WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BUY A GUN IN CALIFORNIA
HOW TO APPLY
- Background Check
- Resident Checklist
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW – OUR POLICY AND THE STRAW PURCHASE
Ambrose Armory, our staff and team support lawful transfer, purchases and handling of firearms. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS!
OUR POLICY: You may not buy or attempt to purchase a firearm for a prohibited person, which is a person that who is unable to legally purchase or own a firearm or ammunition, or to buy a firearm for another to disguise the identity of the actual buyer, which acts are known as ‘straw purchases’. Ambrose Armory, our staff and team will always cooperate fully with law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute straw purchasers.
If your handgun of interest is not on the List of California Approved Handguns or exempt from SB 15, a gun dealer cannot sell it to you as a store owned handgun. Dealers can, however, sell unapproved handguns on consignment. Consignment means the dealer his acting as the seller’s agent and has no vested interest in the firearm.
(Law Enforcement may purchase handguns not on the safe handgun list – letterhead required). Handguns not on this list may only be sold by dealers as consigned handguns or transferred as a private party transfer.
PURCHASING A HANDGUN
You must be a CALIFORNIA RESIDENT with a valid California ID or Driver’s license with your full and correctly spelled name and your current residence address – P.O. BOXES OR BUSINESS ADDRESSES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE! Proof of residence is also required and it must also have your full and correctly spelled name and current residence address as used on your CA ID or Driver’s License.
Click here for documents acceptable for CA proof of residence. If your residence address is the only thing on your ID or driver’s license that is not up to date, a government document with your complete and correctly spelled name that shows your correct residence address may be used in conjunction with your ID or driver’s license to meet the requirement. Not all government documents are acceptable. Feel free to ask what we can accept.
A valid ID or driver’s license must have your full and complete legal name which must be spelled correctly to be valid for purchasing a firearm. DMV routinely gets names wrong as in incomplete or spelled incorrectly. Example: if the purchaser’s full legal name is “Robert Allen Jones” DMV will frequently use “Bob Allen Jones” or “Robert Allen Jones” or “Robert A. Jones”, or other variations, all of which are unacceptable and must be corrected before the ID or driver’s license may be used to purchase a firearm.
Once corrected an interim or temporary ID or driver’s license may NOT be used for a firearm purchase. The purchaser will have wait for the permanent document to arrive in the mail.
Bring your NON-RESIDENT MILITARY permanently stationed in CALIFORNIA with a valid active duty Military ID card and current PCS orders to a California duty station.
Bring your active duty ID card with the same requirements for name as a state ID or driver’s license. Further inactive reserve and dependent ID cards are not acceptable.
Bring a RESIDENT/IMMIGRANT ALIEN ID card. Bring your current valid immigration documents or ID cards and a valid California ID or Driver’s license.
ADDITIONALLY, all persons purchasing a handgun must meet the following requirements:
- Must be 21 Years of age or older
- Pass a simple safe handling demonstration
- Possess a Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) or an FSC Exemption
- Proof of residence (requirements may differ slightly for immigrant/resident aliens)
PURCHASING A LONG GUN
- You must be a CALIFORNIA RESIDENT with a valid California ID or Driver’s license with your full and correctly spelled name and your current residence address – NO P.O. BOXES OR BUSINESS ADDRESSES PLEASE! Proof of residence is NOT required.
NOTE 1: If your residence address is the only thing on your ID or driver’s license that is not up to date, a government document with your complete and correctly spelled name that shows your correct residence address may be used in conjunction with your ID or driver’s license to meet the requirement. Not all government documents are acceptable. Feel free to ask what we can accept.
- A valid ID or driver’s license must have your full and complete legal name which must be spelled correctly to be valid for purchasing a firearm.
- DMV routinely gets names wrong as in incomplete or spelled incorrectly. Example: if the purchaser’s full legal name is “Robert Allen Jones,” the DMV can use “Bob Allen Jones” or “Robert Allen Jones” or “Robert A. Jones,” or perhaps other variations. None of these variations are acceptable and must be corrected before the ID or driver’s license may be used to purchase a firearm.
- Once corrected an interim or temporary ID or driver’s license may NOT be used for a firearm purchase. The purchaser will have wait for the permanent document to arrive in the mail.
- Provide a NON-RESIDENT MILITARY permanently stationed in CA with a valid active duty Military ID card and current PCS orders to a California duty station.
- Provide an active duty ID card has the same requirements for name as a state ID or driver’s license. Further inactive reserve and dependent ID cards are not acceptable.
- Provide a RESIDENT/IMMIGRANT ALIEN bring your current valid immigration documents or I,D. cards and a valid California ID or Driver’s license.
ADDITIONALLY, all persons purchasing a long gun must meet the following requirements:
TRANSFER OF A NEW FIREARM
All firearms must be delivered to the buyer within thirty (30) days of the Dealer Record Of Sale (DROS) date. There is a ten (10) day wait for all firearms. This leaves a twenty (20) day window to pick-up your gun. Failure to do so results in DROS cancellation by DOJ, another DROS/safety tag fee, and another ten (10) day wait.
