California Gun Laws – Omaha Outdoors
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As the nation’s most populous state, California has an outsized effect on the nation when it comes to laws and regulations. Millions of California residents must deal with constantly changing laws and regulations, especially when it comes to firearms and ammunition. Grandpa’s hand-me-down Browning Hi Power pistol with a thirteen-round magazine, once a family heirloom, might now land its owners in jail. Want to open carry in a rural area? Better make sure county supervisors haven’t banned the use and carry of firearms there. And don’t even think about stopping at a big box store in Nevada or Arizona on a road trip home to buy enough ammunition for a day of pistol shooting practice – that’s now illegal, too. Here, we’ll do our best to get you current on California gun laws, especially the updates for 2018 that have made being a law abiding gun owner in California even more difficult. Recent Gun Laws in CA
If you were already up to speed on California gun laws before 2018, here are the updates.
First and foremost, some of the new California laws are focused on ammunition in addition to firearms and magazines. It was originally believed that individuals would need to acquire an ammunition purchasing permit in order to buy ammunition in California, but so far that has not been the case.
As of January 1, 2018, you can no longer have ammunition delivered to your home if you live anywhere in the state of California. If you are buying ammunition online or from a mail order company, you must have it delivered to a licensed ammunition vendor. All FFL holders, or Federal Lirearms Licensees, are automatically authorized to sell more than 500 rounds of ammunition per month by the state of California under the new law, but stores which did not sell firearms and instead only sold ammo had to be authorized by the California Department of Justice to sell ammunition.
Although this is a significant burden for gun owners who must now be dependent on local businesses for acquiring ammunition, in contrast to the rest of the country which embraces the Internet, even greater burdens are on the horizon. As of July 2019, you will have to pass a background check to purchase ammunition in the state of California.
In case you thought you were going to be clever and zip across state lines to buy ammunition, such as at those nifty big box stores across the border in Nevada or Arizona, you should be aware that bringing more than 50 rounds of ammunition back into the state of California with you is now a misdemeanor. If you purchased ammunition in California and then left for an out of state hunting trip, and it’s possible that you might return with more than 50 rounds of ammunition, you should keep a record of that purchase for when you reenter the state and encounter California border checkpoints, as it is possible that you might be questioned about ammunition there.
Ammunition transfers between private parties have also been restricted. While you can give as much ammunition as you like to your friends and family, you can only sell up to 50 rounds to immediate family members per month. Alternatively, you can sell ammo while you’re out on a hunt as long as you sell less than 50 rounds, and only to another licensed hunter. Any other sales must go through, or be processed at, a dealer with an Ammunition Vendor License.
Of course, California didn’t stop there with their new gun laws for 2018. While the rest of the country defines an assault weapon as one with select fire capability, or full auto capability, California sees the issue quite differently and has since the turn of the century banned “assault weapons,” which California defines as a semi-automatic rifle, pistol, or shotgun with specific features, including folding or telescoping stocks, threaded barrels, flash suppressors, forward grips, pistol grips, thumbhole stocks, grenade launchers, barrel shrouds, and more.
While some of these only apply to specific versions, for example a semi-automatic shotgun is an assault weapon if it has a telescoping stock and a pistolgrip or thumbhole stock, and there is no mention of concerns regarding shotguns with threaded barrels, or grenade launchers, you can rest assured that pretty much anything fun or especially useful for self-defense has been banned by the state of California.
From 2001 to 2016, CA gun owners got around these rules by using “Bullet Buttons,” or magazine release parts which required the use of a tool or the tip of a bullet to release the magazine instead of simply pushing the button. This was because the wording of the “assault weapons” ban specified that pistols or rifles which did not have fixed magazines were not assault weapons. However, even these bullet button modified rifles are now considered assault weapons and must be registered as such with the California Department of Justice. The original deadline for registration was the end of 2017, but the deadline has now been extended to June 30, 2018, giving California gun owners slightly more time to decide if they want to register their firearms with the government.
