HOW TO BUY A GUN IN CALIFORNIA

 Purchasing a firearm, especially in California, can be a daunting task.  It is our job to guide you through that process and ensure it is done correctly, easily and quickly.  When there are no interruptions and you have all the documents required in hand, we can complete the following procedure in approximately 5-7 minutes.


In order to purchase a firearm in California you must satisfy ALL of the following:


  1. Be allowed to possess a firearm or ammunition;  if you have ever been convicted of or plead guilty to a crime, read FIREARMS PROHIBITING CATEGORIES.  If any of these apply to you, DO NOT ENTER ANY GUN STORE.  Proceed directly to a qualified attorney who may be able to restore your rights.
  2. Be a U.S. Citizen, or possess a current and valid “Green Card” (bring it with you)
  3. Be a California resident in possession of a valid drivers license (CADL) or state issued ID card (CAID).  Extensions, expired cards and “they’re (The DMV) mailing me my new one” does not work.  Active Duty Military with current DODID and Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders placing you in California is the only exception; unfortunately, this exemption does not extend to attached spouses.  Bring your ID with you too!
  4. Possess a valid California Firearms Safety Certificate (FSC); we must have this card in order to submit a background check, bring it with you also!  If you need one, we can provide one for you at the time of purchase for a fee of $25; this fee is non-refundable.  A 30 question test will be administered on-site, a study guide can be found online.  If you score a 23 out of 30, you pass and will be issued a laminated wallet sized certificate good for 5 years (or until they change the law again).  Carry this with you, as you never know when you are going to have to buy a gun.  If you do not pass, you must wait 24 hours before retaking the test for no additional fee.  If you fail twice, you forfeit your fee and are encouraged to seek professional training before attempting again.  Exceptions:
    1. Possess a valid Handgun Safety Certificate and are purchasing a handgun
    2. Possess a valid CA DFW Hunting License and be purchasing a long gun.
    3. Possess a valid California Concealed Carry Permit (CCW).
    4. Possess a Collectors Federal Firearms License (FFL03) with a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and be purchasing a Curio and Relic (C&R) firearm.
    5. Be active, active reserve or honorably retired military.
    6. Be active or honorably retired law enforcement.
    7. Lorem Ipsum
  5. Proof of Residency: If you are purchasing a handgun, The State of California requires you to provide an additional document proving you actually live here.  Please ensure you can provide this before committing to your purchase.  Acceptable Proof of Residency is:
    1. A hard utility bill (cable, electricity, landline phone, gas) that has your name and residence address on it, issued within the past 90 days.
    2. A current and valid, notarized, residential lease with your name and residence address on it.
    3. The property deed to your residence, with your name on it.
    4. A current, government-issued license, permit, or registration, other than a California Driver License or California Identification Card, that has a specified expiration date or period of validity, your name and residence address on it.
      1. Acceptable: car registration, guard card, cosmetology license.
      2. Unacceptable: pilots license (no expiration), Proof of insurance (not issued by The Government), out of state CCW, gardeners bill
  6. Second Proof of Identity.  If your hard printed CADL or CAID does not have your current residence address, ATF requires you to provide a second proof of your identity (other than CADL or CAID) that is government issued and has your current residence address printed on it.
    1. Acceptable documents include: current car registration, CCW, municipal (City of, County of) utility bill from the past 90 days, guard card
    2. Unacceptable documents include: “any utility bill”, “you didn’t tell me I needed to bring that”, “bank statement”, “insurance bill”, “I’ve used this at other dealers”.
    3. If you are unsure, please clarify before proceeding.
  7. If you satisfy these prerequisites, it is time to shop for, choose and purchase your firearm.  We require payment in full before proceeding beyond this step.  Special orders require at least a 50% down payment and balance due upon arrival and verification that the correct firearm arrived in the expected condition.
  8. You will complete Section A of ATF form 4473 in store on the day your background check is to be completed.  Provide all the documentation outlined in the previous steps.
  9. We will validate everything provided is correct and complete.  Corrective actions may be proposed, some requiring immediate attention, others can wait until pickup day.  If the information provided is sufficient to start the process, we will submit the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) to The State of California; they charge us a $25 fee per person per session that you are responsible for paying, approved or not.  A copy of the Pending DROS submission will be provided to you with any applicable notes.
  10. Waiting Period: Since 1996, all guns purchased in California require a 10-day “cooling-off” period.  Near the top of the paperwork we send you home with, will be a transaction date/time stamp (when we hit submit).  The next line is Earliest Pickup Date/Time, precisely 10-days later (leap year, daylight savings included).  We will not call you, no news is good news, come in and pickup your gun after 10 days have elapsed.  Do not come early, the time of day matters, we cannot complete the process until the clock ticks over.  If you show you 20 minutes early, I promise to sell you another gun!
  11. Delays:  If The State needs more time to process your background check, it may delay delivery of your firearm up to 30 days.  No reason, no explanation, we will call you if this occurs.
  12. Denial:  If your background check is denied at any point, complete form BOF8016RR to find out why; a restocking fee will be applied and the firearm return to inventory.
  13. Undetermined: If a delay exhausts the entire 30 day period, an Undetermined status will be applied to your background check.  We do not deliver on an Undetermined status, unless you have previously been approved for a firearm purchase with us, in the past 90 days and we do not believe you to have been convicted of or plead guilty to any prohibiting crimes; otherwise, a restocking fee will be applied and the firearm return to inventory.  Completing form BOF8016RR may help, but an undetermined status can be without a reason.
  14. Expired: If you do not return before the Latest Delivery Date/Time, 30 days after submission of the background check, or after the end of a Delay, the background check will Expire.  A restocking fee will be applied and the firearm return to inventory.  A new background check can be submitted for an additional $25 fee and 10-day wait.
  15. Delivery: if none of those horrible things in 11-14 occur, come in as close to Earliest Pickup Date/Time as possible, we have more paperwork to do!  At this point, we complete Form 4473, complete The DROS, and perform a safe handling demonstration (with more paperwork).  After a final paperwork check, we will try to sell you some ammo, magazines, cleaning kits, holsters, and any other thing that you might exchange money for, then you get to go home with your gun.  SIMPLE!!!  CONGRATULATIONS!!
  16. ALL SALES ARE FINAL, FEES ARE NEVER REFUNDABLE, 25% RESTOCKING FEE.  Don’t put in a credit card chargeback, we always win, credit card companies know we have more than sufficient documentation.  Don’t sue us; we will defend ourselves.