Making a reference: Shipping firearms into CA
I frequent another gun forum, surplusrifleforum.com, and have written up a post I'd like to put there with the purpose of clarifying the ins and outs of shipping firearms to California. The forum involves mostly C&R guns, so you'll see maybe a slight emphasis on C&R stuff.
I want to make sure the information is correct. Please review my post and provide comments / corrections. I want to ensure that it's a valuable, readable, useable reference for out of state dealers and individuals. Note that this is a rough draft and I am looking for input to make sure I'm providing correct information. Let the red ink flow!
Shipping Firearms to California
The following is a summary of what can and cannot be shipped into California. A major source of this information is taken from the forums at http://www.calguns.net . Also, a good reference which details a lot of this information can be found at http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Main_Page . Calguns has become the best source of information on the legalities of firearms ownership in California, and the spinoff Calguns Foundation is a major driving force behind lawsuits filed to challenge the gun control laws which exist in that state. In light of this, the information below will be updated as laws in California change (very likely for the better)
The definition of a firearm in California is the same as the federal definition. Ie, receiver or frame made after 1898, it’s a firearm. Prior to 1898, it’s an antique and firearms laws do not apply.
California Firearms License Check (CFLC)
The enactment of the California Firearms License Check requires a form to be filled out and shipped with the long arm for transactions between a California FFL 01 and an Out-of-state FFL 01. It is illegal for a California FFL 01 to accept a firearms shipment without this form (thus the hammer falls on the CA FFL 01). See the overview at http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/cflcoverview.php Enrolling in the program takes all of 5 minutes.
Ostensibly, the CFLC program is designed to ensure that the California FFL 01 dealer you are shipping a firearm to is a bona fide dealer approved by the state to receive incoming firearms. In my humble opinion, it is an attempt to play off the paranoia of the nation’s FFL 01’s to reduce the number of firearms being brought into the state. As an out-of-state FFL 01, when you participate in the CFLC program you are (1) ensuring that your firearm is being shipped to a valid California dealer, and (2) making sure the gun grabbers don’t get what they want.
There is, of course, an exception to every rule. Any FFL 03 or 06 involvements in the transaction are exempt. Individuals shipping to California FFL 01’s are also exempt, since you are not an FFL. So shipping a Curio and Relic (longarm) to an FFL 03 in California is just the same as shipping to any other FFL 03 anywhere else in the United States.
First FAQ: I am not an FFL but I want to ship a firearm to a California FFL. Do I have to obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval number before shipping a firearm to California?
No. The requirement to obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval number only applies to holders of valid FFLs (FFL 01's).
Second FAQ: Are any California FFLs exempt from the CFLC verification approval requirement?
Yes. The CFLC program does not apply to FFLs with Type 03 (curio and relic collectors) and Type 06 (ammunition dealers) licenses.
In general, long arms (rifles, shotguns) are perfectly legal in California. However, there are certain centerfire, semiauto firearms which are illegal in California. The best way to find out is to consult the interactive ID Flowchart here:
NOTE ON BLACK RIFLES: Be aware that just because a rifle is an AR or AK style rifle doesn’t mean it’s illegal in California. If the AR or AK style rifle is not listed here http://calnra.com/cgi-bin/flowchart.cgi?Yes=Yes&qq=2 then it can potentially be configured into a California-legal firearm. I would recommend visiting the forums at http://www.calguns.net to ask questions if you want to ship California-legal black rifles into the state. The details are a little beyond the scope of this write-up.).
Note also that magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds cannot be sold, sent, or imported to California.
California currently has a Safe Handgun Roster listing the handguns that are approved for sale to the general public in the state of California (there are exemptions for LEO’s and others). The approved handgun list can be found here: http://certguns.doj.ca.gov/ . Note that a lawsuit was filed on 1 May 2009 challenging the constitutionality of the Safe Handgun Roster…the first in a series of lawsuits which followed the 9th District Incorporation ruling.
Any Curio and Relic handgun can be shipped to California. However, the C&R gun *must* be shipped to an FFL 01. This means that the CFLC comes into play. NOTE however, that a Californian who owns an FFL 03 can drive out of state, buy the C&R handgun, and bring it back into the state himself (He then has a certain number of days the register the handgun once he has it back in the state). So, for example a CA FFL 03 could go to J&G Sales and pick up a C&R handgun….just like any FFL 03 in any state can do (and you can call J&G Sales and ask them. They do a lot of a business with Californians and appear to have a good understanding of CA gun laws).
In general, any ammunition except tracer and/or armor-piercing rounds can be shipped to anywhere in California. The exceptions are that ammunition must be shipped to an FFL 01 in Los Angeles *city*, Oakland, Sacramento, Yolo County, and Marin County. The best way to figure out if your buyer lives there is to simply check his zip code. If it falls within these areas, then he’ll need to supply you with an FFL 01’s address. Note that Los Angeles the city is not the same as Los Angeles County.
Why go to all the trouble? Or, Screw those liberal SOB’s in CA!
Simply put, the best way to roll back gun control in California is to sue, sue, sue. However, going through the judicial system to overturn unconstitutional law takes a long time, lots of resources, and a well-coordinated effort. Obviously this requires strong support from fellow gun owners…both within the state and without. For in-state gun owners, there are many ways to support “The Cause”. Most of those ways start with a visit to http://www.calguns.net . For out-of-state gun owners and dealers, the best way to support “The Cause” is to GET AS MANY GUNS AS POSSIBLE INTO CALIFORNIA. Remember, California is the “front line” in the fight for 2nd Amendment rights, and “front line troops” always need strong “rear echelon” support to stay in the fight.
With California’s (very likely unconstitutional but still on the books) gun laws, getting as many guns into California can seem like a hopeless cause. They can be confusing, muddied, and difficult to understand. This creates (and has created) hesitation and refusal to ship firearms into the state, even when the specific firearm is perfectly legal in the state. The result of this is that the gun grabbers win. None of us want the gun grabbers to win.
Remember, we are all Americans. There is no “us and them” when it comes to California gun owners and gun owners in other states.
Last edited by Nodda Duma; 05-07-2009 at 10:38 PM..