FAQ:

1. What is the minimum legal age to purchase a firearm in California?

2. What if my California driver license or identification card says, “FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY”?

3. What is required to purchase a handgun?

4. What is required to purchase a long gun?

5. I am active duty in the military, what do I need to purchase a handgun?

6.     I am active duty in the military, what do I need to purchase a long gun?

7.     What are the exemptions to purchase a long gun, if you are at least 18 years of age but under 21?

8. What if I recently moved and my California DL or ID card has my old address?

9.     What is an FSC card, and do I need one?

10. What documentation is acceptable proof of residency for handgun purchasers?

11.  How long is the waiting period for firearm purchases in California?

12.  I was notified that my background check status was “undetermined”; what does that mean?

13.  What if I am unsure of my background and concerned with failing the background check?


1. What is the minimum legal age to purchase a firearm in California?


  • 21 years of age to purchase rifles or shotguns. (Please refer to FAQ question 7, if you are under 21 years of age.)     
  • 21 years of age to purchase handguns, lower receivers and “pistol-grip only” shotguns. 


2. What if my California driver license or identification card says, “FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY”?


  • CA AB60 was signed into law by Governor Brown and mandates that the California DMV issue driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status.
  • It is unclear whether a person with a “FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY” driver license or identification card is eligible to purchase a firearm under federal law, because that person was not necessarily required to submit satisfactory proof of lawful presence in the United States.
  • Recently enacted state legislation (Cal. Stats. 2018, ch. 885, S.B. 244) prohibits certain “FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY” driver licenses and identification cards—those issued to persons who were not required to submit satisfactory proof of lawful presence in the United States—from being used as evidence of an individual’s citizenship or immigration status for any purpose. These driver licenses and identification cards are physically indistinguishable from other “FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY” driver licenses and identification cards issued to individual who have provided satisfactory proof of lawful presence in the United States.
  • The California Department of Justice suggests that if a prospective purchaser presents a “FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY” driver license or identification card, a firearms dealer may wish to consider asking for documentation of lawful presence in the United States, such as a:


-Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card

-Certified copy of U.S. birth certificate

-U.S. Certificate or Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen  

-Valid, unexpired foreign passport with valid U.S. immigrant visa and approved Record of Arrival/Departure (I-94) form

-Certified copy of birth certificate from a U.S. Territory

-Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. Citizenship

-Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card 


3. What is required to purchase a handgun?


  • A valid California driver license or a valid California identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles with your current residence address.
  • FSC card or exemption.
  • Proof of residency, which is the following: car registration, utility bill, residential lease etc.

(Please refer to FAQ question 10 for detailed requirements.) 


4. What is required to purchase a long gun?


  • A valid California driver license or a valid California identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles with your current residence address.
  • FSC card or exemption. 


5. I am active duty in the military, what do I need to purchase a handgun?


  • A valid military identification card and official orders showing where his/her permanent duty station is located, which would have to be in California.
  • Proof of residency, which is the following: car registration, utility bill, residential lease etc.

(Please refer to FAQ question 10 for detailed requirements.)·      

  • Active duty service members are exempt from the FSC requirement. 


6.     I am active duty in the military, what do I need to purchase a long gun?


  • A valid military identification card and official orders showing where his/her permanent duty station is located, which would have to be in California.
  • Active duty service members are exempt from the FSC requirement. 


7.     What are the exemptions to purchase a long gun, if you are at least 18 years of age but under 21?


  • You must meet one of the following exemptions:


-Possesses a valid, unexpired hunting license issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

-Is an active peace officer, as described in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, who is

authorized to carry a firearm in the course and scope of his or her employment.

-Is an active federal officer or law enforcement agent who is authorized to carry a firearm in the course and scope of his or her

employment

-Is a reserve peace officer, as defined in section 832.6 of the Penal Code, who is authorized to carry a firearm in the course and scope of

his or her employment as a reserve peace officer.

-Provides proper identification of his or her active membership in the United States Armed Forces, the National Guard, the Air National

Guard, or active reserve components of the United States; or provides proper identification that he or she is an honorably discharged

member of the United States Armed Forces, the National Guard, the Air National Guard, or active reserve components of the United

States.


8. What if I recently moved and my California DL or ID card has my old address?


  • Federal law mandates that a dealer may not sell or transfer a firearm unless the purchaser provides the dealer with a valid government-issued photo ID that includes the purchaser’s residence address.
  • If the address on your CA Driver’s license is not current or if the address reflects a business address or P.O. Box, you will be required to provide an alternate government document (e.g. car registration) that reflects your current residence address.

