Some states place limitations on firearm possession and sales. These are the restriction on firearms in California:

  • The Child Access Prevention Law - This law requires adults to use a loaded-chamber indicator and magazine safety disconnects to prevent accidental shootings. It also requires owners to store guns in a place not readily available to minors under 18. If a child obtains an improperly stored gun the adult owner is criminally liable.
  • Juvenile Possession Law - This law bars possession of handguns or ammunition by people less than 18 years.
  • Juvenile Sale/Transfer Law - This law bars or restricts the sale or transfer of specified guns to youth. In California you have to be 21 to buy a handgun and 18 for other firearms.

May I Carry a Gun or Firearm in California?

Generally, you may not carry a weapon, gun, or concealed weapon in public places unless you have a valid Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) license. A CCW license allows a person to carry a concealed weapon in public places and a California County Sheriff usually issues these licenses to residents of that county. California does not recognize or honor licenses that have been issued outside the state.

There are also other restrictions for California residents who wish to carry a concealed a weapon. Certain people are prohibited from carrying any type of firearm or weapon even if they have a license:

  • Any person who has a conviction for a misdemeanor listed in Penal Code section 29805
  • Any person who has a felony conviction under Penal Code Section 29805
  • A person who is addicted to a narcotic drug
  • Any person held out to be dangerous to themselves or others
  • Any person who is restricted under other domestic or mental conditions, or conditions of probation or parole

Does California Have a Ban on Assault Weapons?

Yes, the state has banned certain types on automatic weapons according to their characteristics.

Does California Require Background Checks?

Yes, on all firearms sales including those at gun shows. The waiting period to get a permit to buy the gun is 10 days. The state is then required to destroy the records on the sale of rifles and shotguns.

Does California Require a License to Possess Firearms?

Yes. The state requires all gun owners to obtain a handgun safety certificate (a license) prior to purchasing a firearm.

How Can I Apply for a Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) license?

Contact your county sheriff's office or your city police department for information on how you can apply and obtain a CCW license. They can answer your questions and give you information on the process. They will also provide you with a copy of their CCW license policy statement and the CCW license application.

Is There a Limit on the Number of Handguns that I Can Own or Purchase?

There is no limit to the number of firearms or handguns that you may own, but there are restrictions placed on the number of handguns or firearms you may purchase within a 30-day period. Handguns are restricted to one per 30 days.

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Gun Ownership Issue?

Gun ownership, purchase, and use laws are very narrow and strictly adhered to because guns are dangerous items. A California lawyer can help you understand these laws and assist you in acquiring and maintaining ownership of a firearm. If your gun ownership rights are being challenged by government authorities, an attorney can represent you in legal proceedings and protect your rights.