In the firearms enthusiast community, California has developed a reputation for the severe restrictions and limitations it has on firearms ownership and use. For example, although the state of California technically allows concealed carry, they use a “may issue” system. A concealed carry permit applicant must pass a background check to ensure they are legally allowed to own firearms, and must also complete a safety course displaying they can safely manipulate a firearm. After that, it is up to the applicant’s local police chief or county sheriff to decide if the applicant is of “sound moral character” and has a justifiable excuse for carrying a firearm on their person. Other restrictive CA gun laws include limitations on how many handguns may be purchased over a period of time (1 handgun per 30 days), outright bans on certain types of guns (such as fully automatic firearms, or short barreled rifles or shotguns), restrictions on magazine capacity (ten rounds, maximum), and requires a 10 day waiting period between purchase and receipt of a firearm.
Handgun laws currently in effect in California require anyone who wishes to purchase a handgun to first have a handgun safety certificate (showing they have completed handgun safety training), and must be able to demonstrate safe handling of the firearm they wish to purchase. In order to complete the purchase and transfer ownership to the buyer, the handgun must be registered with the California Department of Justice. Statute AB 809 will be extending required firearms registry to the purchase of long guns. Not only does this registry affect commercial sales of long guns, but it will also be applied to private party transfers. This registry will go into effect in a few short days on January 1st, 2014. In response to this impending change, many gun stores are reporting record sales of long guns, as the registry will apply to long guns purchased after the Jan. 1 start date.