Serviceman taking gun to Cali


July 18, 2003, 07:51 PM
At this time my nephew is serving with a Marine Corps unit in Iraq. He told me he wants to get a handgun when he returns with his unit to the San Diego area. ( He would buy the gun back here in Ohio and take it with him to California)

I told him about the restrictions of transporting it in a locked case, unloaded in the trunk, no full cap magazines, and filling out a registration form.

Are there any other problems for a serviceman having a personally owned handgun in an off base residence. He plans on buying an XD-9 or a Glock.

Can anyone offer any advice about the pitfalls or problems. I did a search and also looked at the California Attorney General' web site (firearms page) but want some more precise information.



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July 18, 2003, 10:00 PM
and buy at the Marine Exchange, they have great tax free prices and know what's legal there.

July 18, 2003, 11:44 PM
and buy at the Marine Exchange

Dont know of any AAFES exchange that sells handguns. Not sure the Marine exchange does either. Might want to check up on that.

Every Air Force Base I've been too (and that is alot of em), has never sold handguns or rifles.

Alaska might be the only exception.

The gun club on base at Fort Lewis did sell rifles at one time. Dont know if they still do.

If he is a legal resident of Ohio and he buys a handgun there and then PCS's to California he is legally allowed to transport it and posses it at his residence. IF he lives on base in a dorm on base in Cali then its a whole other ball of wax. Most bases will not allow dorm residence to keep a weapon in their rooms. It must be checked in at the armory.

Truthfully though, he should wait til he gets to Cali and purchase one there if he's worried about legal transportation and all. His orders stationing him in California is proof enough of residency as far as law goes. Even if he's a legal resident of Ohio he can still purchase weapons anywhere in California as long as he shows his orders stationing him in Cali.

Dont know the restrictions on mags over 10 rounds in Cali. Thats for the Cali fellas here to explain.

July 19, 2003, 12:51 AM
As far as magazines over 10 rounds......forget it!
You can't legally buy them, or bring them into the state.


July 19, 2003, 01:08 AM
Last I heard jarheads could still buy guns on base. It's been a few years, may not be current. Air Force doesn't trust it's people with guns. Definitly not gonna buy them at the BX.


July 19, 2003, 09:01 AM
Thanks for the replys. Purchasing the gun and transporting it there are not the problem. Both his father and I are police officers and have traveled with firearms. I heard that California laws on handgun posession were about the most restrictive in the nation and I didn't want him to get into trouble.

I was hoping to hear from someone who has moved to California and gone through the process.


July 19, 2003, 10:57 AM
People who come to the PDRK to work become residents. They have to get a PDRK drivers license, register their automobiles, and "register" their handguns. However, since your nephew is a resident of another state on military orders to PDRK, he is not required to get a PDRK drivers license, register his car, etc. I think that would also not require him to "register" his handgun like the rest of the serfs in the PDRK.

The PDRK has this law which allows peace officers to examine firearms they find in the field so they can run the serial numbers through the DOJ stolen property database, and in the case of handguns see who they are registered to. It would be a good idea for your nephew to have paperwork proving the handgun is his if he doesn't buy it in the PDRK.


July 20, 2003, 12:51 PM
If there is a rod'n'gun club on base he can get one there and not pay the sales tax. If he's not a CA resident he will need his military ID and a copy of his orders that show him stationed there, that will substitute for his residency and his firearm safety qualification. I'm pretty sure that he also has to have a picture ID showing a current CA address.
The only other thing to remember (I'm pretty sure about this but he can doublecheck) is that CA law says he has to register it within 6 months after bringing it into the state.
By the way, when he gets back tell him I said 'Thanks for serving'.

July 21, 2003, 08:19 AM
The PX at Quantico sells guns; I assume Camp Pendleton would be the same. Have your nephew ask about restrictions if he intends to reside on base. Usually residents of family housing simply have to inform the PMO of guns kept at home. Barracks are probably another thing entirely, with personal weapons restricted and stored at the armory.
The Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act gives him the right to either retain his "Home of Record" (the state where he enlisted) or choose to become a legal resident of the state where stationed on PCS orders.
His unit's legal assistance office should be able to educate him on all this. Just have him go talk to the Combat Lawyers when he gets a chance.

TFL Survivor

Monte Harrison
July 21, 2003, 02:02 PM
Alaska might be the only exception.Don't know if it is an exception, but I bought a few rifles and a pistol at the PX on Ft. Richardson back in the mid 80's. Good prices, no hassles.

July 21, 2003, 08:39 PM
If he's stationed on Pendleton, he can check out Iron Sights off the 76 (right by base). They have very competitive prices on Glocks. Also, they rent lockers for you to store your gun in. Assuming he's an Enlisted troop and below the level of Staff NCO, the ability to store his firearm in the rental will save him having to check the weapon in to his unit armory, where who know what dummy ammo tech will take it apart for fun :rolleyes:

And if he wants a shooting buddy (former USMC) have him get in touch with me when he gets out here!

Carlsbad, CA

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