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Old 09-13-2019, 11:10 AM
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Default Moving to CA with firearms FAQ/guide *in progress*

First off, thank you Calguns for being an amazing source of information. My intent is not to duplicate previous efforts/posts, but felt this could be a handy source for new residents. Most of this information is here somewhere, but as someone who will be coming to this state I have been digging around for a lot of this as it is not answered in one place under the context of how it applies to a new resident.

(These are all questions I had myself and wanted answers to before moving here. Some I have found answers for, others not yet. So please bear with me as we compile the information and update this post to be as accurate as possible, and if there are questions I didn't think of/have that you would like included in this post, let me know.

When possible I have included a link to the relevant supporting information, and will include relevant language here in this post.

Lastly, I am not a lawyer, just someone who has spent way too many hours looking into this and wanted to share what I have learned, so take all advice with a grain of salt and if in doubt seek proper legal counsel, etc.)

Last edited by shortround13; 09-13-2019 at 9:33 PM..
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:10 AM
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First, this is good starting point of where to begin when moving to California, courtesy of the Calguns Foundation wiki

http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/in..._with_firearms

When moving to California, the state requires “firearms to be registered within 60 days of the date when the gun is moved into the state.”

New resident
OAG
https://oag.ca.gov/firearms/ab991
Complete within 60 days of establishing residency

PC 27560
(a) Within 60 days of bringing a handgun, and commencing January 1, 2014, any firearm, into this state, a personal firearm importer shall do one of the following: (1) Forward by prepaid mail or deliver in person to the Department of Justice, a report prescribed by the department including information concerning that individual and a description of the firearm in question.
(2) Sell or transfer the firearm in accordance with the provisions of Section 27545 or in accordance with the provisions of an exemption from Section 27545.
(3) Sell or transfer the firearm to a dealer licensed pursuant to Sections 26700 to 26915, inclusive.
(4) Sell or transfer the firearm to a sheriff or police department.

-Bring all your guns at once or leave some behind?
This is one where I am going to consult a lawyer to get their take on it. Leaving guns in the care of a friend or family member, could be a sticky situation, dependent on what state, is it locked without their access etc.

Also, CA may view that although ownership did not change, the firearms were “transferred” to the custodians, and therefore a transfer back to the CA resident would have to occur through a CA FFL.

My other question is, would a gun trust, where that family member/friend is named as a Trustee, make a difference? Again, not a lawyer and going to ask one, but seems to me that they have been left in the care of the Trustee, not “transferred” to a 3rd party, and not requiring the transfer back through a CA FFL. The above language also states “within 60 days of bringing a firearm into the state”, not “within 60 days of moving to the state” which implies to me that firearms can be brought in say a year or 2 later if you decide to?

Residency same as section 12505 of vehicle code
(a) (1) For purposes of this division only and notwithstanding Section 516, residency shall be determined as a person’s state of domicile. “State of domicile” means the state where a person has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal residence and to which he or she has manifested the intention of returning whenever he or she is absent.
Prima facie evidence of residency for driver’s licensing purposes includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(A) Address where registered to vote.
(B) Payment of resident tuition at a public institution of higher education.
(C) Filing a homeowner’s property tax exemption.
(D) Other acts, occurrences, or events that indicate presence in the state is more than temporary or transient.

I bring this up, because it can be an issue in relation to the following, bringing off-roster handguns into the state. As new resident, it is OK to bring in an off-roster handgun. But there may be instances, even when living out of state, that California may consider you still to be a resident (or “returning resident”) that I won’t delve too deeply into (I haven’t researched into, if somebody would like to add those instances please feel free, but I remember reading something about Military folks specifically who have listed California as “Home of Record” perhaps?)
On the flipside to that, my understanding is that Military orders to CA, since not necessarily permanent, you are exempt from the new resident registration (and the off-roster status?) until such time that you separate service while in CA, then registration would be appropriate.
Not sure what that means if you brought an off-roster handgun with you, my take is that you would still be OK with it since you already have it in the state, and you were not a resident at the time you brought it.

Handguns:
It is OK to move to CA with off-roster handguns

Must not be AW PC 30515
(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.
(B) A second handgrip.
(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.
(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.
(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

AR pistols
It is my understanding that this is a tricky issue now, considering all the new RAW/BBAW laws and the lack of a SSE (single shot exemption) nowadays? There is at least one manufactured CA legal AR pistol that I am aware of (for purchase of residents) because it is a single shot bolt action.

It is also my understanding that this is directly related to the “Safe Handgun Roster” and the ambiguity about converting (manufacturing?) an unsafe handgun.

