California Gun Laws

Ammo Regulation

General Ammo Sales 

  • Commencing January 1st, 2018, if you sell 500 rounds or more of ammo during any given month, you will be required to obtain a business license issued by the state. You will be limited to sell ammo at specified business locations and gun shows.
  • Department of Justice (DOJ) will give an ammo vendor license if you show your eligibility certificate that will get issued after successfully passing your background check. Employees will also be required to provide verification that they have successfully completed all background checks and paperwork.
  • Starting January 1st, 2018, the sale of ammo will be required to be conducted with a vendor who is licensed. If you purchase ammo from another state or online, you will need to have the ammo transported to a vendor who is licensed for physical delivery. If you have successfully completed the required background checks then you will be able to pick it up.

Recording of Ammo Sales

  • Beginning July 1st, 2019, ammo vendors who are licensed will be obligated to keep, report and record any ammo sales to the DOJ.
  • These records will remain private unless required for use by law enforcement.

Ammo Sales at Shooting Ranges

  • Anyone will have the ability to purchase ammo at a shooting range without being required to complete a background check with the necessary condition that the ammo does not leave the premises.

Ammo Sales at Gun Shows

  • Ammo will be allowed to be displayed at all gun shows in California but will be required to be in an enclosed space, unless being deliberated by a prospective purchaser with the help of the employees or vendors.
  • Police officers and security personnel are the only ones who will be allowed to be in ownership of a firearm and the matching ammo at the same time.

Unreasonably Dangerous Ammo

  • Any importing, manufacturing, transporting, known possession, sales or resolve to sell handgun ammo that’s sole purpose is to penetrate metal or armor is illegal in California.

License Application for Ammo Vendors

  • Applicants wanting to apply for a vendor license to sell ammo will need to turn in their application to the DOJ, alongside a fee and the following documents:
    • Eligibility Certificate
    • An authorized State Board of Equalization sellers permit
    • Federal Firearms License (if licensed federally)
    • Any regulatory or business license needed by the local government

The Sale Between Private Parties

  • If private parties wish to purchase or sell to one another it must be through a licensed ammo dealer and the subsequent fees will be required:
    • Ammunition vendor can add an additional fee for administering the sale
    • Any DOJ fees
    • If the buyer is not available for delivery, the ammo vendor will be able to charge an extra storage fee that needs be decided upon prior to the vendor obtaining the ammo
    • If the buyer is present, the fee cannot be greater than five dollars

Ammo Exhibition

  • All ammo must be exhibited in a locked container
  • Ammo may not be accessible to the buyer except if the seller is available to assist with the purchase

New Regulations Concerning Weapons

Ghost Gun

  • Commencing July 1st, 2018, anyone planning on manufacturing or assembling a firearm will be mandated to apply to the DOJ for a distinctive serial number.
  • Firearm owners that currently do not own a serial number are required to apply for a distinctive serial number by January 1, 2019.

Assault Weapons That Have the Bullet Button Feature

  • Commencing January 1st, 2017, weapons that have the bullet button feature will be regarded as assault weapons and must be registered no later than June 30th, 2018 

Assault Weapon Definition

  • New regulations are defining assault weapons as semiautomatic pistols or semiautomatic centerfire rifles without a fixed mag but have one of these features
    • A gun with at least one of the following:
      • Thumbhole stock
      • Pistol grip
      • Telescoping/folding stock
      • Flash suppressor
      • Forward pistol grip
      • Grenade launcher
    • Also, a gun with one or more of the subsequent:
      • Threaded barrel
      • Second handgrip
      • Shroud attached to the barrel
      • Ability to accept a magazine outer the gun grip
    • Excused from punishment
      • Having possessed your assault weapons priot to January 1st, 2001, to December 31st, 2017
      • Having registered your assault weapon with the DOJ before June 30th, 2018.


California will not recognize other state’s gun permits.

Applying For A Permit In California?

Get in contact with your local Chief of Police or Sherriff for more information. Online applications are now available in most counties. The permit is valid for 2 years and will cost $100.

California is a may issue state, which means it will distribute a permit if the subsequent conditions are met:

  • Being of good moral character
  • Having a “good cause” for getting a permit
  • Being a resident of the county you are applying in
  • Having completed the mandatory training course

Locations that are Off-Limits Even With A Permit

  • Gun shows or other events – you are not allowed to carry a firearm and its matching ammunition at the same time
  • Guns are banned in any Governor or constitutional officer’s office, any legislative office, and the state Capitol
  • Voting spaces
  • Private and public schools, college campuses

When Carrying A Concealed Firearm You Will Not

  • Drink alcoholic beverages
  • Carry in any locations where the primary purpose is the distribution of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption
  • Be under the influence of any drugs, prescribed or not
  • Refuse the surrender or reveal of any weapons on your person if requested by a peace officer
  • Interfere with a peace officer trying to perform their duties
  • Carry a weapon that is not registered on your permit
  • Carry a firearm in times or circumstances not listed on permit

A Permit Is Not Required When

Anyone over the age of 18, who has not been barred from owning a firearm, is allowed to keep and carry a loaded firearm in their home, place of temporary residence, campsite, or private estate owned by that individual.


With a permit, you can carry at:

  • Roadside rest areas
  • In any automobiles
  • State parks
  • National or state forests


The state of California will not stop a US citizen, over the age of 18 from transferring a firearm capable of being concealed as long as it is unloaded and in a locked container.


Non-concealable firearms are not required to be in a locked container. However, it needs to be unloaded when being transported.

Registered Assault Weapons

Assault weapons that have been registered are allowed to be transported between specific locations. They need to be unloaded and in a locked container during transport.

Open Carry

Open carry is not permissible in the state of California.

Large Capacity Magazines

On June 30, 2017, an injunction was released for the part of the law that barred the possession of large capacity magazine in your home. Still, the manufacturing, importation, and sale of large capacity magazines are still banned.

Large capacity magazines are outlined as a visible ammo feeding mechanism that has the capacity to accept 10 or more rounds.

What Is Considered A Loaded Firearm?

  • In the state of California, a firearm is considered loaded when the firearm and the compatible ammo are in the immediate possession of the same induvial.
  • A firearm is also considered loaded when a round is attached to the firearm in areas including in the chamber, magazine, or an attachment, etc.
*** The information and details listed above pertaining to California gun laws are meant only as a reference point. California’s firearm and ammunition laws are often changing and we advise that you consult with your local law enforcement agency or attorney before making any gun or ammunition related decisions.