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California gun laws

Discussion in 'Legal' started by ewarman, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. ewarman

    ewarman New Member

    I'm not completely familiar with California gun laws, so I was hoping you guys would help me out. I am a freshman college student in California but I am from Massachusetts. I know that to buy a rifle or shotgun you have to be 18+, which I am. I couldn't however find if California law permits me to obtain a gun permit and purchase a gun if I am not a California resident. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Well-Known Member

    After a certain time period you may be considered a CA resident. Then you go get a CA ID card. Check the CA state Dept of Justice web site.

    Or buy a gun when home on Spring Break and bring it with you as personal property.
  3. Fractal X

    Fractal X Well-Known Member

    You don't need a gun permit here for long guns, though the state does require a Handgun Safety Certificate to purchase hand guns.

    Here's a link to the CA DMV, if they believe that you have become a CA resident they will issue you an ID Card or Drivers license. Once you have the license is is just a matter of walking into a gun store, paying, filling out the paperwork, and waiting your 10 days. http://dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500

    Also, make absolutely sure that you know the rules regarding guns, the school, and wherever you live. If you are found to have a gun on a public school campus (i.e. a Cal State or U.C. school or school owned housing) it is an automatic misdemeanor. If the gun is loaded it is an automatic felony. In addition, you can/will be expelled from the school.
  4. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    In the bordering states; OR, AR, and NV, if you maintained your Massachusetts residency, you could purchase a rifle with your Massachusetts driver's license and Massachusetts residence address.
  5. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    I've been following California's permit issueing guidlines for a couple of weeks now, and it isn't looking good at all. Apparently when a person goes through the qualification process they must provide a reason to need a gun. Carrying for general personal protection isn't a viable reason and as a result law suite are begining to fly like birds. I read this on an NRA Alert very recently. The counties are the ones who seem to be ignoring requests for a permit from anyone without a specific need for a gun, and generalized self defense without some over riding cause such as, I pick up enormous amounts of money from business's daily and take it to the back, or I'm a celiberity, are some of the viable reasons.
    Just for the record, don't get caught carrying anything in your car that can be used as a weapon, anything, not even pepper spray is legal in your home or other wise. And don't state that anything in your car or home is for the purpose of self defense, it is against the law to defend yourself with any weapon in California.
  6. Jon_Snow

    Jon_Snow Well-Known Member

    This is just flat out wrong. If you fear for your life you can use any means to defend yourself, including firearms. Heck, you don't even have a duty to retreat unlike some other states. You're even protected from civil suits if you are acquitted by reason of self defense. In your home or residence you can carry a loaded firearm or five without a permit. You can carry and use pepper spray without a permit of any kind, except for the Kimber pepper blaster which was classified as a firearm. Self defense with a weapon is just fine so long as it is justifiable.

    You only need a permit to carry a loaded gun outside your house, not to own. Your ability to get a permit will depend entirely on what county you live in but keep in mind that even with a permit you can't carry on campus. CA is a 'may issue' state so it's up to the sheriff or CLEO to decide what they want to allow as a good reason for carrying. There are quite a few counties where 'self-defense' is a good enough reason and there are law suits in progress to improve that.

    Honestly, if you want a really good lesson in CA's gun laws, find a copy of "How to Own a Gun and Stay Out of Jail" by John Machtinger.

    Edit: this should probably be moved to the Legal forum.
  7. Buck Snort

    Buck Snort Well-Known Member

    Actually, the situation is CA is slowly getting better. Sacramento Co. lost a lawsuit and is now virtually "shall issue". The sheriff here in Stanislaus Co. ran for re-election promising to issue CCWs with "personal protection" being suitable "good cause" and he's apparently sticking by that promise. I'll know for sure within the next couple of months as I've submitted my application. There are LOTS of rural counties in the PRC that've been really good about CCWs for fifty years. Down in Kern Co. they practically have a deputy standing on the street corner handing them out! So, its really a mixed bag and unless we win the right lawsuits it'll stay that way. Los Angeles Co. and San Francisco Co. take the attitude, "GUNS?!! You people don't need no stink'n guns!!" Check into Calguns.net for the latest, straightest and greatest info.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  8. tipoc

    tipoc Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  9. zhyla

    zhyla Well-Known Member

    Yes, in particular the various legality flowcharts linked to at the top of their forum pages. You need to know what is an assault weapon and what isn't before moving to CA.

