View Full Version : I have a friend in need of some advice regarding a handgun

09-12-2005, 2:25 PM

I have a friend with a predicament and was referred to this forum.

He purchased a handgun from someone and wasn't aware that a gun transaction needs to go through an FFL dealer. So now he has an unregistsred handgun. The person he purchased it from got the gun when he was out of state and also never registered it.

My friend is an upstanding law abiding citizen and is concerned that he has a problem. The person he purchased it from is no longer local. Both of them served in the military, travelled around, and just were naive about Cali's gun laws.

So, what can my friend do? Should he call the DOJ and ask? He basically has a gun that is legal to own in Cali, he is eligible to own a gun, and the gun is not stolen.

So what options does he have?


09-12-2005, 3:20 PM
Well if your friend doesn't do something about it he/she could face a misdemeanor. I think, you can send it out of state, but asap. Also you can surrender it to the local PD that is unless that your friend bought it before all these dumb laws came into affect? Maybe someone else can help you more, I'm not to knowledgable about handgun regulations.

09-12-2005, 3:46 PM
There's also the Federal issue about interstate transfers of firearms without an FFL's help.

Bill W.
San Jose

09-12-2005, 5:58 PM
Find a lawyer versed in Kali gun laws and pay the money for his advice. I'm sure that there is a way to get around this, but find that out from a lawyer.

09-12-2005, 6:23 PM
Well, he can wipe it down and bury it somewhere in the wilderness where no one will ever find it, or else take a hacksaw to the frame and render it permanently inoperable by cutting it in half.

09-12-2005, 10:58 PM
You may want to have your friend check out the following firearm attorney's website: http://www.gunlaw.com He's located in Southern California and "may" offer cheap or free advice for a question such as yours. I do not know him personally, but it might be worth a "shot". Good luck. -gloxter

09-13-2005, 6:47 AM
Bruce(gunlaw.com)is a good guy, give him a call.

09-13-2005, 8:20 AM
when did this happen and what make and model of gun?

09-13-2005, 3:02 PM
Thanks guys. He wants to do the right thing. Thanks for the reference.

Delloro, I think it was in the past year. I can check. It's a Glock.

09-13-2005, 4:34 PM
the answer is here: http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/dwcl/dwc.htm

09-13-2005, 6:26 PM
Thanks...I dont see an answer in that link...am I missing it?

Is it possible for him to register it somehow now or should he destroy it?

09-20-2005, 9:32 PM
He needs to destroy/surrender it immediately. Sorry.

Several both state and Federal (inter-state transfer with no FFL) laws were broken here.

I bet you money the gun comes up stolen.

09-21-2005, 2:53 PM
I would suggest shipping the parts of the handgun, (except the frame) to Gun Parts Corp and then destroy the frame with a hack saw

10-06-2005, 11:01 AM
bury it somewhere for a rainy day...

10-06-2005, 5:57 PM
he can at least salvage the parts though, right? get rid of the frame but keep the rest as a parts kit?

10-06-2005, 7:25 PM
what gun? http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

10-06-2005, 8:39 PM
Originally posted by bu-bye:
what gun? http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Ya got MY vote.. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


10-07-2005, 4:15 AM
Don't forget private party sales in TWO neighboring states leave no paper trail- In AZ and NV, you can cash and carry at any local gun show by flashing a valid ID, and the same when buying from another resident.

Only CA has "registration". If this gun come from another state, it's most likely not stolen.
In fact, if it was bought here before 1991 (I think-you may want to check this date), it WOULD HAVE NO RECORD!

Yep, that's right, if you bought a handgun prior to 1991, there is no record of a DROS at DOJ, and there is NO REQUIREMENT FOR YOU TO REGISTER IT unless you want to do so voluntarily.

Thus, possession of a gun with no DROS is NOT illegal depending on the circumstances.

Reading the law, the only time I'd worry about having a registered pistol is if you plan to carry it ILLEGALLY. The penalty if you're coaught is less if its registered.
Technically, it's not 'registration' either, even if the law says so. the DOJ doesn't register guns, they keep DROS records. It does the same thing, but it's not quite the same http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


10-07-2005, 8:12 AM
Well, quite a variety of answers here.

If it were me, I'd call the CaDOJ and ask them what to do - http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/phonenum.htm. If I were paranoid, I'd call from a pay phone with a phone card. I'd be willing to bet a box of cheap ammo they'll say "Fill out the self-registration paperwork and send it in." If you needed a paper trail, you'd have someone not directly connected to your friend send them a written request for advice and get back a paper reply.

Bill likes to warn against taking the advice of CaDOJ phone clerks, and he's got some good points, but it's an easy way to get another data point, and one that I'd put more credence in than a bunch of recommendations that you cut the gun up...

YMMV, as always!


10-07-2005, 9:37 AM
DOJ advice may be to just fill in the voluntary reg. That doesn't however cover the likely BAF Fed interstate violation.

While the state issue is at infraction (maybe misdemeanor if aggravated) level the Fed issue could be a felony.

Remember, this is a self-documenting crime. The gun has a serial # so its production date is readily known - if mfgd after 1/91 it had to go thru CA FFL to be in CA if not brought in by a nonresident.

If your CA D/L is earlier than the gun's production date, you've essentially just testified against yourself.

Even if a pre-'91 mfgd gun, on the Fed level that gun had to get into CA somehow. Unless the prior owner was a CA resident, it's automatic that something illegal happened . In the even the gun was stolen or you had to ever use it defensively, it could cause problems.

The cost of the attorney will be a fraction of the price of that gun. The cost of the attorney if something happened (legally speaking) will be many many times the price of a new gun.

Bill Wiese
San Jose

10-07-2005, 11:53 AM
Yes, I read it that the seller was a CA resident when the transaction took place, but that's not specified in the OP. If he wasn't, the federal law is definitely the bigger hit.

If the seller was a CA resident, it becomes strictly a state issue, right?