What Is Required to Purchase a Shotgun in California?

Purchasing a shotgun in California does not require any special license or permit in most cases. The person purchasing the gun must be at least 18 years of age and not have a felony conviction or misdemeanor that involved violence. There is also a state fee of $25.

The restriction on misdemeanors that involve force or violence only applies for 10 years after the conviction. The complete list of relevant misdemeanors is located in Penal Code section 29805. Drug addicts, present or former mental patients, and anyone ever committed for mental observation or acquitted by reason of insanity may not legally purchase or own a firearm. Domestic restraining or protective orders may also disqualify a buyer. Prospective shotgun buyers who are unsure of their legal status may request a California Personal Firearms Eligibility Check through their local firearms dealers.

In California, all firearms sales and transfers, including guns purchased from outside the state, must be conducted through a licensed dealer. A 10-day waiting period after purchase is mandatory for all firearms, including shotguns. Evidence of age must be established with a California driver’s license, identification card or military photo identification card. Citizens of other countries must provide an Alien Registration Number or I-94 Number.