California Gun Laws

California Gun Laws – Now, No Waiting

Court Strikes Down 10-Day Cooling Off Period for Current Gun Owners

A new ruling in the case of Silvester v. Harris (E.D. Cal. Dec. 9, 2013) by U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii, does away with the 10-day waiting period for individuals that already own guns or have obtained a concealed-weapons license. This was a loss for California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ Motion to Dismiss the Second and Fourteenth Amendment lawsuit challenging the state’s 10-day waiting period (ban) as unconstitutional. With respect to the Second Amendment claims, the Court said in part that “Harris has not shown that the law is effective either in reducing gun violence or in keeping firearms out of the hands of unqualified purchasers where the government has already issued that purchaser a License To Carry or a Certificate Of Eligibility.” Since the cooling off period applies to those who have yet to become first time buyers or owners of a gun, what is the relevance of a cooling-off period for those who already own guns!

Basic Ownership Gun Laws in California

There are several basic requirements for handgun ownership in California such as obtaining a handgun safety certificate, passing a safe handling demonstration, and having a firearm safety device. The handgun safety certificate, valid for five years, requires that in order to purchase or acquire a handgun, you must score at least 75% on an objective written test pertaining to firearm laws and safety requirements. The safe handling demonstrations requires a buyer to perform a safe handling demonstration in the presence of a DOJ certified instructor. The firearms safety device requirement states that all firearms purchased in California must be accompanied with a firearms safety device (FSD) that has passed required safety and functionality tests and is listed on the DOJ’s official roster of DOJ-approved firearm safety devices.

Also, there is a mandatory 10-day waiting period before the firearms dealer can deliver the firearm to the purchaser. During this 10-day waiting period, the DOJ conducts a firearms eligibility background check to ensure the purchaser is not prohibited from lawfully possessing firearms. Although there are exceptions, generally all firearms purchasers must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a long gun (rifle or shotgun) and 21 years of age to purchase a handgun (pistol or revolver). Additionally, purchasers must be California residents with a valid driver’s license or identification card issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. California still has a limit of one purchase for every 30-day period and a requirement of “micro-stamping” in the chambers of new semiautomatic handguns so that their cartridges can be traced at a crime scene.

If you have been charged with a weapons charge in California State or Federal Courts in the San Francisco or San Jose Bay Area courts, contact experienced weapons defense attorneys at Ginny Walia Law Offices by calling 408 724-9200!

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