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11 Steps to Register an Unregistered Gun in California in 2024

In order to register an unregistered gun in California, you need to follow a number of steps including completing a New Resident Firearm Ownership Report, obtaining a Firearm Safety Certificate, submitting the necessary paperwork, and paying the required fees.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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Steps to Registering an Unregistered Gun in California

To register an unregistered gun in California, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Determine eligibility: You must be eligible to possess firearms under California and federal law. This typically means you are not a felon, have not been convicted of certain misdemeanors, and meet other legal requirements.
  2. Complete the New Resident Firearm Ownership Report (BOF 4010A): If you are a new resident bringing firearms into California, you must complete this form within 60 days of moving into the state.
  3. Obtain a Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC): If you do not already have an FSC, you must pass a written test to obtain one. This requirement applies to most firearm transfers, including registering unregistered guns.
  4. Submit the necessary paperwork: You will need to submit the following documents to the California Department of Justice (DOJ):
  5. Completed Law Enforcement Gun Release Application (BOF 4546A)
  6. Completed Law Enforcement Gun Release Application - Addendum (BOF 4546A - Addendum) if applicable
  7. Completed and signed Firearm Ownership Record (BOF 4542A)
  8. Copy of your FSC
  9. Copy of your California driver's license or identification card
  10. Pay the required fees: There is a fee for registering firearms in California. The current fee schedule can be found on the DOJ website.
  11. Await approval: Once you have submitted all required documents and fees, the DOJ will process your registration. If approved, you will receive a confirmation letter.

It's important to note that California has strict laws regarding firearms, and failure to comply with registration requirements can result in criminal penalties. If you are unsure about the process or requirements, it's advisable to seek legal counsel or contact the DOJ for guidance.

What is the New Resident Firearm Ownership Report?

According to CRPA, the New Resident Report of Firearm Ownership must be submitted when someone moves into California with a firearm acquired from out of state [1]. By law, this report must be submitted within 60 days of bringing the firearm into California.

What is the Firearm Safety Certificate?

According to the DOJ, the Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) is a card that is required to purchase a handgun or long gun (rifle/shotgun) in California [2].

The intent of the California Legislature in enacting the FSC law is to ensure that persons who obtain firearms have a basic familiarity with those firearms, including but not limited to, the safe handling and storage of those firearms - Agency Stated.

It is not the intent of the Legislature to require an FSC for the mere possession of a firearm. (Pen. Code, § 31610.).

California Gun Violence Statistics

According to the State of California Department of Justice [3] gun violence statistics are as follows:

  • In California, a gun-related death occurs approximately every three hours, highlighting the persistent issue of firearm violence in the state.
  • Studies show that individuals living with handgun owners in California are more than twice as likely to be victims of homicide, emphasizing the risks associated with gun ownership.
  • California women residing with handgun owners face an increased risk of dying by suicide, adding another layer to the complex relationship between firearms and mortality.
  • Over half of all firearm-related deaths in California are the result of suicide, underscoring the urgent need for comprehensive mental health and suicide prevention efforts.
  • The financial toll of gun violence is also substantial, with California spending an estimated $18 billion annually on various aspects of gun violence, equating to nearly $500 per Californian. These costs include expenses related to law enforcement efforts, medical care for gunshot injuries, and other associated costs, highlighting the multifaceted impact of gun violence on both individuals and society as a whole.

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