What Is The Process To Buy A Gun?

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 if they have exemption documents such as a valid hunting license. Otherwise, the legal age to purchase any firearm the person must be at least 21 years of age (effective January 2019). To buy a firearm, a person must be at least 18 or 21 years of age, and either 1) possess an FSC plus successfully complete a safety demonstration with the firearm being purchased or 2) qualify for an FSC 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 your Drivers License address is not current or lists a PO Box please bring a government document that shows your current permanent address. Items that qualify are any tax documents issued by the IRS, DMV printout for your updated address, vehicle registration, jury summons, or other document issued by a government agency that has your current address on it.
NOTE: Interim Driver’s License will NOT work. We need to see valid hard copy CA DL or Military ID

If you drivers licensed was issued after January 2018 and says “FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY” on the upper right hand corner you will need to bring proof of citizenship. This can be a Valid, unexpired U.S. passport, passport card, US naturalization papers, or Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. Citizenship.  If you are a greencard holder your greencard is sufficient.  Additional information can be found here: CA DOJ Website

If the buyer is not a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident, 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. In addition a valid CA hunting license is required in order to qualify from a federal standpoint.

If the buyer is a permanent resident, then you will be required to bring in your greencard.

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.

After the firearm has reached our office the paperwork process will need to begin.

Paperwork Process – Estimated Time 15 minutes @ UG Imports

  1. You will bring in the paperwork listed above
  2. The dealer will make copies of your documentation
  3. You will fill out paperwork to satisfy Federal ATF requirements – Form 4473
  4. Your information will be inputted by dealer for State requirements – DROS
  5. You’ll put your right thumbprint on the DROS documentation when completed
  6. Your 10 x 24 hour waiting periods will begin

Pickup Process – Estimated Time 5 minutes @ UG Imports

  1. You will complete a Safe Handling Demonstration with the dealer and sign paperwork.
  2. 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.