County parks, state parks, game refuges and similar public property often have firearms prohibitions or restrictions. Check your local laws.

Carry Questions

Open Carry

Am I allowed to Open Carry in California?

With significant restrictions, yes.

Am I allowed to Open Carry a loaded firearm?

In areas where it is legal to discharge a firearm.

Am I allowed to Open Carry an unloaded handgun?

Yes, with certain restrictions.

Where am I not allowed to Open Carry an unloaded handgun?
  • Within 1000 feet of a K-12 school (School Zones)
  • The places listed here
Can I carry inside my house/apartment/condominium?

Yes. You can carry either openly or concealed, loaded or unloaded. This is still true if you live within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school.

Can I carry in the 'common areas' of my apartment/condominium complex?
  • Not concealed, without CCW. You don't 'own' the common areas in the same way you 'own' your apartment or condominium.
  • Not openly if the complex is within 1000 feet of a K-12 school (School Zones).

Concealed Carry

How do I get a permit to Carry a Concealed Weapon (CCW) in California?

In a large part of California, you don’t.

Who issues a CCW permit in California?

California law specifies that issuing authorities – Police Chiefs and County Sheriffs – MAY issue such a license.

Where is the permit valid?

If issued, the license is valid in the whole state, unless the issuer places restrictions on the license.

Who is eligible for a CCW, and what does the process entail?

The applicant must not be a ‘prohibited person’, must apply with a fee and fingerprints, must complete any training the issuing authority specifies (within limits) and have “good cause”.

The cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose are, in practice, “no issue” outside of lawyers, judges and retired law enforcement. The rest of the state is variable; the details are outside the scope of this article.

On what grounds can I be denied a permit?

The issuing authority is free to issue or refuse to issue for any reason or no reason.

Is “Good cause” defined in the Penal Code?

No.

Can I drink and concealed carry if I have a permit?

The Penal Code is silent on alcohol use or presence and Concealed Weapons License holders. Some issuing authorities are not silent.

What is the punishment for carrying concealed without a permit?

Carrying a concealed weapon without the license may be punished on the first occasion either as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on circumstances.

Am I allowed to carry on school grounds?

Yes, unless the issuing authority places a restriction on your permit.

Am I allowed to carry in establishments that serve alcohol?

Yes, unless the issuing authority places a restriction on your permit.


Magazine Questions

What is a large-capacity magazine?

California defines ‘large-capacity magazines’ as those which hold more than 10 rounds.

Possession

Is possession of a large capacity magazine illegal?

Possession of a large-capacity magazine is NOT illegal, no matter how you got it or when you got it. There was not and is not an age limit to own largecapacity magazines. This includes magazines issued to military.

Do I need to keep any proof that I legally acquired my magazines?

No, you do not need to keep receipts or otherwise prove your magazines are legal.

When did the law banning new large capacity magazines take effect?

New (to the state) large-capacity magazines were banned, effective January 1, 2000.

I owned large-capacity magazine(s) since before January 1, 2000, are they legal?

Yes. If you possessed such magazines in California before that date, they are legal.

If you manufactured them, or brought them into California for the first time after that date, the law was broken.

How is the California large-capacity magazine ban affected by the Federal ban (from 1994-2004), and vice versa?

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was law from 1994 until it expired in 2004. During that time, the manufacture of new large capacity magazines was restricted to law enforcement and military use only.

The sale of preexisting ("pre-ban") large capacity magazines was unchanged and still legal in California until the state ban took effect on January 1, 2000.

Up until that date, Californians could buy large-capacity magazines just like the rest of the country.

Can I bring large-capacity magazines into the state with me if I did not possess them here prior to January 1, 2000?

No.

Is there a legal minimum age to posses or purchase magazines?

No.

What is the Statute of Limitations for violating the laws regarding large-capacity magazines?

Three years. If you illegally imported the magazine into the state or manufactured it over three years ago, it is now legal to possess.

