California Gun Law
The laws governing the legal use, storage and carrying of firearms are constantly changing. Below are the applicable laws in the State of California as of 2/7/2013. The below information is designed to be a guide and not the final word. If you have specific questions, please refer to California Department of Justice at oag.ca.gov. Another great resource is the Calfornia Penal Codes and can be found at leginfo.ca.gov.
California Penal Code (PC) sections 12050 through 12054 provide that a sheriff of a county or the chief or other head of a municipal police department of any city or city and county may issue a license to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person (CCW license). PC section 12051(a)(3)(A) requires the Attorney General to prescribe a statewide standard application form for a CCW license.
Who May Be Issued a License
The licensing authority specified in PC section 12050(a)(1) (a sheriff or head of a municipal police department) may issue a license to persons who are of good moral character, who have completed a course of training, and where good cause exists for issuance of the CCW license. All applications for a CCW will be fingerprinted and state records will be checked to
determine if they are in a prohibiting class. Attachments 1, 2, and 3 (following page 14 of this application) list all categories that would cause a person to be in a class prohibiting them from possessing firearms and being granted a CCW license. These attachments are updated annually to reflect new legislation and other changes in the law.
Format of CCW License
A CCW license may be issued in either of the following formats:
1. A license to carry concealed a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
2. Where the population of the county is less than 200,000 persons according to the most recent federal decennial census, a license to carry loaded and exposed in that county a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person
PC section 12050(a)(1)(B) and (E) specifies that new license applicants must complete a course of training. The training may consist of any course acceptable to the licensing authority. The licensing authority may require either a course not to exceed 16 hours which includes instruction on at least firearms safety and the law regarding the permissible use of a firearm or a community college course not to exceed 24 hours certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. If the licensing authority requires the community college course, it must be uniformly required for all CCW license applicants. The licensing authority may also require annual qualification on the weapon(s) during the term for which the CCW license is granted.
For license renewal applicants, the course of training may be any course acceptable to the licensing authority, shall be no less than four hours in length, and shall include instruction on at least firearm safety and the law regarding permissible use of a firearm
In addition to licensing requirements as specified by the licensing authority, jurisdictions may require psychological testing on the initial application. If required, the applicant shall be referred to a licensed psychologist used by the licensing authority for the psychological testing of its own employees. Any fees charged will be the responsibility of the applicant and such fees shall not exceed $150.00 for an initial test. Additional psychological testing of an applicant seeking license renewal shall be required only if there is compelling evidence to indicate that a test is necessary (PC section 12054(c)).
Completing the Application
Answering all the questions on this standard application does not guarantee the issuance of a CCW license. The determination whether or not to issue the license is the prerogative of the licensing authority. Each licensing authority, in addition to using the state standard application form, will have a written policy summarizing what they require pursuant to PC section 12050(1)(1)(A) and (B). Prior to issuing a CCW, the statutes require proof that:
1. The applicant is of good moral character,
2. Good cause exists to issue the CCW license,
3. The applicant meets residence requirements, and
4. The course of training prescribed by the licensing authority has been completed.
The application sets forth standardized questions to be used by the CCW licensing authority to determine whether a CCW license shall be issued. The applicant shall not be required to complete any additional application or form for a CCW license, or to provide any information other than that necessary to complete this standard application form except to clarify or interpret information provided herein (PC section 12051(a)(3)(C)).
The applicant will certify that all answers provided are true and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief under penalty of perjury. The applicant will also acknowledge that information disclosed on this application may be subject to public disclosure.
26190(a)(1) Each applicant for a new license or for the renewal of a license shall pay at the time of filing the application a fee determined by the Department of Justice. The fee shall not exceed the application processing costs of the Department of Justice for the direct costs of furnishing the report required by Section 26185.
(2) After the department establishes fees sufficient to reimburse the department for processing costs, fees charged shall increase at a rate not to exceed the legislatively approved annual cost-of-living adjustments for the department's budget.
(3) The officer receiving the application and the fee shall transmit the fee, with the fingerprints if required, to the Department of Justice.
(b) (1)The licensing authority of any city, city and county, or county may charge an additional fee in an amount equal to the actual costs for processing the application for a new license, including any required notices, excluding fingerprint and training costs, but in no case to exceed one hundred dollars ($100), and shall transmit the additional fee, if any, to the city, city and county, or county treasury.
(2) The first 20 percent of this additional local fee may be collected upon filing of the initial application. The balance of the fee shall be collected only upon issuance of the license.
