Need advice! ( Soldier inheriting guns in CA.)


February 16, 2007, 01:31 AM
This is my first post, so please bear with me.

Normally I would do more research before posting, but I am in a bit of a crunch. My dad is very ill and is looking to pass on his guns to me before he is unable to.

I would love to assume ownership of these guns, but my concern is I don't know much about the legality of transferring them. I'm an NRA member and have shot competitively in college, but never owned any weapons. I'm in the military and stationed in CA.

Can anyone with experience tell me if it is possible to bring these guns into CA, and how much it might cost:

M1 Garand
M1 carbine
03' Springfield
various .22 rifles (semi-auto & bolt action)
Colt model 1911 (.45) (maybe 10-20 years old?)
.22 revolver

I enjoy shooting, but figured I would wait till I retired (not in CA) to become a gun owner. Moving so often in the military, owning guns seemes like a great challenge.

Any ideas or advice is greatly appreciated.



If you enjoyed reading about "Need advice! ( Soldier inheriting guns in CA.)" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
February 16, 2007, 01:51 AM

1) Where does your dad live?
2) Where is "home" (where you lived prior to military)?
3) Where were you planning to retire?

Most of those weapons look okay for California.

The AR15 is not gonna fly.

There are plenty of guys here on THR who can advise you on procedure and cost for importing arms into CA.

If you live on base, there may be other concerns. Military installations often require specific storage for personal weapons. Some bases forbid them on campus altogether.

Without all the context, advice can be tough.

Right off the cuff, I would recommend not trying to bring the AR15 into CA, but rather store it or house it with a trusted friend.

If I were a reluctant visitor in a state where I could not keep my arms, I would find a not-too-distant place to store or house them -- someplace I wouldn't mind living after my hitch was up.

I don't have enough data to advise you with any confidence, and any Californians reading this thread will need more than you've given.

I enjoy shooting, but figured I would wait till I retired (not in CA) to become a gun owner.
With the state of gun laws in flux, getting your guns sooner rather than later would seem to be prudent.

Jim March
February 16, 2007, 02:03 AM
It appears that all of the guns in question are treated as normal enough in California EXCEPT the AR.

That, you got a problem with. Best plan: he ships it out of state right now and you take possession there - but you won't be able to bring it back into the state. If he dies with it right now, the SOLE option is to destroy it :(.

As to the rest: SO LONG as there's no threads on the muzzle ends of any of the barrels, you're OK.


Check some other things though: it's possible you may be unable to take possession of high-cap (over 10rd) mags either. I'm not sure about those in cases of in-family transfer.

Also...dang, I don't know enough of the rules on rimfire rifles to even know if it's possible to set one up as illegal with a pistol grip and other frappery. Except for threaded barrel ends, those will hose you no matter what.

The handguns you mention are all OK for either private-party or in-family transfer. Some won't be on the "tested and approved list" for dealer sales but that's OK in this instance.

ON EDIT: I screwed up and didn't realize the guns are presently out-of-state. That helps. The rest of my advice...dang, I'm not quite sure about the handguns that aren't on the tested and approved list, but I *think* you can bring them in.

February 16, 2007, 04:11 AM
No magazines greater than 10 rounds.

Bring in any handguns without threaded barrels - that's usually what makes one a CA Assault Weapon - and register them @ $19 each when you move here. A 1911 and a .22 revolver should be no problem.

The AR might possibly be neutered to make it fixed magazine, but it's just simpler to store it out of state.

Except for the possibility of magazines > 10 round capacity, the other long guns look OK. They don't have to be registered.

Jim March
February 16, 2007, 04:15 AM
He hasn't gone into detail on the rimfire long-guns. I doubt they could possibly be of any consequence, but are there ANY that might be trouble?

February 16, 2007, 05:53 AM
If you are active duty military, you can get a temporary registration for your AR if your primary domicile is in another state.

You can see if the lower to the AR 15 is on the Kasler list, if not, pin the 10rd mag and bring it in. If it is on the list, swap it with an off list. You can also remove any features that make it an AW in CA and swap the lower.

Best bet, buy a $100 off list lower and either remove the evil features, or pin the 10rd mag.

BTW, go to , they will have any and all answers to your questions.

Have a great Kenpo day


February 16, 2007, 06:17 AM
My son's Home of Record is Texas. He has a Texas drivers License and votes with absentee ballots here.

That said, most of his guns were kept here in Texas. He had a few with him when in Washington and Ft. Belvoir Va..

Deployed to Korea, he could not take any with him.

The point is, whatever options you have in the CONUS, you still have the possibility/probility of an overseas deployment. It might be necessary to find long term solutons for the majority of the firearms and just keep a minimum in California.