Now, in order to own an AR15 type rifle in California as of 2018, it must be modified so as to be “featureless,” or the magazine must not be capable of being removed without disassembly of the action. What is a featureless AR 15? It is one with a fixed stock, a firing grip which is not either a pistol grip or a thumbhole stock, a muzzle brake instead of a flash hider, and no grenade launcher, flare launcher, or forward pistol grip. While most gun owners have at least seen AR type rifles with many of these features in the past, the grip modification is the one most will be unfamiliar with. Essentially, you must replace the pistol grip with one that either extends straight to the rear or one which has a large surface area behind where your hand holds the rifle which connects with the stock.
If you previously owned a registered assault weapon in the state of California, you can modify it to make it featureless and remove it from the “assault weapons” registry. This frees you up from many of the restrictions on “assault weapons” ownership in the state of California, including restrictions on where you may go with the weapon and where you may use it, as well as a flat ban on the passing of assault weapons to your heirs. Yes, that’s right, a registered assault weapon in California must be surrendered to the authorities, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of outside the state of California upon the death of the registered owner. An alternative would be modifying it so as to make it “featureless.”
Those with the inclination and skills to complete 80% receivers in the state of California should know that after June 30, 2018, they will have to apply to the California DOJ for a state assigned serial number which will be in the California government database and which they must engrave on the receiver after paying a fee. If you complete your 80% receiver prior to July 1, 2018, you may engrave upon it a serial number of your choice and you are not required to apply to the state or tell them the serial number. If you are building an AR 15 80% receiver, keep in mind that you will still have to abide by either the featureless definition or register it as an assault weapon prior to June 30, 2018.
Another recent law, albeit one having taken effect slightly earlier than 2018, relates to loaning guns. If you’re a hunting guide in California, you can loan your customers weapons for hunting as long as those customers have that hunting licenses and only use the firearms during legal hunting seasons. If you want to loan a handgun to a family member, you can only do so up to six times per year, and loaning long guns may only happen “occasionally and without regularity.”
One of the biggest laws taking effect in CA recently relates to magazines which can contain more than 10 rounds. While there was previously a California State law banning the sale and importation of magazines holding more than 10 rounds, the new law bans their possession outside a specific and highly restrictive list of exemptions, such as those for law enforcement or if you own a firearm which only accepts magazines holding more than 10 rounds and you purchased the firearm before January 1, 2000. Given the constitutional issues involved – specifically, the Fifth Amendment issues, as the law requires the surrender of property without compensation – this provision is being contested in court and has yet to take full effect.
Finally, the state has passed a ban on carrying rifles and shotguns in any part of the state which is considered unincorporated and has been designated by the county board of supervisors for the area as a banned area. Essentially, it allows local authorities to designate at their will that any part of their locality, even wilderness areas which might have been used for recreational target shooting in the past, as a gun free zone. Ammo Sales
You may no longer have ammunition shipped to your home in California unless you are a home-based FFL (federal firearms licensee). You must go to a business holding an Ammunition Vendor License or FFL to pick up ammunition purchased online or by mail order. Starting in the middle of 2019, you’ll have to pass a background check to buy ammo in California.
Certain types of ammunition are also banned in California. For example, by July 1, 2019, you can’t use ammunition containing lead to take any type of wildlife in the state of California. As of 2018, there are numerous locations and types of game which require nonlead ammunition to be used, but the final hammer blow will come in the middle of 2019. California also bans “armor piercing” handgun ammunition, defined as “handgun ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor” including that which is “designed primarily to defeat a body vest or body shield.” You also are not allowed to possess tracer or incendiary rounds (except shotgun tracer ammo), grenade or explosive launching devices or ammunition, any ammunition greater than .60 caliber (except shotguns), and rocket propelled grenade launchers and ammunition. Castle Doctrine
A decision on whether or not to use lethal force in a potential self defense situation is not one which we can completely or accurately summarize for you in written form, and it’s highly recommended that you seek out information from your local authorities or from a local firearms instructor regarding use of force laws. California Laws on Home Defense
Although California does not have a specific “Castle Doctrine” law titled as such, California Penal Code Section 198.5 allows the use of deadly force in your own home if there is a “reasonable fear of imminent peril or great bodily injury.” The California Attorney General’s Office says “a person may defend his or her home against anyone who attempts to enter in a violent manner intending violence to any person in the home. The amount of force that may be used in resisting such entry is limited to that which would appear necessary to a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances to resist the violent entry. One is not bound to retreat, even though a retreat might safely be made. One may resist with force, increasing in proportion to the intruder’s persistence and violence, if the circumstances apparent to the occupant would cause a reasonable person in the same or similar situation to fear for his or her safety.”
