California Gun Laws

California Gun Laws

California State Gun And Self-Defense Laws: YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.  Always Consult An Attorney   


Rifles & Shotguns Handguns
Permit to Purchase    YES*   YES*
Registration of Firearms      YES**      YES**
Licensing of Owners NO NO
Permit to Carry NO Yes (in incorporated areas and concealed anywhere)
Open Carry NO NO


* Department of Justice record purchases from dealers (all purchases).

*As of January 1, 2015, a firearms safety certificate is generally required to purchase or acquire a firearm.  A currently valid handgun safety certificate may still be used to purchase or acquire a handgun until it expires.

** Residents moving into California have 60 days to register their handguns.

California requires approval of ALL Firearms and Safety Devices within the State. The list can literally change daily! This link is to the California Department of Justice which is responsible for maintaining the list. Please see this page before making a purchase or traveling into California with a Firearm.... CLICK HERE


*** On June 29, 2017 a federal district court blocked enforcement of California's new ban on possession of magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. The ban was set to go into effect on July 1.    UPDATE!  Implementation is now in effect.  More information is available here: CLICK HERE

Self-Defense Laws : Always Consult An Attorney 

Duty to retreat before using Deadly force outside of Special Places NO
Crimes Justifying use of Deadly Force outside of            Special Places "Atrocious felony" i.e.; Murder, mayhem, rape, and robbery
Duty to Retreat when occupying special Places - Special places Mentioned in Statute such as Home, Workplace, Occupied Vehicle NO
Presumption of Reasonableness in Special Places - Unlawful Acts justifying use of Deadly Force in Special Places Yes - "Atrocious felony" i.e.; Murder, mayhem, rape and robbery
Immunity from Civil liability Yes, Case Law
Notable Provisions of this State's Self-Defense Law Warning: California penal code 197 statutes has been changed dramatically by case law and jury instructions. WARNING: Defense of a third person limited to specific persons: Wife, husband, parent, child, master, mistress, servant


How To Obtain A Concealed Carry Permit In California

 CCW Map of CaliforniaThe authority to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) is set forth in California Penal Code Sections 26150 through 26225. These sections state in part: PC 26150 The Sheriff of a County, upon proof that the person applying is of good moral character, that good cause exists for the issuance, and that the person applying is a resident of the County, may issue that person a license to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

Except in extremely limited circumstances, you may not carry a concealed firearm on your person in public unless you have a valid concealed weapon (CCW) license issued in the State of California. California law does not recognize CCW licenses issued in other states.

Licenses can also be granted by local law enforcement agencies: If you live in a city within the County and where another agency is your police you may be required to first contact your local police department about their application process. If they are not issuing licenses, then contact your local Sheriff’s Department for a CCW application.

Any person who has a conviction for any misdemeanor listed in California Penal Code 29508 including a domestic violence misdemeanor, or for any felony, or is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, or has been held involuntarily as a danger to self or others pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 8103 is prohibited from buying, owning, or possessing firearms. Various other prohibitions exist for mental conditions, domestic restraining/protective orders, conditions of probation, and offenses committed as a juvenile. On February 24, 2009, the United States Supreme Court, in the case of United States v. Hayes, upheld the provision of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 which prohibits anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from possessing a weapon.

California Gun Purchasing Laws

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