Purchasing Firearms in California: How, What, & Why…

AHHHH CALIFORNIA! The land of movie stars, beaches, exotic sports cars, and the Golden Gate. A land brimming with opportunity and filled with rugged individuals working hard to strike their fortune! Well…at least it used to be, But this article isn’t about the decline of a once economic powerhouse, no! This is about the most important aspect of any /k/ommandos life, Accruing Firearms! (Woohoo). Most /k/ommandos that are active in the community reside outside the golden state, and there is a lot of misinformation out there about what is legal, what’s not, and how to get guns in California. I will try to shed light on the process required to obtain a gun in the golden state, as well as dispel some of the rumors people have put out there. To do this, I will be focusing on three main topics: The FSC, long gun restrictions, and the infamous California handgun roster.

The Firearms Safety Certificate: Infringement? Or logical step?

In the state of California, in order to purchase a firearm, you must obtain a Firearm safety certificate (Will refer to as FSC from now on) by passing a 25 question multiple choice test on gun safety, and paying a 25$ fee to the California DOJ, This is what it looks like:

The test itself is not difficult at all, it is common sense material that every responsible gun owner should know before they even touch a gun. It does go into one or two laws regarding the transportation of weapons but again, if you live here, its common sense. Unlike what some people would have you believe, obtaining this license does not mean every purchase you make is automatically tracked, nor do you have to carry it with you everywhere you go, no one really cares. You don’t even need it to go shooting, or rent firearms, it just allows you to purchase one from a Legal gun store in the state of California, and shows that you are deemed responsible enough to partake in the American right of owning a weapon. Personally, other than paying the 25$ to exercise a constitutional right, I don’t have a problem with it, if anything it acts like a pleb filter. Of course, this is coming from someone used to living in a bureaucratic nightmare of a state, I’m sure many a southern /k/ommando would disagree with this statement.

The California Handgun roster: Making it hard, not impossible.

The state of California has an Approved Handgun roster. This is to ensure that the states subj- err, I mean citizens, are only able to acquire hand cannons deemed safe by the state of California at gun stores operated within the state. In other words, only pistols on this list are allowed to be sold in gun stores in California. So what does this mean for the average person here? Well the 10 round mag limit is in effect for all firearms (More on this later) and only guns that are on the list which can be found here: https://www.oag.ca.gov/firearms/certguns will be found in your LGS, which includes most fudd guns. HOWEVER, it does not prohibit the purchasing of firearms off the list. As a resident of California, you could go to any neighboring state, and purchase any handgun you wish, as long as the mag is not more than 10 rounds. There is no handgun registration in California, worst case scenario you can say it was pre-ban. Now I’m sure some of you are asking, Wait? How does the state of California determine what it considers to be safe handguns? Well that’s the one thing California has in common with America, CAPITALISM! In order for a gun to be on the roster, the company that manufactures it must pay a fee to the state in order to sell it here. In fact, not only does it have to do this for each model gun it wishes to sell, but if a model on the list is a different color, it must pay for the different colored firearm as well! I think the state does this as a way to affect national policy, as the state pulled a similar thing with auto manufactures in the 70’s in order to standardize maintenance and emissions, it worked then, but I don’t think the state realizes everyone is sick of its shit now, and that the gun industry is a tiny weeny different from the auto one.

Long gun restrictions: Stuck in the 1950’s

Long guns, the thing we get shit on the most for, is honestly the most restrictive thing Californians have to deal with in terms of buying and registering weapons. If you don’t want to register your firearm or go featureless, the only reasonable conventional semi-automatic rifles you can go with are those of yesteryear.

The M1A, M1 Carbine, M1 Garand, all bolt actions, and mini14 to name a few. Notice a theme here? The states gun laws restrict weapons that are modern, or that fit the Hollywood spooky scary gun image. While the 10 round restriction still applies, for these older rifles that is either not a concern or easy to not comply with. Take the M1A for example, an expensive rifle, but a good gun nonetheless, it can legally maintain all of its functionality in California with the exception that its magazine and can hold no more than 10 rounds. Now let’s look at a modern rifle like the AR-15. In order to legally own in California that is NOT registered, it must not have a pistol grip, collapsible stock, magazine release button, and even certain features like scopes are restricted for that weapon specifically due to being considered “assault features”. In order to maintain all these features, it must have been registered before 2018, and if you try to do it now, you’ll get slapped with a felony. Basically, the state has made owning these styles of firearms inconvenient to the point that its not even worth it to buy them in my opinion. For rifles, the barrel length cannot be less than 16 inches and the overall length must be greater than 26. For shotguns, the barrel cannot be less than 18 inches, and the overall length can not be less than 26.


Owning firearms in the state of California is not as impossible as some people would have you believe, but requires a daunting amount of paperwork and dealing with bureaucratic red tape that would make a soviet expat blush. The only thing that is seriously restricted are long guns, and even then, its mainly specific styles of weaponry and features. Personally, I don’t find the state getting better anytime soon unless some major event shakes it up, as the people making and supporting the laws here live in tiny little bubbles that they really never venture out of, for lack of interest, and lack of reason. This is a problem with California as a whole, people here think of it as the end all be all, and it becomes an echo chamber. But now I’m venturing into politics and I promised I wouldn’t. In any case, I hope those of you that don’t live in the state found this interesting, and for those that do, hang in there.

Nicolas M.

Nicolas has had an interest in firearm and military history for as long as he can remember. His main interests surround lesser know modern weaponry and current events.

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5 Responses

  1. Nice post. I live in California, they just changed one of the well-known gun shows here to ” hunting show “, I guess the word is less spooky for liberals.

  2. SDsa22c says:

    Uhhh You can still maintain the mag release on the AR15 if you go with a featureless setup Like a comp, fixed stock and a Stike Industries or simmilar grip

    • Bleu says:

      Yeah I think the point of the article was to show the types of guns that cuckifornia deems “scary” and now necessarily hurr durr muh mag release

  3. Dominic Morones says:

    Hey so I live here In commifornia and I’m looking to buy my first rifle. I really want an M1-D garand. Not a standard issue the M1-D sniper variant and all of its corresponding accessories. Is it legal in here? I haven’t been able to find a definitive yes or no answer anywhere.

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