Califronia's crazy gun laws

by Erik  

Well, let me start by saying I live in Florida where we have some of the most liberal state guns laws in the country. However, over the past few years news of California gun laws have caught my interest. For those of you who were wondering, I'm going to outline some of California's crazy gun laws along with some details about them.

The California Department of Justice defines their own criteria for gun ownership. Here is a list of the CDOJ specified gun laws. Note that these laws extended way beyond national laws. Some of the laws listed below are self explanatory, others are described in more detail below.

  • Require a handgun safety certificate to purchase handguns
  • Require registration of handgun purchases
  • Limits purchase of new guns (not transfers) to one per month
  • 10 day waiting period on gun purchases
  • No private gun sales (transfers) without the use of an FFL
  • Magazine capacity limit (10 rounds)
  • CDOJ maintains an "approved handgun list"
  • No threaded barrels
  • NFA items are legal but VERY seldom allowed
  • Banned the .50 BMG
  • Certain restrictions on ammunition
  • Bullet button
  • Stipulations for CWP

The CDOJ maintains a list of "approved" handguns for sale in the state. They are approved due to classification based on their configuration. For example, and CA approved Glock 19 is legal with a 10 round magazine. However, the HK USP Tactical with a 12 round magazine and threaded barrel is not. Both threaded barrels and magazines over 10 rounds are banned. In addition, if you are "importing" a gun into a California through an on-line or mail order purchase, it must include forms to transfer the gun through the CDOJ for registration. This tedious process has caused many gun dealers to stop selling guns to consumers in California.

While NFA items are not specifically banned, they are regulated by the state on a case by case basis. While they are allowed ownership by military, police, and the film industry; they are rarely permitted for ownership by civilians.

The CDOJ was the first state to outright ban weapons based on caliber. The .50 BMG is banned meaning possession of any guns chambered in such caliber are illegal. Maryland has jumped on this bandwagon as well, classifying the .50 BMG as "regulated."

Tracer rounds are illegal across the entire state. Certain cities such as Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Oakland have made purchase and delivery of ammunition through the Internet illegal. Some speculate this is a tactic used by each city to prevent consumers from stock piling ammo and circumventing sales tax.

While long guns are generally not restricted, they may not contain magazines that hold more than 10 rounds or contain a threaded barrel/flash hider. NFA rifles are highly restricted and open carry of rifles/handguns is allowed in certain rural areas. In addition, magazine fed semi-automatic rifles must be equipped with a bullet button. Personally, this is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. A bullet button simply makes it more difficult to change a magazine. There are a few workarounds but the bullet button is generally a futile attempt at gun control.

Concealed weapons permits are little different in California. While the state maintains its stance as a "may-issue" state, it varies county by county. The issue of a CWP is dependent on approval by the local police. Some areas are "will-issue" while others are "no-issue." In some cases, police departments have been accused of discrimination due to certain celebrities and others who were issued CWPs while others were denied.

The bottom line is that if you want to own guns, move out of California. As time goes on, the state of California continues to pass more restrictions on gun ownership. Despite strict gun laws and the process required to legally buy a gun, California is no safer than others states with less restrictions.

No feedback yet