California Gun Control Laws
California gun control laws are among the most restrictive in the country, with a 10-day waiting period and limits on who may own a firearm. For instance, rifles may not be shorter than 16 inches and prospective handgun buyers must have a valid Handgun Safety Certificate. Make sure you study the law in California before purchasing a firearm, as violation of the state's gun laws can lead to felony charges.
The basics of California gun control laws are listed in the table below. See Gun Laws in FindLaw's Accidents and Injuries section to learn more.
|Code Section||Penal §§12020, 12021, 12071, 12072|
|Illegal Arms||Cane gun; wallet gun; any firearm not immediately recognized as such; short-barreled shotgun or rifle, i.e., barrel of less than 18 inches for shotgun, less than 16 inches for rifle, or less than 26 inches designed to fire a fixed shotgun shell or cartridge; zip gun; any bullet with explosive agent; multi-burst trigger activator; any unconventional pistol; any undetectable firearm.|
|Waiting Period||10 days|
|Who May Not Own||
Lifetime Ban: Those with any felony conviction or conviction of other offenses listed by the California Dept. of Justice; any person adjudicated to be a mentally disordered sex offender; any person found incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of insanity for any crime.
10-Year Ban: Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor violation of certain violent crimes, such as assault and battery or domestic violence.
5-Year Ban: Any person taken into custody as a danger to self or others, is assessed and admitted to a mental health facility (subject to a lifetime ban).
|Law Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds||Felony.|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a California criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
- California Law
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
California Gun Control Laws: Related Resources