The California Office of the Attorney General further describes the use of firearms in home defense, and we will repeat these sections essentially verbatim as precise language is important when discussing the law.
“The occupant (of a residence) may use a firearm when resisting the intruder’s attempt to commit a forcible and life-threatening crime against anyone in the home provided that a reasonable person in the same or similar situation would believe that 1) the intruder intends to commit a forcible and life-threatening crime, 2) there is imminent danger of such crime being accomplished, and 3) the occupant acts under the belief that use of a firearm is necessary to save himself or herself or another from death or great bodily injury. Murder, mayhem, rape, and robbery are examples of forcible and life-threatening crimes.”
“Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and that person using the force knew or had reason to believe and unlawful and forcible entry had occurred. Great bodily injury means a significant or substantial physical injury.”
As a note to this above section, the California Office of the Attorney General helpfully provides the following caveat: “If the presumption is rebutted by contrary evidence, the occupant may be criminally liable for an unlawful assault or homicide.”
If you have a problem with a trespasser, note that “the lawful occupant of real property has the right to request a trespasser to leave the premises. If the trespasser does not do so within a reasonable time, the occupant may use force to eject a trespasser. The amount of force that may be used to eject a trespasser is limited to that which a reasonable person would belief to be necessary under the same or similar circumstances.” Unless you can articulate and defend a “reasonable fear of imminent peril or great bodily injury” from a trespasser, it would appear that you might want to avoid using lethal force to eject said trespasser. CA Laws on Self Defense Outside the Home
Self defense law in California also allows for use of force in situations outside the home.
According to jury instructions for criminal cases in California where self defense has been claimed as a defense to prosecution, the killing of a person or persons by another may be justifiable provided that a reasonable person in the same set of circumstances would have believed the following: “1) the person killed intended to commit a forcible and life-threatening crime; 2) there was imminent danger of such crime being accomplished; and 3) the person acted under the belief that such force was necessary to save himself or herself or another from death or a forcible and life-threatening crime. Murder, mayhem, rape, and robbery are examples of forcible and life-threatening crimes.”
There are additional justifications for the use of lethal force under California law relating to defending yourself against an assault. You may “defend yourself from attack if you have reasonable grounds for believing, and do in fact believe, that you will suffer bodily injury. In doing so, you may use such force, up to deadly force, as a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would believe necessary to prevent great bodily injury or death. An assault with fists does not justify use of a deadly weapon in self-defense unless the person being assaulted believes, and a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would also believe, that the assault is likely to inflict great bodily injury.” It’s important to note that excessive force in repelling an assault may not be protected under California law.
You may also use deadly force to protect other people under California law, even outside the home. “It is lawful for a person who has grounds for believing, and does in fact believe, that great bodily injury is about to be inflicted upon another to protect the victim from attack. In so doing, the person may use such force as reasonably necessary to prevent the injury. Deadly force is only considered reasonable to prevent great bodily injury or death.”
Some of the above sections refer to “mayhem” as a justifiable reason for the use of force in California. If you were, like us, wondering how mayhem is defined under California law, you may be surprised to learn that it does not refer to rioting but instead those who “unlawfully and maliciously deprive a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the nose, ear, or lip,” are guilty of mayhem. However, California Penal Code Section 197 does provide for justifiable homicide when “necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.” Limitations on Self Defense in CA
It is important that you understand that the use of force in self-defense is not an unlimited right, and it can cease to be justified under certain circumstances.
“The right of self-defense ceases when there is no further danger from an assailant. Thus, where a person attacked under circumstances initially justifying self-defense renders the attacker incapable of inflicting further injuries, the law of self-defense ceases and no further force may be used. Furthermore, a person may only use the amount of force, up to deadly force, as a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would believe necessary to prevent imminent injury. It is important to note the use of excessive force to counter an assault may result in civil or criminal penalties.”
