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Mar 31

Handgun Purchase "Loophole"

Most Californian’s are under the impression that you can only legally purchase one handgun every 30 days.  In fact, the California DOJ publicizes this fact quite heavily.

Is there a limit on the number of handguns that I can own or purchase?

While no limitation exists for the number of handguns that you may own,you are generally limited to purchasing no more than one handgun in any 30-day period. Handgun transactions related to law enforcement, private party transfers, returns to owners, and certain other specific circumstances are exempt from the one-handgun-per-30-day limit.

(PC section 12072(a)(9))

The loophole is in the phrase, “…you are generally limited to purchasing…”  The next sentence gives you the loophole – “private party transfers“.

Only when you are directly purchasing from a licensed gun dealer are you limited to one gun every 30 days.  If you buy a gun from a private party, you are not limited to the number of handguns you can purchase.

You must still use a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) to handle the transaction, you must still be in possession of a Handgun Safety Certificate and you must still wait the 10 days before you take possession. 

You can purchase from both Californian and non-Californian private parties.  In fact, if your favorite gun store has a consignment counter, these fall outside of the 30 day limit as well.

Be careful when buying from out-of-state sellers, though, as the handgun in question must still meet the Californian Roster of Handguns Certified For Sale requirements.

There are a number of websites that have listings of private guns for sale.  My personal favorite is Calguns. [I'd love for others to list some other sites they've had positive experiences with in the comments section- hint, hint...].

BTW, if a family member gives you a gun (or you inherit one after a death) you must report the transfer to the state for you to legally own the handgun.  You have 30 days to make this transfer, or you are in violation of California law.  They WILL be doing a background check on you.  If you don’t pass it, you are required to surrender all other guns you own.

And if you live in another state, and are moving to The Golden State with guns, you are considered to be a Handgun Importer (I kid you not) and must register all of those guns with the CA DOJ within 60 days.

Chief Instructor can be followed at Accept The Challenge.

2 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Hi this loophole is great. I use it all the time. I have very good experience with both cal guns as well as a great consignment shop in granite bay (roseville) called j&g guns on Barton road. This is where i generally go when I purchase anyway due to the costs of handguns now a days. In fact I recently picked up 2 1911's from them, still have to do the 10 day wait but at least you arent limited to how many you can purchase or get in 30day periods. The law makes no sense but this is a great loophole, i have also found that budsgunshop.com is a good resource too, i have used them for handguns too, they have a different selection daily to pick from.

    Domino-

  2. Chief Instructor

    I'll check those places out. Thanks.

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