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Old October 18, 2012, 10:29 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: October 18, 2012
Location: CA
Posts: 2
Help a Newbie in CA

A novice could use a little help here in understanding what all the hoopla is about with CA and firearms. I want to go through the process of buying my first handgun (revolver) through all the legal channels and so far, I haven't seen what the big deal is. I did some reading on the Dept. of Justice site, so I got a pretty good understanding of the time restrictions and validating completion of the HSC. OK, so what?
I'm really not interested in automatic rifles, but I definately want to eventually get into a semi-auto handgun one day and later, a shotgun.
I plan on buying from a reputable dealer in the area (So. Cal) so I can be assured the paperwork is handled correctly.

My goals are range target shooting and home defense.

I really don't see a need for modified or ultra-high power arms. Standard, off-the-shelf is fine for me and the same goes for the ammo- whatever they're selling at local sporting goods stores or ranges would be fine.

So, for a guy like me starting out, what's the big deal or worry about CA??

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Old October 18, 2012, 10:47 PM   #2
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Join Date: January 24, 2010
Location: South West Riverside County California
Posts: 2,763
The primary issues are:
- 10 day wait to pick-up gun
- Handguns require a Safety Certificate or handgun card or whatever. I still have the old one that was required and the new one and the hunter safety card.
- 10 round mag limit so fat double stack semi-autos don't make sense
-Non-detachable mag restriction (more to this) for semiauto rifles.
- handguns must be certified for sale in California so some cool guns are not available
-no shotgun caliber handguns like the Judge
-probably a couple more stupid rules like no more than one handgun a month or some such thing, etc etc
-There will be more stupid rules to follow as soon as the legislature can think them up.
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Old October 18, 2012, 11:26 PM   #3
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Posts: 1,755
Jmortimer hit the highlights.

I want to go through the process
This statement you made unwittingly highlights part of what the big deal is when you compare CA to most other states. It shouldn't be a process to purchase a firearm. None of the laws that California has enacted have shown any demonstrable effect on crime, they only add obstacles and cost for law abiding citizens to get firearms.

Additionally the laws are so poorly written that even law enforcement agencies within the state have had issues determining what is and what is not legal in relation to firearms. Those incidents were typically involving rifles and trying to determine if they were prohibited by the AWB. Fortunately I do not think there has been a case of wrongful arrest recently due to the former confusion over the law.

More broadly, the second amendment is a fundamental right which California infringes upon. Imagine some of your other rights being subject to similarly extreme and unproductive regulation. What if you had to get a religion safety certificate to attend religious services then wait 10 days after announcing your intent to go to actually go? Imagine if you could only be a part of a religion certified safe for practice in California. It's a bit of hyperbole, but it illustrates the point, and it's only hyperbole because arbitrary restrictions on freedom of religion would not stand for a moment. Why should they stand for any of the other rights?
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Old October 19, 2012, 01:24 AM   #4
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You may want to look at what is required to buy a handgun in other states. Since all you have to go by is what is required in California it seems perfectly normal.

For instance in Georgia to buy a handgun you must be 21 years of age. You walk into the gun store, make you selection, complete a Form required by the Federal Government and pass an instant background check. Then you pay the folks, pick up your gun and leave the store. The entire process takes maybe a half hour and most of that is selecting the actual gun. Also, if you have a Georgia Weapons License you are not even required to go through the background check when purchasing.

So, when compared to Georgia and most other States California is much more burdensome when it comes to exercising your Constitutional right to own a firearm.
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
- Milton Friedman
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Old October 19, 2012, 06:58 AM   #5
Spats McGee
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 6,995
First of all, welcome to The Firing Line!

jrmortimer has already pointed out some of the restrictions that CA has in place. (There may be others, but I'm just not sure.) If you compare "the process" with other states, you'll see that CA has quite a few restrictions that many places just don't have.

Taking Arkansas (my state) as an example, the process for buying a new handgun (from an FFL) goes something like this:
1) Go to store.
2) Pick out gun.
3) NICS check
4) Pay for gun.
5) Leave with gun.

Purchasing from a private party is even simpler:
1) Meet seller.
2) Exchange money for gun.
3) Shake hands and say "thank you."

Edited to add: In all fairness, the above examples presume that both parties are of legal age to buy and sell firearms and that the seller has no reason to believe that the buyer is a prohibited person.
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.

Last edited by Spats McGee; October 19, 2012 at 07:06 AM.
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Old October 19, 2012, 12:14 PM   #6
Carne Frio
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Location: Near Fairbanks Alaska
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Welcome to the Firing Line. If your interested
in guns and reside in California you might want
to check out
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Old October 19, 2012, 12:48 PM   #7
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Join Date: October 18, 2012
Location: CA
Posts: 2
Thanks for the info and the link to Calguns. So, it's all pretty much what I thought- The process is simply a PITA. Not a problem for me, but I can certainly see and understand why so many people are frustrated.
Thanks again and I look forward to getting more information from the site as I move along in the sport.
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Old October 19, 2012, 04:01 PM   #8
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Posts: 10,447
Don't take this personally, but you've been like a frog in a slow boiling pot.
With no idea of the freedoms that have been gradually lost in California.
I once lived there, long before it became what it now is.
It was a different world.
Oh yes, and welcome to the forum.
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
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Old October 19, 2012, 05:39 PM   #9
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Location: Virginia Beach, VA
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Rockford, you're really only getting to the tip of the iceberg with California gun laws... wait until you want to apply for your CCW.
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