A new website covering California gun laws for the new and prospective owner and especially for travelers.
California has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. It is practically impossible to carry a firearm for self-defense without a license to carry (LTC) and those are very difficult for most Californians to receive. Open carry is banned all but the most remote parts of the state. It is illegal in to have a handgun in a vehicle for self-defense. Non-resident carry permits not recognized. Many firearms commonly for sale in other states are arbitrarily prohibited in California. While no purchase permits are required to buy a firearm, a safety certificate is required and a 10-day waiting period is imposed. Ammunition cannot be bought out of state or online and shipped directly to the consumer; in store background checks are required.
California does not honor any non-resident concealed firearm permits and they do not issue non-resident permits. Open and concealed carry is exempted in your home or your business, including camp sites or hotel room (temporary residence). As a non-resident just visiting the state, you do not have to register your gun and your handguns are not restricted to what is on the Safe Handgun Roster. If you own it (and it is not an "assault weapon") you can bring it. That means your Gen 5 Glock that is not for sale in California is legal for you to bring, with 10 round magazines. There are no restrictions on hollow-points.
Open carry is only legal in unincorporated areas where target shooting or hunting is allowed (discharge of firearms). Unloaded open carry in urban areas is illegal. You cannot openly carry in a vehicle or on a motorcycle. Check county ordinances to see the areas where shooting is prohibited. For instance, the entirety of San Mateo County is practically prohibited for target shooting, while Mariposa County has very few restrictions.
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