    Pro tip: buy lots of in-demand off-CA-roster handguns before you move, flip them here for a premium.
  10. Librarian

    Librarian Well-Known Member

    CA does not require a permit to buy a gun. (We're at least better than a couple places in one tiny respect!) It does require a 'Handgun Safety Certificate' - $25 and take a pathetically simple test, expires after 5 years - to buy handguns, but since you're interested in a rifle, that is not an issue.

    For handguns, you would have to prove California residency; that is not required for long guns, but a few FFLs seem to want buyers to do that anyway.

    Fed law says you can buy a long gun, at an FFL, in any state, if the sale follows the laws of the state of residence (or business, if FFL) of the seller and the buyer.

    Nothing in CA law requires that a long gun buyer be a resident of California BUT the software FFLs have to use to submit the Dealer's Record of Sale (DROS) is implemented to accept just 2 kinds of ID - CA Driver Licenses and ID, and Military ID (with orders stationing the member in CA).

    See http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Buying_and_selling_firearms_in_California

    Not that it's an issue here but
    this is inaccurate as a matter of law. A license issued under PC 12050 is a specific exemption to the restrictions of PC 626.9(h). Administrators, however, are quite likely to be unsympathetic, and usually offer administrative (suspension/expulsion) or HR (termination of employment) sanctions to students or employees who carry on college or university property.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  11. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    Not true.

    One does not need to "qualify" to buy a gun. One does need to get a Handgun Safety Certificate to buy a handgun. As much of a nuisance that it may be, it involves merely reading a pamphlet and taking an easy ten minute test.

    Partly true and partly nonsense.

    A California CCW is "may issue" and requires good cause. It's up the the issuing law enforcement agency where you live to decide what constitutes good cause. Some counties are easier than other. Some counties accept "self defense" as good cause. But the larger, more urban counties are very tough.

    California law is very strict about thing like clubs or bludgeons or the like. And concealing a fixed blade knife is a felony.

    But, under state law, one may carry a folding knife, of any size, even a locking blade that can be opened with one hand, concealed as long as it is closed and not a switch blade, gravity knife or balisong. However, local laws may be more restrictive.

    Absolutely untrue. Pepper spray is even sold in drug stores, hardware stores, super markets, etc.

    Absolutely untrue.
  12. lambertiana

    lambertiana Well-Known Member

    What county is your college in? Do you live on campus?

    As has been noted, state law allows self defense, and you can have loaded firearms in your home. Fixed blades can be legally carried, but must be completely visible with no part of the knife (sheath or handle) covered. Fixed blades are not allowed in motor vehicles, so to be completely legal you would have to put it in the trunk. Folders of any size are legal as long as you carry them closed. And state law allows folders of any size on college campus (but restricts fixed blades to 2"), but your college may have more restrictive rules. In K-12 you can only carry non-locking folders with blades under 2.5".

    CCW availability varies widely. When I lived in SF, there was no possible chance. But in my current county, it is no problem. And the Fresno county sheriff was quoted in the newspaper telling people to apply for a permit, and she said that she has permit applications in her car for anyone who wants one. State law allows CCW on school property, but my issuing authority (Tulare County) added a restriction forbidding carry on school property.
  13. Librarian

    Librarian Well-Known Member

    That may be locally true (I believe it is for Marin County, for example), but it's not true in state law.
    UC is like k-12, while Cal State system is like the rest of California.

    See http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=2289918&postcount=6
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Just to try to lessen the confusion, let me add my experience.

