All firearms purchases and transfers, including private party transactions and sales at gun shows, must be made through a licensed dealer under the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) process. California imposes a 10-day waiting period before a firearm can be released to a buyer or transferee. A person must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a rifle or shotgun. To purchase any other weapon the person must be at least 21 years of age. To buy a handgun, a person must be at least 21 years of age, and either 1) possess an HSC plus successfully complete a safety demonstration with the handgun being purchased or 2) qualify for an HSC exemption.
As part of the DROS process, the buyer must present “clear evidence of identity and age” which is defined as a valid, non-expired California Driver’s License or Identification Card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. A military identification accompanied by permanent duty station orders indicating a posting in California is also acceptable.
If the buyer is not a U.S. Citizen, then he or she is required to demonstrate that he or she is legally within the United States by providing to the firearms dealer with documentation that contains his/her Alien Registration Number or I-94 Number.
Purchasers of handguns are also required to provide proof of California residency, such as a utility bill, residential lease, property deed, or government-issued identification (other than a drivers license or other DMV-issued identification). Other valid forms for proof of residency can be found here.
Paperwork Process – Estimated Time 15 minutes @ UG Imports
- You will bring in the paperwork listed above
- The dealer will make copies of your documentation
- You will fill out paperwork to satisfy Federal ATF requirements – Form 4473
- Your information will be inputted by dealer for State requirements – DROS
- You’ll put your right thumbprint on back of DROS documentation when completed
- Your 10 x 24 hour waiting periods will begin
Pickup Process – Estimated Time 5 minutes @ UG Imports
- For Handguns Only: You will complete a Safe Handling Demonstration with the dealer and sign paperwork.
- You will then present an approved Firearms Safety Device or sign a Gun Safe Affidavit. Note: The Gun Safe Affidavit only applies to non-handguns. All handguns require a lock from the approved Firearms Safety Device list.
There has been some discussion about whether or not a receipt is required for your Firearms Safety Device as the California Penal Code Section 12088.1 is a little vague on requirements. Some dealers will require you to have the lock + receipt dated within 30 days present while others may not. You will need to comply with your dealer’s requirements in order to receive your firearm so your best bet is to ask them specifically before you show up so you are not caught off guard.
NOTE: While the dealer is required to document your lock and receipt there is no requirement for you to keep the lock. You can always return the lock from the place of purchase if you do not need it.
You should always remain safe with your firearms and I encourage everyone to review the Tips for Gun Owners provided by the DOJ.