The Laws For Buying A Gun in California

Laws differ from one state to another. Legislatures for individual states determine many of the statutes of their laws per regional political determinations from the governor of the state and measures voted on by residents of the state. Some laws in California conform to federal standards, but some vary. A common question asked by Californians is what are the laws for buying a gun in the state? We researched the current laws, rules, and regulations for buying a gun in California.

Do Californians have the right to buy a gun?

Robert Helfend explains that the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States grants the legal right of law-abiding citizens to purchase, own, and possess guns in California. It’s essential to note that each state has the right to restrict ownership of specific types of firearms to specific types of people. The state may institute regulations and restrictions as it sees fit in the interest of the safety of Californians. Gun laws in California are specific to the state and may not reflect the values or laws passed in other states. California is known to be among the most restrictive for gun control.

What are the laws for buying a gun in California?

Californias must complete documents to confirm eligibility to legally buy a gun in California. They must passage requirements for the type of gun purchased, and they must pass a background check. California requires an extensive list of requirements before a resident may be certified eligible to purchase a firearm. We break down the requirements and processes to help you understand how to qualify for eligibility.

Age requirements

Californians must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a shotgun or a rifle. Buyers must be at least 21 years of age to purchase a handgun. This includes all purchases made in the State of California whether at gun shows, private parties, or registered dealers. The transfer of guns is restricted by California’s regulatory laws. You cannot legally gift a gun or sell it to a person who is not eligible to buy a gun.

The Personal Firearms Eligibility Check is required

You must complete a personal firearms eligibility check. It is a background check completed in advance to confirm that the applicant has not been convicted of criminal offenses including a felony, some misdemeanors, drug-related crimes, domestic violence, and some firearms offenses. Persons who have been committed to a mental institution may not be eligible.

You must pay a $20 fee to the Department of Justice to process the background check. You must also be a resident of the State of California, possess a valid driver’s license, or possess a state-issued identification card from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. You may also provide a military identification that shows you’re stationed in California. The Department of Justice reviews the findings of the background check and renders a determination of your eligibility to buy a handgun. They render one of four possible decisions. The decision is based on the results of the background check compared with state laws on eligibility.

  • You are eligible to buy new firearms and possess firearms.
  • You may not buy new firearms but may possess firearms.
  • You may not buy new firearms or possess firearms.
  • No determination for lack of information to determine eligibility.

What happens if you’re determined ineligible?

If your background check returns information that renders you ineligible to possess a firearm you will be required to surrender all firearms you own. You will be notified of the restrictions regarding the process for surrendering the guns. You may be able to transfer the firearms to another person, however, you must follow the established rules and transfer them to a person who has completed the background check and is deemed eligible to own the types of guns in your possession. For example, you may not transfer a firearm to a convicted felon, narcotics addict, or mental patient. You may not transfer any firearm to a person under 18 years of age. You may not transfer a handgun to a person under 21 years of age.

What can cause an ineligible verdict?

Any applicant convicted of a felony is not eligible to buy, own, or possess a firearm. Narcotics addicts and persons with a history of certain mental conditions are not allowed to buy, own, or possess firearms in the State of California. Persons under 21 years of age may not purchase, own, or possess a handgun. Persons under the age of 18 years old may not buy, own, or possess a firearm. Persons who have committed violent public displays of a firearm are ineligible to buy a firearm. People with multiple misdemeanors including threatening an officer, assault, domestic violence, or gun-related crimes may be denied the right to purchase a gun for ten years after the conviction. Anyone taken into custody with mental health issues deemed a danger to themselves or others cannot own a gun for five years after the incident.

Is ineligibility permanent?

If you do not possess a valid California driver’s license or ID card you may be put on temporary hold. Pepperdine University Graphic confirms that people with temporary holds on eligibility for unpaid tickets, fees, or other situations may resolve the issues then reapply for the background check and a determination. All denials are sent to the person submitting the Personal Firearms Eligibility Check, explaining how to appeal the process within two weeks.

How many California laws pertain to guns?

California’s books are filled with laws related to firearms. There are 108 of them. It’s the highest number of gun laws of any state in the Union. If you’re wondering why California is among the most stringent, it’s due to the number of gun-related crimes committed in the state, and the fallout from the Parkland Shooting. Lawmakers and concerned citizens have lobbied for stricter gun laws, putting more of them on the books.