    I'm not going to say anyone posting of this thread is wrong as a blanket statement, but there has been some bad information posted or at least incorrect reading/ interpretation of the law (again bearing in mind that there is State Law and local ordinances).

    If it were I asking for a correct reading of the law, I would put my faith in and heed the advice posted by fiddletown and Librarian as I have always found them to be knowledgeable and reliable.
  15. tipoc

    tipoc Well-Known Member

    No states gun and knife laws have been more researched and knowledgeably written on by Ca. residents than California's

    I posted a couple of links above on the gun laws.

    Here on the knife laws.




    California knife laws are actually better than many other states. Fiddletown was correct in his last post and responses. However some localities have laws which are stricter than state law so you should know the difference.

    Colleges and schools may have their own rules but these are not laws but school rules. So learn them. No groundskeeper on a campus will be bothered for carrying a knife.

    It is quite common to see working people here carrying folders and occasionally fixed blades.

  16. tipoc

    tipoc Well-Known Member


    Drop by a gun store down your way and ask them what it will take to buy a rifle. They will tell you.

  17. lambertiana

    lambertiana Well-Known Member

    Librarian: Here is the knife law for UC and other college campus property, note that it only mentions fixed blades, and treats UC and Cal State the same:

    (b) Any person, except a duly appointed peace officer as defined
    in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, a
    full-time paid peace officer of another state or the federal
    government who is carrying out official duties while in this state, a
    person summoned by any officer to assist in making arrests or
    preserving the peace while the person is actually engaged in
    assisting any officer, or a member of the military forces of this
    state or the United States who is engaged in the performance of his
    or her duties, who brings or possesses any dirk, dagger, ice pick, or
    knife having a fixed blade longer than 2 1/2 inches upon the grounds
    of, or within, any private university, the University of California,
    the California State University, or the California Community
    Colleges is guilty of a public offense, punishable by imprisonment in
    a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the
    state prison.

    I distinctly recall seeing a provision on the CA leginfo website that prohibited fixed blades in the passenger compartment of motor vehicles, but I can't find it now. So either I was mistaken or the law has changed, it has been about five years since I last looked at those laws. The prohibition against concealed carry of fixed blades on one's person is very clear, but if it is on the seat of your car and not on your person or in a bag hanging from you, then perhaps it would not be considered concealed on your person.
  18. tipoc

    tipoc Well-Known Member

    I was wrong in this bit. Check with the campus for specifics.

  19. Librarian

    Librarian Well-Known Member

    Indeed, 626.10 does say that, but you did not see the easily missed change to California Code of Regulations:

    EXCEPT University of California, which is now like K-12 for non-students/employees – 5 CCR § 100015

    See my post on CA Knife laws here.

    The Westlaw Code of Regulations is on line at http://ccr.oal.ca.gov/
  20. Evergreen

    Evergreen Well-Known Member

    So, are AR-15s with a pistol grip and flash hider still a no go in California? I am told a majority of military-style firearms are banned there. I dare not bring my M&P with 17rd mags to the state. Considering I don't have safety on the firearm, I know its not "Cali-Approved" Actually, I was told even Canada and Hawaii, for the most part has better firearm laws, with respect to rifles. Also, I was told in California you cannot have possession of any magazine with more than 10 rounds. Also, I am told that California requires ambidextrous safeties, magazine locks, internal locks, etc etc to be classified as "California Legal." So, I assume Glocks, M&Ps in their native configuration are all contraband, as well. Am I correct, once again?

    Has anything changed or are these Bolshevik-like restrictions still in place? I seriously cannot even consider going back to Kommiefornia until they do away with all these firearm restrictions. The irony of it all is, I probably really could use a conceal carry permit in California much more than Oregon; yet, I am allowed to carry a firearm in Oregon, but not in California. With respect to this, I don't even bother visiting my relatives down there. Most of them are in Los Angeles. I have always been dreaming they could just split the state in two. From San Francisco to Tijuana, let them have their own state. I always loved Shasta and the Redwoods, quite a shame I cannot see them anymore.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011

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