If you then left the state with that magazine and re-imported it, the clock on the statute of limitations would reset, as a new crime would have been committed.

What should I say if a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) asks me about my large-capacity magazines?

Don't talk your way into jail.

Say you have nothing to say on the subject without an attorney present.

Can I sell, trade or give large-capacity magazines to anyone in California?

It is illegal to transfer large-capacity magazines inside California, except to law enforcement.

Repair and Rebuild

Is it illegal to possess parts for large capacity magazines?

It is not illegal to possess all of the parts to manufacture a new large-capacity magazine, as long as you do not manufacture the magazine in the state of California.

Can I repair my old large-capacity magazines with new parts?

Existing (old) magazines may be repaired with new parts.

Can I use parts from new magazines that didn't exist before 2000 to repair and rebuild my old magazines?

Yes, the general consensus is that if any of the parts are interchangeable, it is legal.

  • An old and worn out USGI magazine, for example, can be rebuilt into a Magpul PMAG, because the spring from the USGI magazine is compatible with the PMAG.
Do I need to keep any parts from the original magazine in my newly rebuilt magazine?

No.

Can I change the capacity of my large-capacity magazine when I rebuild it?

Yes, it is legal to repair/rebuild your preexisting large capacity magazines of any capacity into larger or smaller capacity magazines (i.e. a 20 round mag can be rebuilt into a 30 round mag and vice versa), so long as they still work for the firearm intended.

The general consensus is that if the parts are interchangeable, it is legal (whether a 30 round USGI magazine can be built into a 100 round Beta C Mag, since the two share no common parts, is a topic of debate).

  • The parts can also be used to create new magazines when out of state, provided that before they return to the state, they are disassembled.
Can I use large-capacity magazine parts to build magazines that hold ten rounds or less?

Yes, It is legal to use the parts from a large-capacity magazine to manufacture a magazine that holds ten rounds or less. This modification must be permanent to be legal. A rivet or epoxy is generally considered permanent in the eyes of the law.

Use

Can I use my large-capacity magazines?

Yes.

Regardless of date or manner of acquisition, it is not illegal to use large capacity magazines.

Can I use the parts from a large-capacity magazine to create a magazine that holds ten rounds or less?

Yes. It is not illegal to convert a large-capacity magazine to a 10-round or smaller magazine.

If I have a ten round magazine for one caliber that holds more than ten rounds of another caliber, is it legal to use in the other caliber?

Yes.

Some magazines designed for 10 rounds of one caliber can accept more than ten rounds of a different caliber, and function in some firearms (Example: .50 Beowulf ten round magazines hold thirty rounds of .223). This is not illegal.

Is a magazine with ammunition in it a "loaded gun?"

No. A magazine with ammunition in it is not a ‘loaded gun.' It does not meet the Penal Code definition of a firearm.

Can I have ammunition in my magazines while transporting them?

Yes. When transporting a firearm, magazines may contain ammunition, so long as the magazines are not inserted in the magazine well of a firearm.

Lending large-capacity magazines

Can I loan my large-capacity magazine to a friend at the range?

You can lend a large-capacity magazine to a friend, if you stay together, as at a range.

Can't I just let him borrow the magazine to take to the range with him?

No. You cannot loan a large-capacity magazine to anyone, including family members, outside of your immediate presence.

Use of large-capacity magazines in "Bullet Buttoned" firearms

Can I use my large-capacity magazines in my firearm equipped with a "Bullet Button?"

NO! Rifles or pistols equipped with a bullet button (whether they are equipped with "evil features" or not) cannot use large capacity magazines. Large-capacity magazine laws are different from assault weapons laws.

Why?

The use of a bullet button with a large capacity magazine creates a Category 3 assault weapon.

What good are large capacity magazines then?

They can be used with firearms that do not have "Evil Features" or Bullet Buttons.

Transportation Questions

How do I legally transport a handgun?