On that note, as I understand it, if you own an AR pistol prior to moving to California, you would still be able to import it into the state, as you are OK to bring in “off-roster” handguns. As long as it does not meet the criteria for an AW (pistols must be mag-locked, as they cannot be “featureless” due to sections C and D above)



Long Guns
Must not be AW
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...5.&lawCode=PEN
PC 30515, AW Further Defined:

1. Any semiautomatic centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine, and any one of the following:
• A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
• A thumbhole stock
• A folding or telescoping stock
• A grenade launcher or flare launcher
• A flash supporessor
• A forward pistol grip

2. A Semiautomatic centerfire reifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

3. A Semiautomatic centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.

(Sections 4 & 5 relating to pistols, shown above)

6. A Semiautomatic shotgun that has both of the following:
• A folding or telescoping stock
• A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, thumbhole stock, or vertical hand grip

7. A semiautomatic shotgun that has the ability accept a detachable magazine.

8. Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

Further, California PC 30530 specifies that any rifle that can fire a .50 BMG cartridge is an AW, and generally not importable.

There are some exemptions for military etc, but I won’t go into that here. Basically, it must either be “featureless” or mag-locked (by interrupting the action and disassembly of the receiver) to be brought into the state.

Featureless, if you are not familiar, basically means you cannot have any of the above features as cited in section 1 above. A Featureless configured rifle, may still have a standard magazine release.

Easy to follow flow chart of what constitutes an AW in CA
https://www.calguns.net/caawid/flowchart.pdf


Ammo (import)
30314.
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...4.&lawCode=PEN
(a) Commencing January 1, 2018, a resident of this state shall not bring or transport into this state any ammunition that he or she purchased or otherwise obtained from outside of this state unless he or she first has that ammunition delivered to a licensed ammunition vendor for delivery to that resident pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section 30312.

Given the language above, as a non-resident, moving into the state, you are allowed to bring your ammunition with you.*editing to say: it seems to me you are allowed to bring your ammunition with you. (I spoke to a CA lawyer after posting this, he seemed knowledgeable and well versed with CA gun law, but given the recentness of the new law, was unable to give me a solid answer at the time)

Once you are a resident, you now have to jump the hoops like everybody else (i.e. licensed vendors, background check, fees etc) There are already numerous posts/topics on this, won’t go into it here.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s....php?t=1413768

Restricted Ammunition
There are restricted ammunition types such as tracer/incendiary, armor piercing handgun ammo, flechette darts.
PC 30315 & 30320
Deals with the possession/importation/manufacture etc of armor piercing handgun ammunition
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...ctionNum=30315.
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...ctionNum=30320.
PC 30210 & 30215
Deals with flechette/explosive. 30215 specifically states “does not apply to tracer ammunition manufactured for a shotgun” but makes no mention to typical centerfire rifle cartridges, so I’m assuming something like 5.56 and 7.62 tracer ammo is a no go?
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...r=1.&article=1.

Home Built Firearms
CA has enacted regulations around home built firearms (think 80% receivers)
https://oag.ca.gov/firearms/usna

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...er=3.&article=
29180
“Commencing January 1, 2019, a new resident to the state shall apply to the Department of Justice (Department) for a unique serial number within 60 days of arrival for any firearm the resident wishes to possess in the state that the resident previously self-manufactured or self-assembled or a firearm the resident owns, that does not have a unique serial number or other mark of identification.”
29181
Section 29180 does not apply to or affect any of the following:
(a) A Firearm that has a serial number assigned to it pursuant to either 23910 or Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Part 1 of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(b) a firearm made or assembled prior to December 16, 1968, that is not a handgun
(c) a firearm which was entered into the centralized registry set forth in section 11106 prior to July 1, 2018, as being owned by a specific individual or entity if that firearm has assigned to it a distinguishing number or mark of identification because the department accepted entry of that firearm into the centralized registry.
(d) a firearm that has a serial number assigned to it pursuant to Chapter 53 of Title 26 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(e) a firearm that is a curio or relic, or an antique firearm, as those terms are defined in Section 479.11 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations.


This one is a little foggy to me. The uncertainty comes from the statement “any firearm that the resident wishes to possess in the state that the resident previously self manufactured or self assembled OR a firearm the resident owns, that does not have a unique serial number or other mark…”

It’s that second “or” that is confusing to me. If I have a home built rifle then it is “self manufactured or self assembled”. The way it reads to me is that ANY self manufactured or self assembled firearm, requires applying to CADOJ for a serial number, even if it already has a serial number, or identifying markings. The 2nd “or”, then implies any other firearms that do not have a serial number or markings.

Any help on that one would be appreciated.

*added* After speaking to a CA gun lawyer, his take was that a firearm previously marked/serialized would be able to be self registered with the new resident form, without the need for applying for a CADOJ unique serial number. I tried to find anything on what, if any, federal/state requirements were for what needed to be included, and came up nil, absent the ATF guidelines for NFA stuff.

Last edited by shortround13; 09-13-2019 at 9:45 PM..
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:11 AM
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saved for future
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:11 AM
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one more just in case? (sorry if I'm too full of myself!)
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