Do Long Guns Need To Be Registered In California?

Long guns have been a favorite among gun owners, and it’s not hard to see why, given that it increases the sight radius of the shooter, making their aims at targets more precise over long distances. So we won’t be surprised if you purchased a model for yourself.

Frankly, the AR15 barrel profiles may matter to some degree, but it’s not always the case since it’s usually dependent on your desired application. But before getting excited about starting your gun’s build, it’s first critical that you ensure that this model adheres to the gun laws in California.

Should I register it?

Yes, you’re obliged to register all the firearms you own, whether or not it’s a long gun. These types of weapons often fall in the category of rifles and shotguns, which require both hands in shooting and are usually braced on the person’s shoulder for support.

The law known to be the “AB 809” was signed in 2011 by Governor Jerry Brown and ordered all long guns to be registered in the same manner as handgun owners once purchased starting from January 1, 2014.

However, if a California resident has owned long guns before the law’s legislation, then registering these firearms would be unnecessary on your part. This is because the state doesn’t actually have a record of these transactions in this timeframe. On the other hand, if you’ve recently moved to the state, you are obliged to register your guns within 60 days.

More importantly, there’s a baffling loophole in the law as it doesn’t restrict owning unregistered long guns, given that its applications aren’t outside your personal residence.

In case you want to have peace of mind, you have the option to consider filling out a Firearm Ownership Report or go ahead in registering this anyway that’ll guarantee that you’ll reclaim the firearms should they get lost or stolen.

What about inherited guns, you say? Well, this situation doesn’t need you to file for a Federal Firearms License (FFL), as it’s one of a couple of exceptions that California upheld between a person-to-person transaction rather than purchasing from an authorized dealer.

Still, the inheritor must get legal possession of this estate by filling out the Intra-Familial Firearm Transaction form. Yet before doing so, an individual should first meet the following requirements:

  • The inheritor is at least 18 years old
  • The new owner could show valid proof for California residency
  • The inheritor legally has the weapon in their possession
  • The person currently have a Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) or an FSC exemption under the Penal Code Section 31700
  • The firearm isn’t classified to be an assault weapon

How long is the process?

As stated in California Penal Code, the waiting period for processing a firearm purchase would take about ten days, which applies to all kinds of weapons.

The period was designated to buffer between the completion of the gun purchase and weapon acquisition that would protect against impulsive acts of gun violence, particularly in firearms homicides and suicides.

Due to the waiting period interference, it minimizes the risk where people act on temporary emotions. In fact, several studies showed that many suicide survivors only used a brief time in weighted their actions, typically less than a day, prior to their attempt.

This shows that if a considerate amount of time hadn’t elapsed, these suicide rates could possibly be higher since the suicide attempts usually stemmed from hasty, singular episodes involving minor to no planning.

Among the estimations within these studies, some have calculated that implementing the waiting period could reduce firearm suicides by 7 to 11%.

Likewise, researchers disclosed that a few factors that incited violence against other people were brought by short-lived emotions, such as rage and anger. Fortunately, the ten-day window could allow law enforcement agencies to run a thorough background check and decrease the homicide rates by approximately 17% just by delaying firearm purchases.

How much would it cost?

Calculating the associated costs with registering a weapon could be difficult as there may be some extra costs you’d have to pay, especially if you’re planning to obtain a Concealed Weapons Permit (CCW).

But for this section, we’ll break down a rough estimation of the expected expenses in the registration. Of course, these costs don’t apply to everyone and is dependent based on the purchaser’s needs:

  • CCW’s paper application: Starting from $100 up to $200
  • CCW’s psychological evaluation: About $150 or less
  • A Dealer’s Record of Sale (DROS) fee: $19
  • Firearm Ownership Report fee: $19
  • Intra-Familia Handgun Transaction fee: $19
  • Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) fee: $25
  • Safety and Enforcement fee: $5
  • New Resident Report of Firearm Ownership fee: $19
  • Firearms Safety Act fee: $1

If we sum this up, a gun owner could look forward to taking out about $457 from their pocket!

Overall, you could say that the California gun laws could be quite complex, particularly to those new to owning weapons. Luckily, there are a significant number of resources on the state’s official websites that could guide you throughout the process.

Just be thorough in verifying the information you’re reading and consult a lawyer if needed to prevent yourself from undergoing an unexpected lawsuit or arrest.


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