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California Gun Laws
By Mark M Lichterman   

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As a target shooting gun enthusiast living in the state of California, I can tell you, at least in my state and from my experience, that the laws and rules are strictly upheld.

                                        California Gun Laws  


Whenever there is a tragedy such as the recent murders in aurora, Colorado, there is a cry for harder gun laws in order to make it more difficult for people to obtain and own guns whereupon, in most states, if the existing laws were forcefully upheld, there would be no need for more and harder laws.

As a target shooting gun enthusiast living in the state of California, I can tell you, at least in my state and from my experience, that the laws and rules are strictly upheld.

In order to purchase a gun, you must first study for and pass a written test that allows you to purchase a gun.

So now, with your “California Department of Justice Handgun Safety Certificate” in your purse or wallet, you will go to a gun shop, discuss what kind of a gun you want and what you want it for with the man behind the counter. Then, when you find what you want, the gun is paid for, including tax plus twenty-five dollars for a DROS. You will fill the DROS — “Dealer Record of Sale of Firearm”— form out, which includes your fingerprint. When complete, the form is sent to the “Department of Justice” whereupon you, and your police (if any) record is scrutinized. Then, if approved, in ten working days you can return to the shop and get you gun. But hold on a minute, it isn’t just ten days, but ten days to the minute that you signed the DROS, meaning, if you signed the DROS at 1:20 pm, you cannot pick up your gun until after 1:20 pm ten days hence. Now also, very importantly, you cannot purchase another firearm within the next thirty days… Which, if you do try to purchase a firearm prior to the thirty day period, your acquisition will be denied. 

So now there are other ways to purchase a firearm. If you should buy a gun through an out of state gun dealer or a gun auction; upon winning your particular auction, you do pay for the weapon with a credit card, including shipping. However, the gun can and only will be shipped to the FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee) of your choice. Whereupon receiving your gun, the FFL will call to inform you that they have the gun and you will then go to the FFL location and pay him the FFL fee (usually fifty to seventy-five dollars) and the twenty-five dollars for the DROS and then wait the ten days... By the way, in the State of California, in a swap-meet type situation —that is watched very closely by federal officers—if the guy selling the gun is not local, the only way he can sell it to you is to ship it to your local FFL.

Also, if I, for example, have a gun that you would like to buy, we must go to an FFL and you must fill out and pay the FFL and DROS fees then wait the ten day period.

Another example of California gun law: No pistol or rifle magazine can hold more than ten rounds.

As an example, I recently purchased an older “Browning” 9 millimeter semi-automatic pistol. After waiting the ten days, I went to get it and—surprising me—it did not have a magazine because the gun came from out of state with a thirteen round magazine. So I had to hunt around for the proper magazine for an older Browning 9 mm semi-automatic pistol. Which, by the way, I did find on-line.

I do not know the gun laws of other states, but here in California, our gun laws are so strict that many of the people selling guns through auctions will not sell to a purchaser in California.

At the start of World War Two, a Japanese general stated that they could not invade the U.S. because behind every blade of grass there is someone with a gun.

No matter what we might do regarding acquiring guns, the bad guys will find a way to get them.

Hate to quote a hackneyed expression but: If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.














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