The easiest (but not the only) method to legally transport a handgun is

  • unloaded
  • in a secure locked case
Can I have ammunition in the same case and compartment as the gun?

Yes.

Can my magazines for semiautomatic handguns have ammunition in them?

Yes.

Can my speed loaders for revolvers have ammunition in them?

Yes.

Does my gun need to be transported in my trunk?

No law requires the locked case to be in a trunk of a vehicle; the locked case may be in any part of your vehicle that you like.

Can I keep a gun in my glove box?

No, you may not use the glove box or center console to transport your unloaded handgun unless the handgun is also in a separate locked case.

Can I transport the locked case in a backpack or a cargo container on a motorcycle?

Yes.

Is a "secure locked container" defined anywhere?

No, there is no legal definition of ‘secure locked container.' There many varieties offered commercially; if you don’t personally think one is ‘secure,' buy one you think is secure.

Is there any distance a "secure locked container" must be from the driver or passengers of a vehicle?

No. As far as the law is concerned, the container can be in your lap.

If I use a cable or trigger lock, do I still need a locked container?

Yes. A ‘cable lock’ or ‘trigger lock’ can NOT replace the locked container.

Can I put the gun in my trunk without a locked container?

Yes, your locked trunk can be used as the only locked container, but only if there the pass-through from the back seat is also locked.

How do I legally transport a long gun (rifle or shotgun)?

Unloaded.

Is a case required to transport a long gun?

No.

Do I need to transport a long gun in my trunk or other locked container?

No, except:

When traveling through Gun Free School Zones Federal law requires long guns to be in a locked container or a locked gun rack.

Can I have ammunition in the same case and compartment as the gun?

Yes.

Can removable magazines for rifles have ammunition in them?

Yes, so long as no loaded magazine is in the magazine well.

How do I legally transport ammunition?

Transporting ammunition by ground inside California:

  • Ammunition may be transported in magazines or speed loaders, not inserted in any gun.
  • Ammunition may be transported in the same case and the same compartment of a case as a gun.
  • Ammunition need not be locked up for transport.

How do I legally transport a registered "assault weapon"?

Registered 'assault weapons' must be transported:

  • unloaded
  • in a locked case
  • only between authorized locations
  • only by the person to whom the weapon is registered

What about the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA)?

Can I bring an assault weapon into California on my way to another state?

Flying with a Firearm

Can I fly with a firearm in my carry on?

No.

Can I fly with a firearm in my checked baggage?

Yes.

What do I need to do to fly with a firearm?

Read this.

Loaning Questions

General Loaning Questions

Can I loan a registered assault weapon under any circumstances?

No.

The only exception is if you are with the person at all times, and you must be at a shooting range or valid exhibition event (12280(k) PC), and even then, you may not loan your Registered Assault Weapon to anyone under 18.

Seriously.

Can I loan a firearm to a prohibited person?

No.

Loaning Firearms to Family Members

Can I loan a long gun to a minor that is my child?

Yes. Ref: 12078(p)(4) PC

Can I loan a long gun to a minor that is my grandchild?

Yes, if tt is done with the express permission of the minor's parent or legal guardian. Ref: 12078(p)(5) PC

Can I loan a handgun to a minor that is my child?

Yes, if:

  • The minor is being loaned the handgun for use in a lawful activity
  • The loan duration is limited to the amount of time reasonably necessary for the minor to complete the activity

Ref: 12078(p)(3) PC

Can I loan a handgun to a minor that is my grandchild?

Yes, but the grandparent/grandchild relationship is N/A. See Can I loan a handgun to a minor that is someone else's child?.

Loaning Firearms to Non-Family Members

Can I loan a long gun to an adult?

Yes, if:

  • The loan is for a lawful purpose
  • You do not loan a large-capacity magazine unless you will be in their presence at all times
  • AND
  • OR
    • The loan is for the purpose of shooting targets at an official target range
    • The firearm remains on the premises of the target range
Is there a time limit for how long I can loan a long gun to someone?

