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How Do You Buy, Sell, and Register Firearms in the State of California?


California is considered the state with the strictest gun laws, making the sale and registration of firearms challenging for its citizens. But not impossible.

Under California law, the purchase and sale of a firearm must be made with the involvement of a licensed gun dealer. California also has a 10-day waiting period before the gun can be transferred into the possession of its new buyer.

In order to sell a gun in California, one must be a licensed gun dealer. To become a gun dealer in the state, they need to undergo a thorough background check and possess a federal firearms license, a business license, and a state-issued seller’s permit. The illegal sale of a gun in CA can result in jail time and fines.

Who is Prohibited from Owning Guns in California?

In California, guns cannot be sold to anyone under age 21 unless they have a valid hunting license or are a peace officer working for law enforcement. Buyers also must be valid California residents.

Anyone who has past convictions for a felony or a misdemeanor listed under Penal Code section 29805 is prohibited from owning, possessing, or buying firearms in the state. Those who have restraining orders against them or have ever been held as an involuntary danger to others are prohibited, too. There are also restrictions against those who have drug addictions, mental health conditions or are on probation.

Can You Register a Previously Unregistered Firearm?

You can register an unregistered gun in California by filing a Firearm Ownership Report Application (FOR). This declares you to be the owner of the firearm in question.

A FOR is useful as it can ensure that a lost or stolen gun is returned to its owner. However, the application can be used as evidence and could lead to legal trouble for the buyer or the seller of the gun. Speak to an attorney to learn more about the risks and benefits of registering an unregistered firearm.

How to Conduct a Legal Private Party Gun Sale?

Though California law may prefer that gun sales be transacted at a store or show, it is legal to perform a legal purchase or sale of a firearm in private. However, in order for this sale to be legal, it must be conducted through a licensed California gun dealer. If a licensed firearm dealer is not present for the sale, then this private sale is illegal.

Firearm dealers may charge a fee for processing the private sale of firearms, but there are strict rules about how much they may charge. Additionally, there are restrictions on the price of the guns in private sales unless the firearms are antiques. Contact our law firm at (949) 990-4195 for legal assistance today.

The post How Do You Buy, Sell, and Register Firearms in the State of California? appeared first on Law Office of Diane C. Bass, A Professional Law Corporation.