What Do You Need to Purchase a Handgun in California?


Everyday we get questions about the handgun safety certificate and what exemptions are available. Everyone wants to know what documents they need, who is eligible to buy a firearm, what type of proof of residence requirements work and many other handgun related issues. This page should help out a bit.



This is what you need to buy a handgun in California...

* You must be a California resident with a valid California ID or driver's license. If your driver's license or California ID does not have your current correct address, Federal Law requires that you provide a Government issued document with both your name and current correct address on it. If you do not provide a Govenrment issued document, the firearm cannot be delivered to you.

* Non-Resident Military permanently stationed in CA can use a valid active duty Military ID card and
PCS orders to a California duty station.

* A resident alien with a permanent resident alien ID card or an I-94 #, and a valid California ID or driver's license. If you are here on an I-94 visa, you will need a valid United States hunting license, as well as your Visa and 90 days CONSECUTIVE residency proof.

* You must be 21 years or older.

* You will need to possess a handgun safety certificate (HSC) or an HSC exemption.

* You will need secondary proof of residence (90 days consecutive proof for resident aliens).

We are an authorized testing location for the Handgun Safety Certificate.
The HSC is a 30 question, multiple choice, true or false test. You can miss 7 out of 30 and still pass.

No appointment is necessary! We start closing the shop every night at 6:30 so please try to come in before then.

The HSC card is valid for 5 years.

There is no time limit! Applicants can buy a study booklet for $1.00.

There is no talking to anyone during the test. If your phone rings do not answer it or we will have to fail you on the test.

You will need your CA ID card or CA Driver's License and $25.

Handgun Safety Certificate Exemptions (HSC)

The following qualify for HSC exempt status:

* Peace officer (active California)
* Peace officer (active federal)
* Peace officer (honorably retired California or federal)
* Reserve peace officer (as defined in Penal Code Section 832.6)
* Persons who have successfully completed P.O.S.T. 832 PC firearms training
* Federally licensed firearm collector who has a DOJ-issued COE who is acquiring a federally-defined curio / relic
* Person to whom a handgun is being returned, where he/she is the owner of the firearm
* Carry concealed weapon (CCW) permit holder
* Military - active duty
* Military - honorably retired
* Military - active reserve
* Certain particular and limited authority peace officers
* Persons who hold a DOJ-issued special weapons permit
* Persons taking possession of firearms pursuant to specific conditions related to operation of law acquisitions
* Law enforcement service weapon passed to surviving family member

Department of Justice Residency Proof Regulations:

California Code of Regulations
CA Department of Justice Evidence of Residency Documentation, Definitions and Requirements

A utility bill from within the past three months that bears the individual's name and either of the following:

The individual's current residential address as declared on the Dealer's Record of Sale (DROS) form or the individual's residential address as it appears on his or her California Driver's License or California Identification Card, or change of address attachment thereto.

"Utility bill" means a statement of charges for providing service to the individual's residence by either a physical connection (a hard wired telephone connection, a cable connection, or a water or gas pipeline connection) or a telemetric connection (a satellite television or radio broadcast service) to a non-mobile, fixed antenna reception device.

Residential lease that bears the individual's name and either of the following:

The individual's current residential address as declared on the Dealer's Record of Sale (DROS) form or the individual's address as it appears on his or her California Driver's License or California Identification card, or change of address attachment thereto.

"Residential lease" means either of the following:

A signed and dated contract by which the individual (tenant) agrees to pay a specified monetary sum or provide other consideration for the right to occupy an abode for a specified period of time

Or:

A signed and dated rental agreement by which the individual (tenant) agrees to pay a specified monetary sum or provide other consideration at fixed intervals for the right to occupy an abode.
Property deed that bears the individual's name and either of the following:
The individual's current residential address as declared on the Dealer's Record of Sale (DROS) form or the individual's address as it appears on his or her California Driver's License or California Identification Card, or change
of address attachment thereto.

"Property deed" means either or the following:

It could be a valid deed of trust for the individual's property of current residence that identifies the individual as a grantee of the trust.

Or:

A valid certificate of title issued by a licensed title insurance company that identifies the individual as a titleholder to his or her property of current residence.
Current, government-issued license, permit, or registration, other than a CA Driver's License or CA Identification Card, that has a specified expiration date or period of validity.

The license, permit, or registration must bear the individual's name and either of the following:

The individual's current residential address as declared on the Dealer's Record of Sale (DROS) form

Or:

The individual's address as it appears on his or her California Driver's License or California Identification Card, or change of address attachment thereto.

Examples of acceptable proof of residency:

Current DMV registrations
Electricity, gas or cable bill with purchaser's name on it from within the last 3 months
Signed and dated rental agreement / contract

Examples of documents that are not acceptable proof of residency:

Hunting or fishing license, (these documents are not issued by the government).
Cellular phone bill, car or home insurance are also not acceptable.

For resident aliens, the state requires 3 consecutive months worth of utility bills in the buyer's name and showing the address as it will appear on the Dealer Record of Sale and matching the California Driver's License or ID.


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