CA Laws

What do I need to buy a gun?

To get started in the gun buying process in California, the first and most basic item you need is a valid CA Driver’s License or Identification Card. If you bring that in and have nothing else, we can get you started. If you want to come in prepared, then use this list:

  • CA Driver’s License (DL) or Identification Card (ID)
    • If your DL/ID says “Federal Limits Apply”, then you need a Certified copy of your Birth Certificate, Passport, or Resident Alien Card. If it is a REAL ID or an old ID that doesn’t say “Federal Limits Apply” then you do not need those documents.
    • If your DL./ID address does not match your current address, then you need any government issued document to prove your current address.
  • All firearms require a Firearms Safety Certificate. You can take this test in our store for $25 and the 30 question written test takes anywhere from 10-30 minutes to complete. If you have common sense, you do not need to study. Law enforcement, active duty military, CCW Holders, PC 832 Firearms Training, and for long guns a hunting license will exempt you from this requirement. See the full list of exemptions here.
  • For HANDGUNS, you must bring and additional proof of residency (POR) besides your DL/ID. POR is a current hard-wired utility bill or a valid government issued document with an expiration date. The most common examples are vehicle registration, hunting or fishing licenses, or water/gas/electric/cable bills. You can view the full list of acceptable documents here.
  • You may only DROS one HANDGUN every 30 days. That doesn’t mean you cannot buy more than one handgun. We would be more than happy to take your payment and sit on your handgun until we can start your next DROS.
  • All handguns must be on the CA Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale. If it is not on this roster, then we cannot sell the handgun to members of the general public. Be sure if you are going to order a handgun and have it shipped to us for transfer, it is on that list!

What do I need to buy ammo?

Anyone with a CA DL/ID can purchase ammunition in California. Despite the rumors, there are no restrictions on what type of ammunition or the amount you can buy. The basic identification requirements are the same as buying a firearm.

  • CA Driver’s License (DL) or Identification Card (ID)
    • If your DL/ID says “Federal Limits Apply”, then you need a Certified copy of your Birth Certificate, Passport, or Resident Alien Card. If it is a REAL ID or an old ID that doesn’t say “Federal Limits Apply” then you do not need those documents.

However, there are two different types of ammunition background checks. If you can, you want to use the instant Standard Check for $1. If you do not have a gun in the Automated Firearms System (AFS), you will be forced to do the longer $19 Basic Check, EVERY TIME YOU PURCHASE AMMO.

  • Standard Check
    • Costs $1
    • Instant Approval
    • Anyone who has registered in California a handgun since 1991 or a long gun since 2014.
    • Requires your current name and address to match the data in AFS.
  • Basic Check
    • Costs $19
    • Approval takes anywhere from ten minutes to ten days. We have no idea how long it will take.
    • This check is for anyone who does not have a firearm registered in California in the AFS database. You will have to pay this $19 fee every time you want to buy ammunition until you register a gun in California.
    • If you have started a Basic Check with us, you can check your background check status at ammo.screwcalifornia.com.

What handguns can I buy in CA?

All handguns must be on the CA Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale. If it is not on this roster, then we cannot sell the handgun to members of the general public. Be sure if you are going to order a handgun and have it shipped to us for transfer, it is on that list!

Part of this requirement is that semi-automatic handguns have microstamping technology that imprints a unique serial number on the brass every time the pistol fires. This technology currently does not exist so no new semi-automatic pistols can be added to the roster. As a result, if you see a manufacturer’s new pistol in a magazine, it is not on the roster and it will not be added to the roster at anytime in the future until the law changes. Revolvers do not require this non-existent technology so they can be added.