(Feel free to contact us for more examples of government issued documents that would suffice) 


9.     What is an FSC card, and do I need one?

      

  • Prior to purchasing or acquiring a firearm, unless exempt, you must have a valid Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC).
  • You must present your FSC to the firearms dealer at the time you begin a transaction to purchase.
  • To obtain an FSC you must be at least 18 years old and score at least 75% (23 correct answers out of 30 questions) on the FSC Test covering firearm safety and basic firearms laws. This is a true/false and multiple-choice test.      
  • We offer the FSC test for $25.00 in-store and the test can be taken anytime we are open; no appointment is necessary.
  • The $25.00 fee entitles you to take the test twice if necessary. If you fail the test the first time, you may retake another version of the test from the same DOJ Certified Instructor without any additional fee after 24 hours have elapsed.
  • If you would like to study, prior to taking the test, the free study guide can be found here.     
  • An FSC is valid for five years from the date of issuance. If you lose your FSC, replacement is available only through the DOJ Certified Instructor who issued your FSC.
  • The FSC replacement cost is $5. The replacement FSC will reflect the same expiration date as your original FSC. 


10. What documentation is acceptable proof of residency for handgun purchasers?


A.   Utility bill from within the past three months that bears on its face the individual’s name and either of the following:


-The individual’s current residential address as declared on the DROS form; or

-The individual’s residential address as it appears on his or her California Driver License or California Identification Card, or change of

address attachment thereto.


“Utility bill” means a statement of charges for providing service to the individual’s residence by either a physical connection (i.e., hard

wired Internet, telephone connection or cable connection, or a water or gas pipeline connection) or a telemetric connection (i.e., satellite

television or radio broadcast service) to a non-mobile, fixed antenna reception device.


B. Residential lease that bears the individual’s name and either of the following:


-The individual’s current residential address as declared on the DROS form; or

-The individual’s address as it appears on his or her California Driver License or California Identification Card, or change of address

attachment thereto.


“Residential lease” means either of the following:

-A signed and dated contract by which the individual (tenant) agrees to pay a specified monetary sum or provide other consideration for

the right to occupy an abode for a specified period of time; or

-A signed and dated rental agreement by which the individual (tenant) agrees to pay a specified monetary sum or provide other

consideration at fixed intervals for the right to occupy an abode.


C. Property deed that bears the individual’s name and either of the following:


-The individual’s current residential address as declared on the DROS form; or

-The individual’s address as it appears on his or her California Driver License or California Identification Card, or change of address

attachment thereto.


“Property deed” means either or the following:

-A valid deed of trust for the individual’s property of current residence that identifies the individual as a grantee of the trust; or

-A valid Certificate of Title issued by a licensed title insurance company that identifies the individual as a title holder to his or her

property of current residence.


D. Current, government-issued license, permit, or registration, other than a California Driver License or California Identification Card, that

has a specified expiration date or period of validity. The license, permit, or registration must bear the individual’s name and either of the

following:


-The individual’s current residential address as declared on the DROS form; or

-The individual’s address as it appears on his or her California Driver License, California Identification Card, or change of address

attachment thereto.


Examples of acceptable proof of residency:

-Current DMV registrations.

-Electricity, gas, cable bill with purchaser’s name on it from within the last 3 months.

-Signed, dated and notarized rental agreement/contract.


Examples of documents that are NOT acceptable proof of residency:

-Hunting or fishing license (these documents are not issued by the government).

-Cellular phone bill.


11.  How long is the waiting period for firearm purchases in California?

     

  • The state of California requires a waiting period of 10 – 24-hour periods or 240 hours after the DROS is submitted.
  • Every DROS expires after 30 days from the date of submission.
  • If your DROS expires, we are required by state law to reprocess the paperwork, start a new 10 day wait and

$25.00 fee. 


12.  I was notified that my background check status was “undetermined”; what does that mean?


  • The California DOJ (Department of Justice) is authorized by Penal Code section 28220 to temporarily delay a firearm transaction for up to 30 days from the date of transaction when the Department is unable to immediately determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own/possess firearms. If 30 days has passed since the transaction date and the Department is still unable to determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own/possess firearms or whether the firearm involved in the sale/transfer is stolen, the Department will notify the dealer. It will then be at the dealer’s sole discretion whether to release to you the firearm. If your background check results in an undetermined status, generally we will release the firearm(s) to you. 


13.  What if I am unsure of my background and concerned with failing the background check?

      

  • If you have any uncertainty of passing the mandatory background check, please fill out form BOF 116 CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE BUREAU OF FIREARMS Personal Firearms Eligibility Check Application. The DOJ will send you a letter determining your eligibility.

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/firearms/forms/pfecapp.pdf

116 CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE BUREAU OF FIREARMS Personal Firearms Eligibility Check Application

Another important source for CA firearm information: https://www.nraila.org/campaigns/california/stand-and-fight-california/