California Gun Laws 2023: Your Rights, Responsibilities, and Restrictions

california gun laws 2023

If you are a gun owner in California, it is important to stay up-to-date on the state’s ever-changing gun laws. In 2023, several new regulations will go into effect that could impact your ability to purchase and own firearms.

California has always been on the cutting edge of legislation when it comes to firearms. From its red flag law for restraining orders against dangerous firearm owners to its restrictions on assault weapons and ammunition accessories, there are plenty of rules and regulations in place.

But what can we expect in 2023? This article will provide an overview of current California gun laws while diving into any possible future changes that could potentially impact millions of residents across the state.

Who is (and Isn’t) Allowed to Own Guns in California?

Several strict regulations prohibit certain individuals from purchasing or possessing firearms in California. For example, convicted felons and individuals with a history of mental illness or drug addiction are prohibited from owning a firearm.

Additionally, individuals under 21 cannot purchase handguns, while those under 18 cannot purchase shotguns or rifles. To legally possess a firearm in California, you must obtain a permit and comply with all state regulations regarding ownership and storage.

Buying and Selling Firearms

Despite some concerns about the complexity of the process, purchasing and registering a firearm in California is straightforward with clear guidelines.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Obtain a Handgun Safety Certificate: Before you can purchase a gun in California, you must first obtain a Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC). This involves passing a written test on firearms safety and laws.
  2. Purchase Your Gun from a Licensed Dealer: All firearm purchases/transfers must go through licensed dealers who will conduct background checks and record sales using the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) system.
  3. Wait for 10 Days: After purchasing your gun, you must wait for 10 days before the seller can release/transfer it to you.

By following these steps and complying with all relevant gun laws, you can legally purchase and register your firearm in California. Remember that obtaining a concealed carry permit requires additional steps beyond those outlined above.

Transporting and Storing Firearms

To ensure the safety of yourself and those around you, it’s important to properly transport and store your firearms. In California, carrying a loaded firearm in public is illegal unless you have a concealed carry permit. Firearms must be transported unloaded and in a locked container in any vehicle, including motorcycles.

When storing firearms at home, they should be kept out of reach of children and prohibited persons. A safe or lock box is recommended for secure storage. It’s also important to keep ammunition separate from firearms and stored in a locked container as well.

Concealed Carry and Open Carry

In California, it’s legal to carry a concealed weapon with a CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) permit, which requires the completion of a training course and background check. However, obtaining a CCW permit can be difficult due to restrictions on who qualifies and the discretion of local law enforcement agencies.

Open carry of firearms is generally illegal in California, except for certain circumstances, such as by law enforcement. The state has some of the strictest firearm laws in the country, including bans on certain types of firearms and large-capacity magazines.

It’s important to understand and follow all firearm laws in California regarding concealed carry and open carry to avoid potential legal repercussions.

Illegal Firearms and Assault Weapons

Under California weapons laws, certain types of firearms are prohibited from ownership or possession. This includes short-barreled shotguns/rifles, undetectable firearms, zip guns, magazines with a capacity of over 10 rounds, wallet guns, and pistols without a bore.

It’s important to note that possessing these illegal firearms is a violation of California law and can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor offense.

As such, it’s crucial to fully understand the state’s firearm regulations before purchasing any weapon. Before obtaining any firearm in California, ensure that it falls under the permissible categories outlined by the law to avoid running afoul of the authorities.

Prohibited Places

To avoid getting into trouble with the law, be aware of where firearms are prohibited. It’s important to know that carrying a gun in California requires strict adherence to rules and regulations.

To help you stay lawful, here are four places where firearms are prohibited:

  1. Schools: Firearms can’t be carried within 1,000 feet of a school or on school grounds.
  2. Government buildings: Firearms aren’t allowed in government buildings such as courthouses or post offices.
  3. Public parks: Guns can’t be carried in the California public parks system.
  4. Public buildings: You can’t carry a weapon into a state or local public building like a library.

It’s crucial to remember that violating these restrictions can result in serious legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment. If you find yourself facing charges related to the possession of firearms in prohibited places, it’s essential to seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands California gun laws and can help protect your rights and freedom.

Ammunition and Accessories Restrictions

Large-capacity magazines are illegal in California. You can’t buy, sell, or possess any magazine with more than ten rounds of ammunition.

Apart from this, there are also regulations on other types of ammunition and accessories as well. For example, armor-piercing rounds are generally prohibited under California’s firearm laws. Similarly, silencers or suppressors for firearms aren’t allowed unless you have a special permit issued by the attorney general’s office.

It’s important to stay informed about these restrictions and regulations so that you don’t run afoul of the law when purchasing ammunition or firearm accessories in California.

Penalties for Violating California Gun Laws

Breaking any of these regulations can result in imprisonment for up to seven years, making it crucial to fully understand the penalties for violating firearm restrictions.

Here are some consequences that may occur if you violate California gun laws:

  • You could lose your right to own or possess firearms permanently or temporarily.
  • If you use a firearm to commit a crime, such as robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, or murder, you could face severe criminal charges and potentially spend the rest of your life in prison.

It’s important to note that even unintentional violations can have serious consequences. For instance, failing to pass a background check when purchasing firearms could lead to criminal charges. Concealing weapons without proper permits or bringing them into restricted areas like schools and government buildings can also result in significant legal repercussions.

Get Legal Defense Against Weapon Charges in California

At Kolacia Law, we’re committed to helping our clients stay informed and protected. Our experienced weapons charges lawyer can provide the guidance you need to navigate the complexities of California gun laws and ensure that you’re following all regulations.

Whether you’re a gun owner, a firearms dealer, or a member of law enforcement, it’s essential to be aware of the new laws and regulations that will affect you. And if you find yourself facing weapons charges, you need a strategic defense.

Contact us today for a free case review with our experienced attorneys.

Author Bio

Daniel Kolacia is the CEO and Managing Partner of Kolacia Law Firm, a Rancho Cucamonga, CA, criminal defense law firm. As a former prosecutor with more than 15 years of experience in criminal defense, he is knowledgeable about both sides of the courtroom, an advantage he uses to help defend his clients. He has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including white-collar crimes, misdemeanors, felonies, traffic cases, and other criminal charges.

Daniel received his Juris Doctor from the Southwestern University School of Law and is a member of the California Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work and has worked on several high-profile cases featured on Dateline, CNBC, Los Angeles Times, and various local publications.

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