California has an active and well established tradition of gun ownership, hunting and sport shooting. Despite this, or maybe because of it, the State of California takes gun laws seriously and requires that you go through a thorough process in order to buy a firearm. Follow these steps to buy a gun in California.
1. Fill out and submit a Personal Firearms Eligibility Check from California’s Department of Justice. Make sure you include accurate information, since the eligibility check is a legal document, and that you enclose a copy of your California ID (either state ID or driver’s license) and the fee required to do the firearm eligibility check.
2. Take a Handgun Safety Certificate program or find out if you qualify for the HSC exemption once you find out that you are eligible to buy a gun in California. Then, identify a licensed dealer, whether it is a gun store, a gun show exhibitor or private operator. Bring your valid California ID to the dealer along with proof of your HSC.
3. Purchase the gun from the licensed dealer and wait the mandatory 10 days so the dealer can clear the sale with the state.
4. Take possession of your gun no later than 30 days after you submit the request to the dealer to buy the gun. If you wait more than 30 days the dealer must cancel the sale and you have to start the process over from the beginning.