Update for sales tax from an out of state private party sale of a C&R handgun to a CA resident with a C&R FFL.
In a transaction where an out-of-state private party sells a C&R firearm to a California resident who has a C&R FFL and the firearm is shipped to a California FFL dealer who only completes the paperwork and registration for the California purchaser, the transaction may be considered an exempt occasional sale provided the out-of-state private party seller and in-state purchaser with a C&R FFL agreed to the sale of the C&R firearm without any assistance from the California FFL dealer (i.e., the California FFL simply registers the firearm without taking title to it at any time). The California FFL dealer would not be considered the retailer and would not be responsible for the tax. Thus, the sale of a firearm by an out-of-state private party to a resident of California who holds a C&R FFL may be an exempt occasional sale when the sale is made through a California FFL firearm dealer as explained above.
Please note that in a transaction involving a C&R firearm it is our understanding that there is no Federal law which requires the firearm to be licensed through a California FFL dealer. Rather it is a California law that requires the firearm to be licensed through a California FFL dealer. Based on these assumptions it is possible for the transaction to qualify as an occasional sale as explained above.
On the contrary, in a transaction involving a regular firearm (i.e. not a C&R firearm) when a California FFL dealer completes the registration paperwork and delivers a firearm to a California purchaser for an out-of-state private party seller or an out-of-state retailer not registered with the BOE as a retailer engaged in business in this state, it is presumed that the California FFL dealer is the retailer of the firearm. This is due to the fact that by operation of Federal law, only the California FFL dealer possessing the firearm has power to cause title to the property to transfer to the purchaser.
Attached is a copy of the complete response with personal information removed.