“The right of self-defense is not initially available to a person who assaults another. However, if such a person attempts to stop further combat and clearly informs the adversary of his or her desire for peace but the opponent nevertheless continues to fight, the right of self-defense returns and is the same as the right of any other person being assaulted.
Put simply, if you are assaulted by someone and respond with force, and they fall back or surrender, you may not continue to use force against them. If you do, they may be able to claim a lawful right of self defense for any future use of force against you, and you may be criminally or civilly liable for your actions. Concealed Carry
As a “may issue” state, California allows residents to apply for a concealed carry permit but is not required by law to issue them to all citizens who can pass a background check. Depending on the political leanings and general feelings of the government and law enforcement officers at the county level, residents of California are either allowed or denied the right to carry concealed weapons. It’s a felony under California law to carry a firearm that’s not declared to the state on your concealed carry permit application.
It should be noted that under California law, you do not need a license or permit to carry a handgun, either openly or concealed, while in your home, defined as “place of residence”, or place of business – and place of business includes the place of operation for a charitable organization. “Place of residence” also extends to a temporary residence and a campsite, as well as private property owned or “lawfully possessed” by the person. An exception to this is if your place of business, residence, campsite, etc falls inside an area where possession of a firearm is against local or federal law, those laws would prohibit you from carrying or even possessing the firearm there. The California Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 allows possession of firearms on private property not part of school grounds but which is within 1000 feet of a school or school grounds.
If you are one of the lucky few who is deemed worthy of being allowed to exercise your right to carry a firearm, the sheriff of the county in which you live or primarily work, or the chief of a municipal police department with whom the sheriff of your county has entered into an agreement to process such applications, determined that you are of good moral character and that good cause existed for the issuance of your license. However, even if you are of good moral character and good cause exists for you to be allowed to carry a concealed weapon, the sheriff or other law enforcement officer may decide against issuing you the license.
A mandatory course of training is required to receive a California concealed carry permit, and depending on the jurisdiction, that training course might be 16 or 24 hours, but it will be the same length of course for all applicants in that jurisdiction. A renewal course for a California concealed carry permit is required to be a minimum of 4 hours, and your permit will be good for up to 2 years. Places You Can’t Carry Even With a California CCW Pemit
If you are granted a California concealed carry permit or open carry permit, you may not carry that firearm in or on the grounds of a public or private K-12 school, but you may carry it within the 1000 foot buffer zone around the school where possession of a loaded or unsecured (not locked in a container) firearm would normally be a violation of the California Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995.
California also prohibits or otherwise restricts carry in government buildings, the State Capitol, legislative offices, the Governor’s Mansion, the residence of any Member of the Legislature, at a polling place or voting area, the Cal Expo center in Sacramento, while picketing or on strike, and on college campuses without the written permission of college administration. Federal case law prohibits carry or even possession of a firearm in any post office and in the parking lot of any post office in America, including those in California.
The application for a concealed carry permit in California prevents the consumption of alcohol while carrying a concealed weapon and prevents the holder from carrying in a “place having a primary purpose of dispensing alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption,” that is to say, you cannot carry a concealed weapon, even with a permit, in a bar in California. You are also prohibited from being under the influence of any medication or drug, even prescription drugs. If you do receive a California CCW permit, a subsequent DUI arrest is cause for invalidating the permit. Concealed Carry Reciprocity
California does not recognize the concealed carry permits issued by any other state. Just imagine if California only allowed a select few California residents to drive cars in their state! States which recognize California’s concealed carry permit, or which do not require a permit for concealed carry, include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, and Vermont. Felony Convictions and Prohibited Possessors
California has a long list of reasons why one might be labeled a prohibited possessor and prevented from purchasing firearms. Individuals who have a felony conviction are prohibited from owning firearms in California, along with those who have committed a wide variety of offenses too numerous to list here and those found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial. California also provides for five-year and ten-year prohibitions on firearm ownership by those guilty of an even longer list of offenses as well as those who have been taken into custody as a danger to self or others. Juveniles adjudged wards of the court are prohibited until age 30 if they committed certain offenses. There are also other reasons why one might be prevented from having a gun in California, including those charged with felonies but not yet convicted, those subject to a restraining order or temporary restraining order, and people addicted to the use of narcotics.
