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Summary of California's Firearm Laws

When you decide to own a firearm, you are responsible for learning all of the local, state and federal laws regarding firearm ownership. California has strict laws regarding possession, storage and use of firearms at home and in public. If you have specific questions about state or federal gun laws, you should direct them to an attorney, or contact your local law enforcement agency.

Let us begin with prohibited possessors, which are those individuals who are strictly prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. Under California law, you are barred from possessing a firearm for life if you fall into any of these categories:

  • You have been convicted of any felony covered under Section 29905 of the Penal Code.
  • You were convicted of any offense covered under Section 23515 of the Penal Code.
  • You have two or more convictions under Section 417(a)(2) of the Penal Code.
  • You have been named a mentally disordered sex offender.
  • A court found you mentally incompetent to stand trial.
  • You have been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

California’s 10 and 5-Year Prohibitions

California has what are called 10-year and five-year prohibitions. While there are too many offenses to list here, we can say that if a person is convicted of specific misdemeanor offenses, he or she will be prohibited from possessing a firearm for 10 years.

If an individual is taken into custody because he or she is considered a danger to themselves or others and they are admitted to a mental health facility, he or she will be barred from possessing a firearm for 5 years.

If a teenager becomes a ward of juvenile court, he or she cannot possess a firearm until they reach the age of 30, that is if they committed an offense under Section 707(b) of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Such juvenile offenses include arson, robbery, rape with force, sodomy by force, kidnapping with bodily harm, assault with a firearm, etc.

Eligibility to Possess a Firearm

For someone to be eligible to possess a firearm in California, they need to meet these basic requirements:

  • They can prove that they are a California resident.
  • They obtain a Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC).
  • They show that they can safely handle the firearm being acquired or purchased. They do this before a DOJ Certified Instructor.
  • The handgun or long gun being purchased must be accompanied with a firearms safety device (FSD).

Note: In California, you cannot purchase more than one handgun within 30 days. To learn more about California’s gun laws, click here.

Are you facing weapons charges in Orange County? If so, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. at once for a FREE case evaluation.