Owning firearms is a constitutional right in the United States of America. However, each state has the authority to restrict gun ownership. This generally means age minimums for purchasing guns, plus requirements such as background checks and licensure. Yet you do not need a license or permit to own every type of gun in California. Here are three types you can purchase without traditional permits.
You can purchase a long gun without first obtaining a permit or safety certificate if you have a valid, non-expired hunting license. In general, a long gun is one the user needs two hands to shoot. It may not include shotguns or rifles under California law. You will need a valid driver’s license or an identification card from the State of California proving you are at least 18. A military ID card may also suffice. The purchasing age is usually 21 under California Penal Code section 27510, but valid hunting licenses are exceptions to the rule.
California state law permits building, buying and owning 80% lowers without any type of license or permit. An 80% lower is a piece of equipment that has reached 80% of the manufacturing process toward becoming a firearm. The other 20% of unfinished manufacturing is enough for the law not to technically consider the item a firearm. Building an 80% takes no paperwork at all, and owning one currently does not go against any state or federal laws.
You could own an antique firearm without first obtaining a permit or license to carry in California if you have a valid Curio & Relic Collector License. The firearms this license lets you purchase are those of special interest to collectors. You may only purchase such firearms for collection, not for use as weapons. A firearm must be at least 50 years old, have curator certification or be novel or bizarre to qualify as an antique.
Firearm laws are constantly changing. Make sure to check the latest laws in your state before attempting to purchase any type of firearm.