If you have received a pardon, successfully executed the expungement or sealing of a record, or are otherwise not sure if you are eligible to possess firearms in California, you may contact the California DOJ to request a Personal Firearms Eligibility Check and they will conduct a determination as to whether or not you are eligible to possess firearms under California law. Gun Registration in California
Several classes of firearm require registration in California, including “assault weapons.” In addition, those moving to California must declare all of their firearms, including details of the make, model, serial number, caliber, and barrel length, to the California DOJ using form BOF 4010A, which constitutes de facto gun registration for all new California residents. If you are lucky enough to be issued a California concealed carry permit, you must carry a firearm which is registered in the DOJ’s Automated Firearms System and has been declared on your concealed carry permit application. Finally, all firearm transfers must go through the California DROS (Dealer’s Record of Sale) scheme, constituting another mechanism by which firearm ownership is registered in California. Magazine Capacity
California has the most restrictive ammunition feeding device laws in the nation, with the currently-contested Prop 63 law requiring the destruction, conversion to 10 round or less, surrender, or expulsion from the state of all magazines which can contain more than 10 rounds, even if they were lawfully owned prior to the last California magazine import/sale ban in 2000. It is possible that court challenges to this law will go all the way to the US Supreme Court. NFA / Class III
Machine guns, silencers, AOWs, and short barreled rifles / short barreled shotguns are among the items requiring National Firearms Act registration. California further cracks down on ownership of these firearms by heavily restricting machine gun ownership to the point that state machine gun permits for private individuals are practically impossible to acquire. California also bans ownership and use of silencers. California only allows the possession of SBR and SBS weapons with a permit, and even then only if they are C&R eligible – C&R being Curio and Relic, meaning the weapon is over 50 years old, not a replica firearm, or has some unique feature that gives it a status apart from standard firearms, such as those which might be found in a museum. AOWs, or Any Other Weapons, are largely omitted from CA firearms regulations, although they are still subject to federal restrictions, and some AOWs like pen guns are prohibited. An example of an AOW legal in CA would be a Serbu Super Shorty compact 12ga weapon or a pistol with a forward vertical grip, such as an MP5K, although the latter would have to comply with the rest of California’s “assault weapons” and magazine capacity limitations.
There are numerous exemptions throughout California gun laws for entertainment purposes, such as filmmaking, and movie houses in California as well as armories that contract with movie houses are largely exempt from these rules. Open Carry
After protesters armed with unloaded firearms in urban areas demonstrated in an attempt to change California gun laws, they found that California gun laws did change, just not how they envisioned. Open carry of a handgun in public places was banned in 2012, even if the weapon was unloaded, as that had been a previous exception to the state’s open carry laws. Now, it does not matter if the weapon is a rifle, pistol, or shotgun, you may not open carry it in public places. Openly carrying long guns in some rural areas may now be illegal as well, depending on the whims of county supervisors, and you should check with your local law enforcement department to find out which areas may be “gun free zones.”
It should be noted that under California law, you do not need a license or permit to carry a firearm, either openly or concealed, while in your home, defined as “place of residence”, or place of business – and place of business includes the place of operation for a charitable organization. “Place of residence” also extends to a temporary residence and a campsite, as well as private property owned or “lawfully possessed” by the person. An exception to this is if your place of business, residence, campsite, etc falls inside an area where possession of a firearm is against local or federal law, those laws would prohibit you from carrying or even possessing the firearm there.
Sheriffs of counties with populations less than 200,000 according to the last US Census may elect to issue an open carry permit good only within that county in lieu of a concealed carry permit. California residents who receive these permits must abide by the same restrictions outlined above under the “concealed carry” section in addition to the geographical (county) restrictions of these permits. Private Sales
Please see the following section “Purchasing a Firearm in California” for more information about private party firearm transfers in California. If you wish to keep your own record of a firearm sale, you can download an Omaha Outdoors Bill of Sale form. Purchasing a Firearm in California
All firearms sales and transfers in California, including those at gun shows, require a ten day waiting period before the transfer may be made, and no private party transfers may be made except those conducted at a California licensed firearms dealer, where the same ten day waiting period applies. Only California residents may purchase pistols in California, and this may be documented with a utility bill for the last three months, a residential lease, a property deed, or military PCS orders to a base or post within California. When you provide these proof of residency documents, they must match the address on the Dealer’s Record of Sale (DROS) form or the address on the California drivers license or ID card.