Derby FALs
February 16, 2007, 08:16 AM
Store them in Nevada.

February 16, 2007, 10:44 AM
Since you're .mil you may have access to the Army Knowledge Online ( site. There is a Second Amendment forum where you can ask your question.

February 16, 2007, 06:57 PM
Hey guys,

Thanks for the informative and professional replies! I really appreciate the great info!

To answer a few questions:

My dad resides in CT where I grew up, however my home of record (residence) is Florida. I own property there, have a FL drivers licencse, and vote absentee in FL. I am active duty and stationed in CA for another year and a half (bay area).

None of the guns have threaded barrels that I can remember. Although one of the .22 rifles is a survival rifle (i.e. it comes apart and all pieces fit in the stock).

My dad wants to ship the guns to me but I'm not sure of any legal issues there. I know in CT since he doesn't have a CCP he isn't even supposed to leave the house with a pistol.

I'm kind of concerned about the overall costs too. Seems like I would either need to fly out and get the guns or have them shipped. I have one child and another on the way, so I would also want to secure the guns in some type of secure container or gun safe. I'd hate for them to get in the hands of my son or get stolen and used in a crime! No matter how I slice it seems like a lot of money to spend when the budget is tight.

Once again thanks for all the great info!

February 16, 2007, 07:01 PM
Can you not store them in Florida at your property there?

February 16, 2007, 07:09 PM
Easiest thing to do would be store them in Florida. Seriously. Why even bother dealing with California BS for just one more year of temporary residency?

Unless you're planning on settling in CA, there's not much advantage to brining them into the state.

February 16, 2007, 07:14 PM
How much would a bank box be (if they're available in that size)? When considering the cost of shipping, flying round trip, and/or the hassle of CA in general, it might be worth it to offer to pay for the bank box and have him ship you the key.

February 17, 2007, 12:59 AM
OK its late and I am tired. Odds are others have given better ideas. Mine would be. First have your father write out/sign (notorize?) that he is giving you these guns. Then have a trusted friend of your father take them and store them in a locked (case) with you being sent the key.
(forgive me for being blunt)
When you leave California pick them up and take them with you to Fl. If your father dies/gets put in hospital/nursing home the friend has proof (a copy as you have orig) that guns are NOT your fathers anymore (some places will go after gifted property/money for couple yrs so record that is dated is good idea) Your father does have a will/lawyer he can ask?
Anyway if he passes you will go to funeral and pick up guns and rent a self storage (if you have no trusted person who will store them) till you can pick them up.
Couple things to double check. First had he given you any/all of these guns when you still lived at home/same state? Was this done decades ago? Laws have changed and it likely was legal (not knowing your state) for a parent to give a son/daughter a gun with no paperwork. And for son/daughter to store gun at folks home during school/etc.
Good luck. If nothing else good reason to visit dad NOW and get guns properly stored till you can get them. (maybe take two to Calif. with you)

February 17, 2007, 02:12 AM
Here are some FAQ's from the Ca firearms div. I think you'll
find some answers to your questions.

And here is a link to a really good Ca firearms site. Many
people over there are knowledgeable regarding Ca's
moronic firearm laws as well.


February 17, 2007, 12:12 PM
Thanks for the continuing advice. Things are becoming a little more clear.

I had no idea firearms were so highly regulated! In the military safety is a big issue, but no more than any other dangerous system we use. I just don't get the crazy laws. Seems like 5 gals of gaoline in the wrong hands could be far more lethal than a revolver... heck even cars are more dangerous. (Sorry for the rant!)

Anyway... does anyone have personal experience storing guns? Are bank safe deposite boxes legal places to store weapons? How about self storage places, are they safe or legal?
(My property in Florida is a rental so that's a no go.)

Also is there any places that specifically store weapons? I may need to deploy overseas again in the next few years...


February 19, 2007, 12:08 AM
In MN banks are ok for handguns (legally) but they will likely not allow it (claiming safety reasons)
I do happen to know there are gun shops in Nevada that make a business of storing (for profit of course) firearms for folks stuck behind Kalif lines.
Personally IMO if you have a trusted friend/relative store them in a locked case/safe. If you put it in a self storage make dang sure it is paid up and if something happens to you that your next of kin knows/understands to get stuff out before payments expire. (otherwise it will be sold unopened to bidders)
I have stored firearms for friends in past. If you want to bring them up here I likely could find room for a couple and get them out a couple times a year.

February 19, 2007, 08:59 PM
I am sorry to hear about your father.

Good luck with the guns.

As a thought can your mother store them?

If you enjoyed reading about "Need advice! ( Soldier inheriting guns in CA.)" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!