CALIFORNIA GUN LAW FACTS

COMMON SENSE FIREARMS OWNERSHIP

 

Firearms ownership is not only a right under the 2nd Amendment, it is also a priveledge and a responsibility. It is a priveledge granted to us because we are fortunate enough to reside in a country whose founders had the foresight to ensure that every citizen has the rights to bear arms.  Though with this great right, comes great responsibility.  The best way for millions of individual firearms owners to promote gun rights, is through the responsible ownership, storage and safe use of firearms.

 

Knowledge of federal, state, and local laws are integral to responsible gun ownership. Depending on where you live there may be vastly different rules and regulations when it comes to firearms ownership and it is your responsibility to know what they are.

While you may or may not agree with federal, state and local laws regarding gun ownership, it is important that you understand them (especially the ones in your state) in-order-to avoid entanglements with law enforcement and maintain your legal 2nd amendment right to own firearms .

 

The following Gun Facts specifically address a fraction of the voluminous State Laws that govern firearm ownership in the California.  If you do not live in California, make sure you research your individual state laws regarding firearms ownership.   

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Rifle Bullets
How do I transport Ammunition?

How can I transport Ammuntion?

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.

 
Rifle Bullets
Is my AR Legal?

MAYBE.  

This is a HUGE topic.

 

Even IF you bought your AR or AK style weapon legally, it still may be illegal now as CA has passed FOUR separate assault weapons bans making more and more rifles illegal.  

 

Even IF you bought it legally, it is NOT “registered” for the purposes of AW laws.

 

Even IF you configured it after one ban, it may still not Bbelegal NOW.  

 

Contact David Salvin for the latest information on how to keep your AR or AK legal.

 
Weapon Sight and Barrel
How do I legally Transport Assult Weapons in CA?

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

 
Can I Transport a Pistol in my Car in CA?
Handgun and  Ammunition

 YES But you have to be careful.

 

Pursuant to California Penal Code section 25610, a United States citizen over 18 years of age who is not prohibited from firearm possession, and who resides or is temporarily in California, may transport by motor vehicle any handgun provided it is unloaded and locked in the vehicle’s trunk or in a locked container. Furthermore, the handgun must be carried directly to or from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while being carried must be contained within a locked container.

Pursuant to California Penal Code section 16850, the term "locked container" means a secure container that is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment.

So... Yes, it must be UNLOADED (meaning no rounds IN THE GUN) but you can have them in the same container and even loaded in a magazine.  As long as the mag is not in the gun itself.

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.
 

 
Image by Matt Briney
Collectors and O3 FFL

Can an 03 FFL buy ammo in CA without background check?

 

YES Starting Jan 1, 2018, all ammunition purchases in California are required to be made from a licensed vendor in person. People who have Type 03 FFL with CA Certificate of Eligibility are exempt from this requirement.


BUT... many dealers do not recognize this exemption or are too lazy to learn about it and still will not sell ammo to an 03FFL without the background check.

 

What is a COE and why do I need it?

 

A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) certifies the California Department of Justice (DOJ) has checked its records and determined the recipient is not prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms at the time the firearms eligibility criminal background check was performed.

Are there Other uses to the 03 FFL and CA COE?


In addition to the ability to buy ammunition without involving a licenced vendor, people who possess Type 03 FFL and CA COE may also:

  • Buy Curio & Relic long guns from CA residents in person, without going to a dealer

  • Buy Curio & Relic firearms outside of California, and personally bring them to the state

  • Use COE instead of Firearms Safery Certificat

  • Buy more than one handgun in 30 days period

  • Skip 10 days wait for C&R firearms

  • Import ammunition obtained outside of California

 

See more details at "Laws" section.

 

Are there Cons to being an 03 FFL?
 

Yes Some.

 

  • 03 FFL holders are required to keep records of all C&R firearm acquisitions

  • C&R firearms are subject to occasional audit by ATF (yes they can and do come out to your house)

  • 03 FFL License costs $10/year; COE costs $22/year; initial COE costs can be as high as $100

 
Concealed Use Permit
Men with Guns
Men with Guns

How do I get a permit to Carry a Concealed Weapon (CCW) in California?
In a large part of California, you don’t. But that is changing rapidly.  CA, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino counties DO issue. LA is slowly beginning to issue a bit.