What is the process for buying a gun in California?

Securing eligibility to purchase a gun in the State of California is just the first step in the process. It doesn’t allow you to walk into a gun dealer, buy a gun, and walk out. Once approved, there are a few other steps to be taken. You must provide proof of residence when you purchase a gun from a licensed California firearms dealer with a valid Certificate of Eligibility to sell. to purchase a gun in California, to must also possess a Firearm Safety Certificate.

How to get a Firearm Safety Certificate in the State of California

You must take a written test administered by Department of Justice Certified Instructors. In most cases, it is a firearms dealer. It is a 30-question written test. The fee for taking the test is $25. The average time to take the test is thirty minutes. You must pass the test with a score of at least 75 percent. You may access the fifty-page study guide on the Department of Justice website online to prepare for the test. You will learn about gun safety, the operation of a firearm, gun laws, gun ownership, and other pertinent facts that will appear on the test. If you’re buying a handgun, you must bring proof of residency that confirms the address where you live and a state-issued or military identification. Proof of your residence may be a deed, a rental or lease agreement, or a utility bill in your name with the physical address where you live. The rest of the gun buying process is straightforward.

Choose the gun you want to purchase from a certified firearms dealer. You will need to present your state-issued identification and other documents discussed earlier. Present them to the cashier. Some dealers require full payment at the time of the purchase and others ask for a deposit on the gun with full payment due when the paperwork comes back to prove your eligibility. The firearms dealer will present you with the legal papers required for purchasing a gun. You must complete ATF Form 4473, DROS at the time of purchase. You are also required to give your right thumbprint on the document. You may be asked to complete extra documents, depending on your situation and the type of gun you purchase. You may only buy one handgun within a 30-day timeframe in the State of California except for antique collectible guns for licensed collectors, and long guns. Dealers are required to hold the guns for a minim of ten days before allowing the purchaser to walk out the door with them.

What happens when you pick up your firearm?

After the ten days have passed and you return to the dealer to complete the transaction to buy a gun, The DOJ Certified Instructor will discuss safe handling instructions for the gun and walk you through the process of performing a safe handling demonstration. You will be required to sign a written statement verifying you completed a safe handling demonstration. This step is required to ensure that everyone who buys a gun in California knows how to use it safely. You will also be required to pay state and dealer fees when purchasing a handgun. The Dealer Record of Sales fee is $25. Some firearm dealers charge additional fees for selling guns. Private parties are allowed a limited of $10 per firearm in addition to the required state fees. Additionally, you must show up to purchase the gun within 30 days of submitting the DROS or the dealer is legally required to cancel the sale. It usually takes just ten days to complete the waiting process. It’s wise to make an appointment with a set date and time to return to complete the transaction.

Can non-citizens buy a gun in California?

Lawful permanent residents who are not US citizens may buy a gun if they have a green card. They’re required to be in the United States for a minimum of 90 days. They must have a hunting license issued in the United States, bring a copy of their Alien Registration form, a copy of the visa for non-immigrants, and an I-94 card. Non-residents who gave up US citizenship are not eligible. The same rules and regulations apply to non-residents when purchasing a gun in California. You must pass the background check and be found eligible to own, possess, and buy a firearm per the laws of California.

Final thoughts

California is a state that has the most stringent gun laws. The state enforces the laws to protect the peace and safety of its residents. The laws are designed to protect the innocent and uphold the citizens of California’s Second Amendment right to bear arms. Buying a gun in California is a process and it takes time. You must pass a background screening to become eligible to buy a gun.

A felony conviction in the past five years, a record of narcotic drug use, convictions for violent crimes, multiple misdemeanors, making threats to an officer, have a dishonorable discharge from the military, a mental condition, if you’ve presented the risk of harm to yourself or others, or have a felony in the past five years, you will not be eligible to buy a gun. Additionally, you must prove that you know how to safely handle a gun and perform a safe handling demonstration.

You must sign a written statement confirming that you performed the demonstration before you will be allowed to leave with the gun. There is no way for you to buy a Gun in California without a waiting period. There is a minimum ten-day waiting period after the process starts. You must return to the dealer and pick up the gun you purchased within thirty days of taking the tests, or the deal will be canceled by law. It’s a lengthy process for California residents, but it helps protect gun owners and the rest of the public from harm.

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