Yes. The duration of the loan is 30 days or less, or for the duration of hunting season if lending to a licensed hunter.

Are there any age restrictions on loaning long guns?

The recipient must be at least 18 years old.


NOTE 2: Loans between FFLs, dealer, and licensed persons may have fewer conditions. Read 12078 PC

Ref: 12078 PC

Can I loan a handgun to an adult?

Yes, if:

  • The loan is for a lawful purpose
  • The duration of the loan is 30 days or less
  • You do not loan a large-capacity magazine unless you will be in their presence at all times
  • The loan is infrequent, you know the person, and the person has a Handgun Safety Certificate OR all of the following are true:
    • The person is at least 18 years old
    • You are at least 18 years old
    • The duration of the loan is limited to 3 days or less
    • You will remain in their immediate vicinity at all times
  • The person is at least 21 years old OR
    • You made the loan as per the no-HSC case above OR
    • all of the following are true:
      • The person is at least 18 years old
      • The loan is for the purpose of shooting targets at an official target range
      • The firearm remains on the premises of the target range

NOTE 2: Loan between FFLs, dealer, and licensed persons may have fewer conditions. Read 12078 PC

Ref: 12078 PC

Can I loan a long gun to a minor that is someone else's child?

Yes, if:

  • The loan is for a lawful purpose
  • The loan duration is 30 days or less
  • You have the express permission of the minor's parent or legal guardian

Ref: 12078(p)(1) PC

Can I loan a handgun to a minor that is someone else's child?

Yes, if:

  • The minor is being loaned the handgun for use in a lawful activity
  • The loan duration is limited to the amount of time reasonably necessary for the minor to complete the activity
  • The loan duration must not exceed 10 days
  • The minor has the express permission of their parent or legal guardian OR the minor's parent or legal guardian is present at the time the loan is made

Ref: 12078(p)(2) PC

What is an "infrequent" loan?

For handguns: less than six loans per calendar year

For long guns: loans made occasionally and without regularity

Ref: 12078(u)(1) PC, 12070(c)(1) PC

"Assault Weapons," Questions

What is a registered “assault weapon”?

California created its ‘assault weapon’ law in 1989.

Numerous rifles owned at that time were classified as ‘assault weapons’, and during 1990 the owners were supposed to submit a registration form and a fee to the state to register the weapons.

That process is DIFFERENT from the DROS when the rifles were originally purchased; upon successful registration, the State returned a letter verifying the registration.

Similarly, in 1999 the law was amended to include rifles by feature instead of by name. A new registration period was opened for 2000, with similar extra form, fees, and a confirmation letter.

All registration periods are ended. No ‘assault weapons’ may now be registered except by authorized law enforcement.

There is much confusion regarding ‘assault weapon’ registration; evidence suggests that many owners believed, in error, that the DROS at the original purchase was sufficient.

Here is a FAQ related to legal ownership of registered "assault weapons"

It is illegal to own an unregistered ‘assault weapon’.

It is illegal to transport an unregistered ‘assault weapon’.

It is foolish to post on Calguns “I have a weapon which may be an ‘assault weapon’ and I do not think it is registered.”

The standard advice for that situation is

  • do not say anything in a public forum known to be read by CA-DOJ and other law enforcement agencies;
  • immediately disassemble the weapon;
  • get a lawyer;
  • have the lawyer arrange the surrender of the weapon to local law enforcement.


I am in the Military, can I bring an "assault weapon" into California?

Military personnel with permanent orders to California may get a Military Assault Weapon Permit (MAWP) before moving to California; contact the Department of Justice directly, or your post/base/station legal services. The permit does not allow you to buy new weapons California doesn’t like, only legally possess the ones you own before coming here. If you retire or complete your service in California, the MAWP is no longer valid and you must move the covered weapons out of state.

NON "Assault Weapons" Questions

"Bullet Button" Questions

Is the Bullet Button Legal?

