Bringing a Pistol to California legality?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Darth-Vang, Nov 9, 2020.

  1. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    Can I bring a pistol to California? What are the qualified pistols and non qualified pistols? What else should I know?
     
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  2. RickD427

    RickD427 Member

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    Keep in mind that California law treats handguns on the "Safe Handgun Roster" and "Illegally Configured" weapons separately.

    The "Safe Handgun Roster" lists weapons that have been tested by a DOJ-Certified lab as meeting California's safety requirements. A California dealer cannot sell a handgun to a non-exempt person unless it is listed on the roster. A non-exempt California resident cannot import an off-roster handgun that they acquired outside of the state while a resident of California.

    But the roster does not apply to handguns that are bought into the state by visitors and new residents.

    However, California does have some configuration requirements that are unique to California, and that apply to all weapons and persons. The first of these is the "Assault Weapon" statute. A semi-auto handgun having a detachable magazine and a threaded barrel is an "Assault Weapon" and a felony to possess unless registered or permitted as an "Assault Weapon." A 1911 with a compensator would be an illegal "Assault Weapon."

    California has chosen to define "Short Barrel Shotgun" differently than does the federal law. The result is that .45/410 Gauge weapons like the Taurus "Judge" are illegal "Short Barrel Shotguns."

    California has very strict penalties for Carrying Concealed without a Permit, and for Carrying a Loaded Firearm where prohibited. A first time offense for either is a felony if the weapon is not registered in the California DOJ system to the offender. Also please note that unloaded "Open Carry" is prohibited in most populated areas of the state.

    California has two different definitions of when a firearm is loaded. Under the general definition, there must be ammunition in the weapon that could be fired through the normal manipulation of the weapon. It is not required that a round be in the chamber, but there is case law holding that shotgun shells in a buttstock sleeve did not make the shotgun loaded. Under the special definition (only applicable to certain situations and locations), a firearm is loaded whenever the weapon and ammunition are under the control of the same person, even if the weapon and ammunition are in separate locked containers.

    California has a statute that bans the manufacture, importation and possession of magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. That statute is currently being challenged on constitutional grounds. The District Court has issued an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the possession clause of the statute. The provisions against manufacturing and importation still remain. Violation is a felony. (Credit to "LiveLife" for the reminder on this point)
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  3. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    California gun laws can be complex and non-intuitive. I suggest that, if you are going to be in California with a gun in your possession, you invest in a copy of lawyer Chuck Michel’s book on California gun laws.
     
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  4. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Magazine capacity must be 10 rounds or less.
     
  5. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    That goes for both rifle and handguns?
     
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  6. RickD427

    RickD427 Member

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    Yes, The mag limit applies to both. Additionally, possession of armor-piercing handgun ammo is a felony.
     
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  7. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Yes.

    If your current magazines have higher than 10 round capacity, you can permanently modify magazines by doing the following prior to bringing them into CA - https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/firearms/regs/lcmp-text-of-regs.pdf

    (1) A large-capacity magazine that is a box type can have its capacity permanently reduced by using both of the following methods:

    A) Inserting a rigid magazine capacity reduction device, also known as a magazine block, into the magazine body and then affixing the floor plate of the magazine to the body of the magazine with permanent epoxy. Metal magazines with metal floor plates have the option of being either welded closed or permanently epoxied closed once the magazine block(s) have been inserted. Due to magazine manufacturing variations (such as drum magazines or tubular magazines) it may be necessary to insert multiple magazine blocks in order to reduce the capacity to 10 rounds; and

    (B) Once the capacity of the magazine has been reduced by inserting a rigid magazine block into the magazine, it shall be riveted in place through either the floor plate or side wall of the magazine body.​
     
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  8. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe a person cannot bring their ammo with them into CA.
     
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  9. RickD427

    RickD427 Member

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    A California resident cannot personally bring in ammunition that they purchased outside of the state. They have to import it through a licensed ammunition vendor. There is an exception for a C+R FFL holder who also has a COE issued by the state.
     
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  10. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    If I read that right, that law doesn’t apply to me then?
     
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  11. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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  12. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    I thought out of state residents could? You just have to pay that insane jacked up price background check fees?
     
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  13. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    If you want to think that, be my guest. But your thinking that doesn't make it true. See question 3 on these FAQs published by the California DOJ.
     
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