In order to purchase a pistol or any other firearm in California, you must also possess a valid Firearms Safety Certificate (FSC) which requires passing an “objective written test” with a 75% score or better. The test can be administered by a CA DOJ Certified Instructor, many of which may be found at California firearms dealers. The FSC is good for five years and may cost up to $25. You must also purchase, or be in possession of, an approved Firearms Safety Device (FSD), such as a gun trigger lock, or a DOJ-approved gun safe or lock box. The only transfers not subject to the FSC and FSD requirements are pawn shop returns and transfers inside a family.
Handguns sold by dealers must be on the CA DOJ Approved Roster, a list which is constantly changing, and only one handgun may be purchased by an individual in a 30 day period. Pawn returns, intra-familial transfers, and private party transfers are exempt from the CA DOJ Roster and one handgun per 30 day period requirements. Sales at gun shows require the same waiting period, background check, FSC, FSD, and DROS provisions as sales at gun dealers. Safety Regulations / Safe Storage Laws
California has some of the most stringent locking device, storage, and safety regulations regarding firearms in the nation. All firearms sold or transferred in California by a dealer, including private party transfers conducted at a dealer in accordance with California law, must include a firearm safety device such as a lock. Firearms safety devices must be approved and on the California DOJ roster. Gun dealers may not sell and organize firearms safety programs may not distribute any firearm safety device that is not on the California DOJ roster or does not meet DOJ FSD guidelines.
If you own a gun safe that meets California DOJ standards, and sign a statement to this effect at the time of purchase, you do not need a California approved firearm safety device with every gun purchase. Another exception to this rule is if you can show a receipt proving the purchase of an approved FSD within the previous 30 days.
California law provides for stiff penalties if firearms are left where children, defined as a person under age 18, can gain access to them. Even stiffer penalties apply to those who allow their firearms to be acquired by children who take them to school or school activities. You can also be held criminally liable if a prohibited possessor gains access to your firearms and you did not take reasonable precautions to secure them. If someone is injured or killed because a firearm you left unsecured was acquired by a child, you will face significant penalties under California law. Shoot First / Stand Your Ground
California does not have a specific “stand your ground” law named as such, but there is no duty to retreat under California self defense law, even if retreat is possible. For more information on self-defense laws and the use of force as a gun owner in California, see our above section titled “Castle Doctrine.” Stolen Firearms
California law requires individuals to report lost or store one firearms to the local law enforcement department with jurisdiction where the firearm was lost or stolen within five days of the time the status of the firearm as missing was apparent or should have been discovered.
For California firearms dealers, the rules are more stringent, as the loss or theft of firearms or ammunition must be reported to law enforcement within 48 hours. Transporting Firearms in California
California firearms transportation laws are remarkably simple, given the complexity of other California gun laws.
Anyone over 18 who is in lawful possession of a handgun may transport it so long as it is unloaded and in a locked container. A vehicle trunk is a locked container, but hatchbacks and pickup truck cabs do not count as trunks. In these cases, you would need a vehicle safe or a locked handgun case, constituting a secure container fully enclosing the firearm and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination or similar locking device. The utility compartment, console, or glove compartment does not count as a locked container.
Rifles and shotguns are not generally required to be in locked containers during transport, however, they must be unloaded. An “assault weapon” under California law, however, must be transported in a locked container, and only carried to and from the vehicle directly and only when transported for “any lawful purpose.”
As specified in federal law, when transporting a firearm on a “common carrier,” such as an airline, special transport requirements apply, and the firearm must be declared to the carrier prior to turning over your checked luggage with the locked and unloaded firearm inside. California has special laws regarding the “sterile areas” of a public transit facility, including any area along a public transportation route, which includes motor vehicles, streetcars, trackless trolleys, buses, light rail systems, rapid transit systems, subways, trains, or “jitneys.” It’s unlawful in California to possess a firearm within the sterile area of such a facility, with sterile area being defined as “any portion of a public transit facility that is generally controlled in a manner consistent with the public transit authority’s transit plan.” Recent Posts