Yes. Note that the DOJ has not approved the Bullet Button, because the DOJ does not approve ANYTHING.

Featureless" Questions

What is a pistol grip?

A pistol grip is defined as any grip that "allows a pistol style grip below the action of the firearm." Ref: CCR5469

Hunting Questions

Are there any magazine capacity restrictions while hunting?

Yes. A shotgun may only be capable of holding 3 shells or less, in the magazine and chamber combined (CA hunting regulations).

Can I carry a handgun while hunting?

Yes. Handguns may be carried and used to take some game (CA hunting regulations).

Sales Questions

CFLC Questions

Do I need to register with the California DOJ as a private (non FFL) seller?

No.

How do I register for the CFLC?

By going here.

I have more questions about the CFLC, where can I find my answers?

At the CFLC FAQ.

Private sales questions

Can I ship a handgun direct to an FFL if I don't have an FFL?
Can I ship a rifle or shotgun direct to an FFL if I don't have an FFL?
Can I sell (X non-serialized firearm component) without an FFL?

Ammo Sales / AB962 Questions

Can I still sell ammo to California residents?

YES!

What ammunition will be considered handgun ammunition once AB 962 is implemented (if ever it is)?

Currently that question is anyone's guess. Standard pistol calibers (9mm/.40/.45) and revolver calibers (.38/.357) are sure to be considered pistol ammo, even though rifles and carbines exist in those calibers.

Likewise, rifle calibers such as .223 and 7.62x39, while available in some pistols, are unlikely to be considered handgun ammunition under AB962.

It remains to be seen if .22LR will be considered pistol or rifle ammunition according to the bill.

What cities and counties have restrictions against shipping ammunition?

Y county isn't listed above. Why won't X vendor ship to Y county?

They're dumb and don't want the money of the residents of that county.

I am out of state and a ca resident asked me to ship him X component, is this legal and can I get in trouble for it?

With limited exceptions, the term "parts are parts" applies. Even components that could be used to assemble an illegal firearm can be sent to California, as there is no constructive possession in California law?

What about SBR/MG/Other NFA stuff?

NFA items are generally prohibited in California, and Federal law still applies.

Short barrels and complete SBR upper receivers can be sent to California for the purpose of creating legal AR and other pistols. It is up to the buyer to ensure compliance with state and federal law regarding constructive possession.

What about large capacity magazines? Can I send those to California and can I get in trouble if I do?

Assembled large capacity magazines cannot be sent or brought into California, and to do so IS a felony, even if you live out of state and never enter California.

What about parts for large capacity magazines?

Parts to repair, rebuild and reassemble large capacity magazines are completely legal to send to California. There is no constructive possession and all the parts can be sent in the same package at the same time.

References

Moving to California with firearms

History of 'Assault Weapon' laws

Best Way to Build a Legal Unregistered Gun?

Legal to Manufacture a Revolver in California for Personal Use?

BATFE FAQ

BATFE "Building A Firearm" PDF

Buying and selling firearms in California

Transferring firearms Interstate

Firearms registration

California License to Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW)

Question about Concealed Weapons Permits in CA

Possession of UNregistered California "assault weapons"

Buying and selling FIrearms in California

Transferring Firearms Among Some Family Members

Transferring firearms Interstate

Shipping Firearms Within California

Possessing an unregistered handgun

Off List Lowers (OLL/OLR)

Defining loaded in California

Straw Purchase Fact Sheet

Interstate sales or transfers to California residents

Transferring firearms interstate

Assault Weapon Transportation

What is "loaded" in California?

Gun Safes, Gun Locks, California and Federal Law

How to live in California and buy a gun

Large-capacity magazine restrictions

Large-capacity magazines in California

Legality of "hi-cap" mags

Calguns Post on 10/30 magazines

Mag Extensions On Preban Mags

CFLC FAQ

See also

Transporting a Firearm

CHP FAQ

NRA's Guide to the Interstate Transportation of Firearms

CFLC Overview