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”.

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. Good cause is a bit of an art rather than an established science.  Your best options involve work and direct personal safety concerns.  Attorneys, judges and psychiatric professionals generally have an easier time establishing “good cause”.  Those who carry lots of cash or valuables like couriers, landlords collecting rent, vending machine services etc. can qualify.  To a lesser extent those who camp, run or enjoy recreational activities far from police protection have a lesser (but possible) claim for “good cause”.

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. Most forbid it.

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?
NO, unless you have written permission from the principal or school super intendant.

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.

What is an 03 FFL?
Type 03 FFL is a Federal Firearm License type for Collectors of Curios and Relics.

    What is a “curio or relic”?
   Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas of such firearms;

    Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and

    Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event.
 

 
FIRE ARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE
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What is a Firearms Safety Certificate?  
   It is a certificate a bit like a driver’s license that shows you took a short firearms safety quiz and passed.  It is necessary to have an FSC to acquire firearms in CA.

 

What are the Firearm Safety Certificate requirements?
Prior to purchasing or acquiring a firearm, unless exempted, you must have a valid Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC). You must present your FSC to the firearms dealer at the time you begin a transaction to purchase or acquire a firearm.

    

What are the exemptions from the Firearm Safety Certificate requirement?
There are several FSC requirement exemptions. In addition to the previous Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC) exemptions, a person issued a valid hunting license is exempt from the FSC requirement for long guns only. (Pen. Code, § 31700, subd. ©.) And if you have a CCW you don’t need an FSC.

    

If I already have a Handgun Safety Certificate, do I still need a Firearm Safety Certificate?
    A valid HSC can still be used to purchase/acquire handguns until it expires. For long gun purchases/acquisitions made on or after January 1, 2015, an FSC is required. An FSC can be used to purchase/acquire both handgun and long guns.

    

How do I get a Firearm Safety Certificate?
To obtain an FSC you must score at least 75% (23 correct answers out of 30 questions) on the FSC Test covering firearm safety and basic firearms laws. The true/false and multiple choice test is administered by Instructors certified by the Department of Justice who are generally located at firearms dealerships.

    

How much does the Firearm Safety Certificate cost?
The fee for taking the FSC Test and obtaining an FSC is twenty-five dollars ($25). The $25 fee entitles you to take the test twice (from the same DOJ Certified Instructor) if necessary.

    

Are there any minimum qualifications/requirements for a person who wants to take the Firearm Safety Certificate Test?
Yes. The FSC applicant must be at least 18 years of age and must present clear evidence of identity and age by presenting a California Driver License or California Department of Motor Vehicles Identification Card.

    

If I don't pass the test, can I take it again?
Yes. The $25 fee entitles you to take the test twice if necessary. If you fail the test the first time, you may retake another version of the test from the same DOJ Certified Instructor without any additional fee after 24 hours have elapsed. The DOJ Certified Instructor is required to offer or make available to you the FSC Study Guide or refer you to view the webinar.

An FSC is valid for five years from the date of issuance.

 

If I lose my Firearm Safety Certificate can I get a replacement?
Yes. A replacement FSC is available only through the DOJ Certified Instructor who issued your FSC. The FSC replacement cost is $5. The replacement FSC will reflect the same expiration date as your original FSC.

    

Do I need a Firearm Safety Certificate if I am receiving a firearm from my mother or father?
Yes. Prior to taking possession of the firearm, you must have a valid FSC. Pursuant to Penal Code section 27875, subdivison (c), within 30 days of the transfer, you must also report the acquisition to DOJ on Form BOF 4544, pdf.

  

Do I have to carry my Firearm Safety Certificate with me whenever I possess or transport my firearm?
No. Mere possession/ownership of a firearm does not require an FSC. However, you do have to present your FSC to the firearms dealer at the time you begin a transaction to purchase/acquire a firearm.

    

I am moving into California and intend to bring my firearm with me. Do I need a Firearm Safety Certificate?

No, you do not need an FSC to move into California with your firearm. However, there are important rules related to personal firearm importation that must be followed, and which are explained on this website. (Pen. Code, § 17000.)