(c) The licensing authority may charge an additional fee, not to exceed twenty-five dollars ($25), for processing the application for a license renewal, and shall transmit an additional fee, if any, to the city, city and county, or county treasury.
PC 26202. Upon making the determination of good cause pursuant to Section 26150 or 26155, the licensing authority shall give written notice to the applicant of the licensing authority's determination. If the licensing authority determines that good cause exists, the notice shall inform the applicants to proceed with the training requirements specified in Section 26165. If the licensing authority determines that good cause does not exist, the notice shall inform the applicant that the request for a license has been denied and shall state the reason from the department's published policy, described in Section 26160, as to why the determination was made.
PC 26205. The licensing authority shall give written notice to the applicant indicating if the license under this article is approved or denied. The licensing authority shall give this notice within 90 days of the initial application for a new license or a license renewal, or 30 days after receipt of the applicant's criminal background check from the Department of Justice, whichever is later. If the license is denied, the notice shall state which requirement was not satisfied.
Places Weapons Prohibited
Penal Code 27330. No person at a gun show or event, other than security personnel or sworn peace officers, shall possess at the same time both a firearm and ammunition that is designed to be fired in the firearm.
Penal Code 171c(a)(1) Any person who brings a loaded firearm into, or possesses a loaded firearm within, the State Capitol, any legislative office, any office of the Governor or other constitutional officer, or any hearing room in which any committee of the Senate or Assembly is conducting a hearing, or upon the grounds of the State Capitol, which is bounded by 10th, L, 15th, and N Streets in the City of Sacramento.
Elections Code 18544 (a) Any person in possession of a firearm or any uniformed peace officer, private guard, or security personnel or any person who is wearing a uniform of a peace officer, guard, or security personnel, who is stationed in the immediate vicinity of, or posted at, a polling place without written authorization of the appropriate city or county elections official
Penal Code 17510 Any person who does any of the following acts while engaged in picketing, or other informational activities in a public place relating to a concerted refusal to work, is guilty of a misdemeanor:
(1) Carries concealed upon his person or within any vehicle which is under his or her control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(2) Carries a loaded firearm upon his or her person or within any vehicle which is under his or her control or direction.
Penal Code 171b(b)(2)(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), subdivision (a) shall apply to any person who brings or possesses any weapon specified therein within any courtroom if he or she is a party to an action pending before the court.
Penal Code 25300(a) A person commits criminal possession of a firearm when he or she carries a firearm in a public place or on any public street while masked so as to hide his or her identity.
While exercising the privileges granted to the licensee under the terms of this license, the licensee shall not, when carrying a concealed weapon:
1. Consume any alcoholic beverage.
2. Be in a place having a primary purpose of dispensing alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption.
3. Be under the influence of any medication or drug, whether prescribed or not.
4. Refuse to show the license or surrender the concealed weapon to any peace officer upon demand.
5. Impede any peace officer in the performance of his/her duties.
6. Present himself/herself as a peace officer to any person unless he/she is, in fact, a peace officer as defined by California law.
7. Unjustifiably display a concealed weapon.
8. Carry a concealed weapon not listed on the permitwww.handgunlaw.us 5
9. Carry a concealed weapon at times or circumstances other than those specified in the permit.
California will not issue a Non-Resident CCW Permit/Licenses.
Reciprocity and Recognitions
Weapons permits from other states are not valid in California.(PC Sections 12025-12031)
A California CCW license is honored in all states listed below:
Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin
The State of California requires that a person must have a CCW license to transport a loaded handgun in any vehicle.
25610(a) Section 25400 shall not be construed to prohibit any citizen of the United States over the age of 18 years who resides or is temporarily within this state, and who is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing, receiving, owning, or purchasing a firearm, from transporting or carrying any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, provided that the following applies to the firearm: (1) The firearm is within a motor vehicle and it is locked in the vehicle's trunk or in a locked container in the vehicle.
(2) The firearm is carried by the person directly to or from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while carrying the firearm,the firearm is contained within a locked container.
(b) The provisions of this section do not prohibit or limit the otherwise lawful carrying or transportation of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person in accordance with the provisions listed in Section 16580.
Long guns (rifle/shotgun) these firearms are not required to be locked in a lockbox or trunk during transport while in the vehicle. It is not requires to transport these firearms to and from the vehicle in a locked lockbox. It is required they be unloaded during transport in the vehicle and to and from the vehicle.
The term "locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment. For more information, refer to California Penal Code Section 12026.1.