Point A: I should have known better than to even mention a regulation in passing unless I had thoroughly researched it. There's some regulation somewhere that allows or allowed some special treatment when transferring a firearm from grandfather/father - child, but I didn't remember exactly where it applied. Possibly it's the apparent exemption to the Approved Handgun List. Mea Culpa.
Point B: You have to pass a test and pay a fee to get a California Handgun Safety Certificate. You can't get a handgun in CA without one. Quibbling over whether or not that's a "license" is hair splitting.