Purchasing A Firearm in California
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What is the minimum legal age to purchase a firearm in California?
21 years of age for all firearms and lower receivers.
What is the waiting period for firearm purchases in California?
10 days, calculated as ten, consecutive, 24-hour periods commencing at the initiation of the DROS process. Recently, the California DOJ has been taking more than 10 days to complete the firearm background. It is best to call us after the 10 days but before traveling to the store and see if your DROS has been approved. Qualified persons such as peace officers may be exempt from the 10-day waiting period.
What is the DROS process?
DROS is the acronym for Dealer Record of Sale. It is the system used by the California Dept. of Justice wherein background checks are conducted for purchasers of firearms. It is also the method by which firearm sales registration information is obtained.
Who is prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms in California?
Persons convicted of felonies or certain misdemeanors, persons addicted to narcotics, persons adjudicated to be mentally defective, persons who are under the restrictions of a temporary restraining order (domestic violence) are among the persons who may not purchase or possess firearms. List Link
What are the additional requirements necessary for purchasing a firearm?
Firearms Safety Certificate Guide
Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, purchasers must possess a Firearm Safety Certificate (or present a qualifying exemption) to purchase a firearm. You can obtain the FSC by successfully passing the written FSC test. The test consists of 30 questions; passing scores are 23 answers correct or more. The cost of taking the test is $10; upon passing the test, the FSC card costs $15. Study materials will be available online.
The FSC is valid for 5 years from date of issuance.
Safe Handling Demonstration
This is a set of firearm handling skills that must be performed by the purchaser with the gun they are purchasing or with a gun of the same model as the one that is being purchased. The skills include checking that the firearm is empty, unlocking it, loading it with a dummy round, then unloading it and relocking it. This demonstration is performed at the time of DROS or during delivery of the firearm depending on time constraints.
Proof of Residency
CA law mandates that customers purchasing handguns provide proof of residency secondary to a CA Driver’s License or ID card. Utility bills from within the last 90 days, property deeds, lease or rental agreements, or government issued permits, licenses or registrations are acceptable proofs of residency that meet the CA handgun residency requirements.
The address on my CA Driver’s License has changed or the address is a business address or P.O. Box.
Why do I have to provide additional proof of residency if I have already done so in my handgun purchase or if I am purchasing a rifle or shotgun?
Federal law mandates that a dealer may not sell or transfer a firearm unless the purchaser provides the dealer with a current and valid government-issued picture ID that includes the purchaser’s residence address. If the address on your CA Driver’s license is not current or if the address reflects a business address or P.O. Box, you will be required to provide a government document (vehicle registration that reflects your current residence address).
What documentation is acceptable proof of residency for a firearm purchase?
Current Carry Concealed Weapon Permit (CCW).
Current DMV Registrations.
Utility bill. Electricity, gas, cable bill from within the past three months that bears on its face the individual’s name.
Current Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
Curio and Relic (C &R) Federal Firearms License (03 FFL) with name and address.
Current DMV Disabled Placard.
Resident Hunting License issued by Department of Fish and Wildlife
Fishing License: Commercial, Resident Sport, Lifetime, 1, 2, and 10 day licenses issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Rental Agreement. Required signature, date, and notarization.
Property Deed/Title that bears the individual’s name.
Current, government-issued license, permit, or registration, other than a California Driver License or California Identification Card, that has a specified expiration date or period of validity.
Examples of unacceptable proof(s) of residency
Active Duty Military Spouse ID. Bank Statement. Brown Card.
Cellular Phone bill. Fishing Validations and Report Cards.
Hunting license- Standard, Self-Filled. Pay Stub. Voter Registration.
Why do I have to buy a gun lock or trigger lock with the purchase of my gun?
California law requires that all firearms sold, be transferred with a trigger lock, cable lock, qualifying gun cabinet or lock box, or gun safe. These devices may include CA approved cable locks that come with the majority of new firearms or one that was purchased within the last 30 days, provided that it is accompanied by a receipt.
What if the new gun I am purchasing comes with a gun lock?
If the device that comes with your gun is on the “CA approved” list than you will not need to purchase another gun lock or cable.
What are the limits of firearms that a person can purchase at one time?