While the state had enforced its requirement for a “good reason,” in Los Angeles County, numerous licenses were issued to people who donated to former Sheriff Lee Baca. [76] Some departments are now being challenged in federal lawsuits under the equality clause of the 14th Amendment. [77] In addition, California gun laws allow most adults 21 years of age and older: In addition, the definition of “good character” is not defined in the law, but rather is interpreted by each sheriff or police chief who chooses to do so. Organizations with restrictive policies can use this good character clause as an additional tool for refusal, but even organizations with less restrictive policies use the good character clause to “weed out” those who may pass a background investigation, but are not desirable for the agency to grant approval. In general, it is believed that the definition of good character means that an individual is responsible in nature. Qualities such as honesty, convictions, prosecutions, civil matters, negative interactions with law enforcement, speeding tickets, impaired driving, credit scores, employment history, tax arrears, etc. can be used to show that a person does not have a “good moral character” and can be used to refuse to issue a CCW permit. California law (§53071 GC) prohibits county and city authorities from issuing regulations regarding the registration or licensing of firearms. [42] This provides uniform gun laws and prevents situations in other states (such as New York) where traveling with an otherwise legal firearm could expose a citizen to the risk of violating local municipal ordinances. [43] Note that high-capacity ammunition magazines are illegal in California.84 In 2021, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Criminal Code 32310 PC — which prohibits FCLs — does not violate self-defense laws.85 Semi-automatic firearms that the state has classified as assault weapons; .50 calibre rifles; and high-capacity magazines (magazines that can hold more than ten cartridges) cannot be sold in California. The ban on major magazines was imposed on 29 July. March 2019 declared unconstitutional,[10] but the verdict was suspended while the case was being appealed.

[11] On August 14, 2020, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the ban was unconstitutional. [12] However, this decision was overturned by the Ninth District Court on February 25, 2021 until the case could be heard again in a bench. [13] On June 4, 2021, Roger Benitez, a senior judge for the Southern District of California, declared the assault weapons ban unconstitutional, despite granting a 30-day stay of appeal. The Ninth Court of Appeal then extended the suspension indefinitely. [14] [15] Possession of automatic firearms and shotguns and short-barrelled rifles is prohibited without a dangerous weapons license obtained from the California Department of Justice if there is a valid reason for their possession, such as manufacture, repair, collection in limited cases (prior to 1990), cinema accessory weapons or trafficking with the police or the army. Section 25850 of the California Penal Code defines what constitutes a loaded weapon. On August 14, 2020, a 9th District court declared the ban on high-performance magazines unconstitutional.

“Gun owners cannot immediately rush to buy high-capacity magazines because a deferral issued by the lower court judge remains,” according to the Associated Press.[12] However, this decision was overturned by the district court on February 25, 2021, until the case could be repeated. [13] The open carrying of firearms in California is governed by a number of laws that sometimes conflict with each other. This has led to considerable confusion about the legality of open port in the state. The open carrying of loaded or unloaded firearms in public is generally prohibited, although open carrying may be permitted in unincorporated rural areas where permitted by local ordinance, and elsewhere in certain circumstances. The centerpiece of the 16 new gun control laws Newsom wants to sign would allow individuals to sue manufacturers of illegal guns, such as unregistered “ghost guns,” which are assembled from parts and sold on the black market. On June 4, 2021, Miller v. Bonta, a federal judge in San Diego, ruled that the 1989 assault weapons ban is unconstitutional because it violates the Second Amendment. The judge granted a 30-day stay of the verdict to give the state time to appeal. [14] [99] [100] Since 1989, it has been illegal to sell a firearm that the state has defined as an assault weapon and that is on the California Department of Justice (DOJ) list of prohibited firearms, unless you have a dangerous weapons license issued by the Department of Justice. These include many semi-automatic military rifles and .50 caliber BMG rifles. [97] DOJ firearms may be legally owned if they are registered with the state before January 2005.

Similar military firearms that are not on the Justice Department`s list of prohibited firearms, known as “off-lower list,” are legal to possess and possess as long as state configuration laws are followed. * Technically, these “off-list” discounts are Category 2 assault weapons under California law. However, in Harrott v. 2001, Harrott v. County of Kings (25 P.3d 649 (Cal. 2001), the Class 2 Assault Weapons Act was declared unenforceable. With the passage of Senate Bill 880 and Assembly Bill 1135 in June 2016, the state`s assault weapons ban was extended to all medium-fire semi-automatic rifles and shotguns with military characteristics without a fixed magazine. This expanded the category of firearms considered assault weapons to include rifles that were not previously considered assault weapons because they had a “bullet button” magazine instead of a standard push-button magazine.

The sale or transfer of these weapons is prohibited from 1 January 2017. Those purchased before January 1, 2017 must be registered with DOJ by June 30, 2018. It is illegal to import, sell, give, exchange or lend a magazine containing more than 10 rounds of ammunition, with the exception of fixed-barrel magazines for lever action rifles and .22 calibre rifles; [98] However, possession of such logs was legal until the passage of Proposition 63 in November 2016, which came into force on July 1, 2017.