This report presents a general summary of California laws that govern common possession and use of firearms by persons other than law enforcement officers, firearms dealers, or members of the armed forces.
As used in this report, the term "firearm" encompasses rifles, shotguns, revolvers, pistols, or any other device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile is expelled by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion. The first section of the report specifies the firearms, ammunition, and related devices that are prohibited under California law, and the second section describes those persons ineligible to possess firearms and ammunition. The third section explains how firearms may be legally used in the defense of life and property under California law. This is followed by an explanation of California laws that pertain to the possession and transportation of concealed weapons. Legislative provisions for loaded firearms focus on their presence in public places and in the home or business; provisions governing the carrying of unregistered loaded handguns are also addressed. Other sections of this report focus on legislation pertinent to firearms and picketing activity; flareguns; sales, loans, and other transfers of firearms; forfeitures of firearms; other prohibited acts; firearms safety instruction; and firearm safety device requirement.
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