In many states, obtaining a firearm is super easy. In fact, the process is almost as easy as buying groceries from the supermarket.
Unfortunately, when listing states with simple gun control, California may not make the cut. The state has strict gun control laws that have made many consider it so anti-gun.
In plain terms, it’s not easy to obtain or possess a gun in California. You’ll have to go through several processes and wait for many hours to get the “all clear” message before you can get a gun.
I will walk you through the process of obtaining a gun in California in this post and answer the question on gun licenses in the state. Read on!
Can I Apply For A Gun License Online In California?
You only need a gun license for a CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) permit to own or carry a firearm in California.
The CCW permit gives California residents the legal backing to carry a firearm in a public place without being harassed. In other words, you cannot display or carry a firearm in a public place without this license.
Apart from the CCW permit, you don’t need a license to purchase, or own a gun in California. Therefore, you don’t need to apply for a gun license online.
A Handy Tip: With a CCW license, it’s not a crime to carry a weapon openly or concealed.
How To Obtain A Gun In California
You don’t need to obtain a license to own or use a gun in California. To get a gun, all you need to do is visit a gun shop with your money in your pocket and an ID confirming that you’re a resident of California.
You would also need a California firearm safety certificate or a CCW permit to get a gun.
Let me walk you through the 5 steps you will pass through to buy a gun in California.
Step 1: Find out if you’re eligible to purchase firearm:
Are you eligible to buy a gun? If you are not so sure, please conduct an eligible check. Note that this eligibility check is personal and should cost you around $20.
The eligibility test also takes place at the California office of the attorney general’s website.
The OAG only checks California records. Therefore, people who don’t have records in the state may not be eligible to buy a gun, unless the law changes in the future.
The eligibility check is still available at the time of writing and a valuable check that can save you time and energy.
Imagine going to a gun shop to buy a gun, only to hear that you’re not eligible after wasting so much time. So, if you can’t stand the pain of being denied the opportunity to buy a firearm after spending so much time and hoping, conduct an eligibility test.
Another thing the test does for you is to serve as evidence if you were denied the opportunity to buy a gun even when you’re eligible. Such cases can easily turn in your favor.
Step 2: Age consideration:
Age is one of the things that will be checked to confirm if you’re eligible to purchase a firearm or not.
The law stipulates that 18 years olds are eligible to buy a shotgun or rifle, while one must be 21 years old to buy a handgun.
Step 3: Proof of residency:
Proof of residency is important. You must prove that you’re a resident of California to secure approval to purchase a firearm. You cannot buy or possess a firearm if you’re not residing in California or live anywhere in the state.
Here are documents you can use when asked for proof of residency:
- Driver’s license
- Identification card
- Property deed
- Residential lease
- Utility bill within the last 3 months
- Military permanent station order – this is to prove you have an official assignment in California
Note that the address on your proof-of-residency must match the one on your driver’s license or other means of identification. Or, it must match the address on the dealer’s record sale (DRO).
Step 4: Get your FSC or CCW ready:
Under California law, anyone that wishes to purchase a firearm must have an FSC (Firearm safety certificate) or CCW (concealed carry weapon) permit.
The FSC test is a simple test of around 30 IIRC questions. So, it’s not that difficult to scale through.
A Handy Tip: The firearm safety certificate expires after 5 years from the day it was issued.
Furthermore, your gun dealership is under California law required to keep a copy of your FSC for compliance purpose.
Step 5: Visit a gun shop of choice:
Visit the gun shop you want to buy your firearm from and submit the necessary requirements.
The requirement includes a valid means of identification such as ID card, driver’s license, utility bill and other means of identification listed in step 3.
The reason for demanding proof-of-residency is to have a proper record of you and be sure you reside in California.
By the way, note that the gun seller won’t just handover the gun to you the moment you walk into the shop. You have to wait for about 240 hours or approximate 10 days to get a response from the gun seller.
During the 10 days waiting period, the FBI will run a check on you. The background check is to ascertain if there are any events that have occurred in the past (felony charge, domestic violence, etc) that prevents you from possessing or using a firearm.
If your request to purchase a firearm gets rejected, the gun dealer will inform you. So, after submitting your paperwork, just pay the money for the gun and go home.
You’ll get a call from the dealer after 240 hours (10 days) to come collect your gun or the money you paid (if the application was rejected).
A Handy Tip: You can test your gun before listing it as the one you wish to purchase. Test it at the local gun range and be open to suggestions. The gun seller, employees or instructors know things about guns that you probably don’t know.
So, don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek their opinions. But if you already have a gun type in mind, you can go for it.
Step 6: Take delivery of your gun:
If your application to purchase firearms scales through, you’ll get a call from the dealer within 10 days or 240 hours.
Unless there’s an option for the dealer to mail the gun to your residence, endeavor to go pickup your firearm by yourself.
This is why you shouldn’t travel when applying for a firearm, particularly if you reside in California.
The law states that firearms applied for and approved must be collected within 30 days from the day the DRO was submitted. If you fail to collect the gun within 30 days, the gun dealer has the legal right to cancel the purchase and you’ll have to start afresh.
So, cancel any travel plans you have when you apply for a gun in California. When you take deliver or your gun or you hear the result of your application (even if rejected), you can then continue your journey.
What Qualifies You For A Gun CCW Permit In California
The CCW (conceal carry weapon) permit is needed if you must openly or conceal-carry a firearm in a public place. Without the permit, you’ll be arrested for possessing firearms in public places.
Below are the criteria that state follows when issuing CCW permits.
- You must possess good moral character
- You must fulfill specific residency requirement
- You must have finished an acceptable course centered on firearm training.
How To Get A California Gun CCW Permit
The first step is to prove that you have good moral character. Secondly, you have to show proof that you reside in California. And lastly, you must show proof that you have completed a firearm training that the state recognizes.
The next phase is the phase where you have to hope that the law enforcement agencies don’t jeopardize your effort to possess a CCW permit.
Your police chiefs and Sheriff can approve or reject your application using their discretion, but you can overturn their decisions if their reasons lack merit.
Finally, if you fall into the category of people below, don’t even bother applying for a CCW permit because it will be rejected.
- Individuals addicted to narcotics
- Individuals that have been convicted of felony or some type of misdemeanor.
- Individuals diagnosed as mentally ill
- Individuals who lost their gun rights after being convicted of domestic violence.
Can I apply for a gun license online in California? For the record, you don’t need a license to own a gun in California. You only require a CCW (conceal carry weapon) permit.
In order to buy a gun in California, you have to pass through several processes. To buy a gun, walk into a gun dealer’s shop, present your valid means of identification or proof of residency.
You have to show proof that you reside in California. For this, you need to present an ID card, driver’s license, property deed, etc.
Another document you need to present is your FSC (Firearm safety certificate) or CCW. And after submitting your document, you have to wait for around 10 days or 240 hours to get an approval.