Gun stores charge a fee due to the administrative burden of doing the paperwork twice. Ambrose Armory charges for “do overs” which will apply if you are late.
Pick-Up times: Pick-up times for your gun is to the minute. We are unable to give you your gun until your pick-up time. Feel free to come early to browse for accessories and other products and services for your new gun and our expert staff will be happy to help serve you!
Only the buyer can pick up a gun.
California lawmakers limit you to one handgun purchase per thirty (30) day period. It’s actually a crime to try to purchase more than one in thirty (30) days. Unfortunately, a miscount by one day also constitutes a crime so be accurate! Police Officers, private party transfers, and consigned guns are exempt from the 1 in 30 day rule.
PRIVATE PARTY TRANSFERS
The fees are set by State law. As of 01/01/2015 the fees are $35.00.
Gun dealers do not “register” firearms. That is done by CA DOJ. CA law defines a Private Party Transfer as a transfer of a firearm between two CA residents. We will not perform a private Party Transfer between you and yourself. If you made an illegal purchase, DO NOT involve us. Seek legal advice or contact CA DOJ for a resolution.
All requirements as set forth in the law for firearms purchases apply. See the requirements elsewhere on this web page for handgun and long gun purchase requirements.
We will not start a transfer until both parties and all required documents and ID’s are present.
California law enforcement officers are exempt from the waiting period if they have a letter signed by the head of the agency or commanding officer. The LE LETTER MUST CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS: CA PC 12078 – (1) Full-time paid (830 pc) peace officer (2) authorized to carry firearms in the performance of their duties and (3) authorizing the firearm transfer. Federal Requirement: (4) the officer has not been convicted of an offense of domestic violence.
Your gun is not insured; your firearm is left entirely at your own risk. We do not profit from your transaction so no bailment is created.
Plan Ahead and be Prepared to Wait
Private party transfers can be time consuming and we are not allowed to charge more than $10 for a store fee (DOJ gets everything else). We will not begin private party transfers less than two hour before closing. Requests for deliveries or transfers in the last hour of the business day will be deferred to the next business day.
The law allows us to charge a storage fee. Inquire with our Ambrose staff for current storage fees. Fees commence the next business day following your pick-up date as listed on your Private Party Transfer Agreement form or our next business day following your notification of release of a DOJ hold.
For more information on purchasing guns in California, refer to the A CA Gun Buyer’s Guide or feel free to contact us at Ambrose Armory.
Click here for California DOJ information on Delayed, Undetermined, Denied, and Rejected background checks.
The California Department of Justice (the Department) is authorized by Penal Code section 28220 to temporarily delay a firearm transaction for up to 30 days from the date of transaction when the Department is unable to immediately determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own/possess firearms. If 30 days has passed since the transaction date and the Department is still unable to determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own/possess firearms or whether the firearm involved in the sale/transfer is stolen, the Department will notify the dealer. It will then be at the dealer’s sole discretion whether to release to you the firearm.
In the case of an “Undetermined” background check, the State of California has no idea if the prospective firearm purchaser is a prohibited person or not. Furthermore, at 30 days they quit trying to find out. They, the State of California, dump the full weight of responsibility for determination on the dealer who has zero access to any of prospective purchaser’s personal or background information.
Accordingly, the Ambrose Armory policy is to refuse to deliver a firearm to any purchaser with an “Undetermined” background check. Cancellation, re-stocking, and storage fees apply.
If you have any doubts as to your ability to pass a background check, you might consider using a Personal Firearms Eligibility Check Application (Penal Code Section 30105) to determine your status in advance. Click here for the Personal Eligibilty form
FIREARM SAFETY CERTIFICATE (FSC) TEST
is an authorized issue point for the FSC Test
The test is a closed book, untimed test that we can administer onsite at Ambrose. There are thirty (30) multiple questions and/or true/false questions. In order to pass, you must answer 75% of the questions correctly. Once you pass the test, your certification is valid for five (5) years. Our Ambrose sales team can help facilitate all your paperwork. Be sure to bring all the proper and required credentials to take the test. Appointments are not necessary. Walk-ins are welcome. Contact us for more information.
- We will not answer any questions after the test starts. (If you need a new pencil, wave the broken one at us).
- You may not have any written material other than the test booklet and answer sheet that we provide.
- No cell phones or pagers are allowed in the testing area.
- Test materials are not allowed out of the test area.
- Only you and the proctor may be present when the test is reviewed after grading.
- Use of the bathroom must take place before or after the test; no bathroom breaks are allowed during the test.
- You may not be accompanied during the testing process.
Please leave, cell phones, pagers, written material in your car; we can store them for you at your request but it is at your own risk. You will need your CA ID card or CA Driver’s License and $25.