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Old April 14, 2009, 07:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: April 14, 2009
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CA handgun transfer question.

Odd and tricky question.

A parent purchases a handgun in another state where parent and child are residents, say OR or WA and then gives it to their child upon reaching the age of 18/21. Both are residents of that state at that time.

Child attends school and moves to CA some years later and brings their handgun with them in the year 1997.

So the child now has an unregistered handgun? If so what the heck would be the resolution? The registration law started on Jan 1, 1998 didn't it which means they weren't required to register it it at that time, but now it was to be registered?

The initial purchase was by the parent, could they just transfer the gun today through an FFL at present day? Cost like $100 or so.

Can the child just voluntarily register the gun now? Cost whatever the fee is.

Call the CA DOJ and ask them -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- to do? Free (maybe)

Or should they just give it to the parent and have them sell it back in OR or WA and buy a new one in CA? They are the name on record as the initial purchaser of the gun, and there was never any transfer requirement in those states back then. Cost a bunch probably.

Its probably even more complicated by the fact that in 1994/5 you still got 15 rnd magazines too.
PanchoVilla is offline  
Old April 14, 2009, 10:24 PM   #2
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Location: Central California
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From what I understand you need to fill out some paperwork at a your local PD.

Then have a a local FFL register the gun to you and hold if for the ten days.

I believe this is the same situation if you say found a gun and had an interest in legally keeping it.

I could be wrong but I know I have had this conversation with someone who knew the answer before.
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Old April 15, 2009, 01:03 AM   #3
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Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
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Not an odd or tricky question at all.

Let's suppose that the parent gave their child the gun at 18 years of age which is the age of legal possession in their home state. Further, if that child moved to CA in 1997 at age 20, the gun was already a legally owned firearm. No problems so far.

Now it's 2009 and the child wants to know if the firearm must be registered in California. The answer is no.

According to the California Dept of Justice, Bureau of Firearms (DOJ-BOF)'s website:
There is no firearm registration requirement in California except for assault weapon owners and personal handgun importers. However, you may submit a Firearm Ownership Record to the DOJ for any firearm you own. Having a Firearm Ownership Record on file with the DOJ may help in the return of your firearm if it is lost or stolen.
If your parent still has any paperwork on the acquisition of the firearm, you could ask them to send you that information along with a letter indicating the transfer of ownership to you. This way you have some documentation that the gun belongs to you that can be verified by law enforcement, if necessary.

You should note that if you are arrested for illegally carrying a concealed weapon that is not registered to you it can increase the misdemeanor charge to a felony. But if you don't plan to be in that situation, registration isn't required.

If you just want to be sure you're kosher six-ways, you can self-register the gun with California, just like a new resident. Use the firearm ownership record form at and send in $19 for the background check. Keeping a copy of the form in your own records is suggested.
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
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Old April 16, 2009, 09:34 AM   #4
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BillCA has the correct answer, just fill out the form and send it in with the $19. It will make it much easier for you to do anything with that gun in California in the future.
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