Frequently Asked Questions
The Calguns Foundation Wiki
Frequently Asked Questions Page
The rest of the Calguns Foundation Wiki is essentially reference material. This section will refer back to those pages, but the articles here are applications – what does this really mean? What does this allow me to do, or demand that I do not do?
This is not legal advice. The authors are not qualified to give legal advice, and even if they were, none of them are ‘’your’’ lawyer. Take legal advice only from licensed professionals whom ‘’you’’ are paying for specific advice for your circumstances.
The base assumption in all these questions and answers is that the reader is a resident of only California, and is not a ‘prohibited person’ who would be ineligible to buy or possess firearms.
Before we begin: Other FAQs
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has several FAQ pages - here is the index for Firearms FAQs
- The California Department of Justice has its set of FAQs
- California Firearms Laws Summary Booklet (a downloadable .PDF)
- The most comprehensive FAQ can be found here.
- TIPS for "new members” with links to things not covered here e.g. hardware, building AR-type rifles.
Calguns Foundation Wiki FAQs
The questions here are the simple cases, and the answers are strongly biased to taking the safest path. Gun laws are filled with odd corners and peculiar court interpretations; law enforcement at all levels can be motivated by a complex relationship of opinion and politics, as well as the law. If you follow the suggestions in the pages branching from this page, it is highly unlikely you will break any laws. That does NOT mean you cannot be arrested, prosecuted, tried and convicted!
The safest path is often not the only path. Each article will have a link to a Calguns discussion thread where you may post questions; as the discussion evolves, so will the FAQ page here. Be aware that Calguns is closely read by several California law enforcement agencies, including Department of Justice staff. Do NOT post questions that suggest you may have accidentally or deliberately committed a crime.
Lastly, these pages cannot address WHY the laws are as they are. That’s a fruitless inquiry – the intent here is to learn to live within them, until they can be changed.
Each question will open a new browser page for the answer.
I got this email, I heard it at the gun store, is it true?
Mostly not, but specifically
- Ammunition serialization - a real proposal once, but not active in either Federal or California in 2008-2009
- Brady gun-ban list, from Alan Korwin - not in 2009 House or Senate
- Microstamping begins in 2010 - very probably not
- Can't have loaded magazines in same locked case as handgun - wrong, that's legal
- AR-type rifle with 'bullet button' must be top-loaded or is an illegal 'assault weapon' if magazine removed - wrong.
Please note that 'these are not currently active' is different from 'this cannot happen'.
Work in Progress
Of course a project like an FAQ will never be complete.
If you have a suggestion for a question to add (even better, if you have the ANSWER!) please open a new thread at Calguns and tell us.
Similarly, please point out errors; do remember, this level of answer is not intended to be complete and not intended to cover all possible variations and complications - such discussions deserve longer treatment of the main Wiki or longer discussions.
Original Discussion thread for this top FAQ page.