State Law Background

Among other things, California:

In addition, in 2014, California became the first jurisdiction in the nation to enact a Gun Violence Restraining Order law (also known as a Firearms Restraining Order or Extreme Risk Protection Order), allowing concerned family members to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from a love one who is found to pose a clear danger to the public or their own safety during a mental crisis.

In 2016, California voters also adopted a comprehensive package of gun safety reforms through Proposition 63 (“The Safety for All Act of 2016”). Among other major reforms, Proposition 63 will, when implemented, make California the first state in the nation to require a point-of-sale background check on ammunition purchases and the first to require all individuals convicted of firearm-prohibiting crimes to verify with the courts that they relinquished their firearms after conviction.

In 2015, California had the 8th lowest gun death rate among the nation’s 50 states. Even with this relatively low ranking, California still suffered 3,095 deaths from firearms in that single year. Additionally, in 2014, at least 5,724 people were hospitalized or treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal gunshot wounds in California.

According to data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, California has the fifth lowest rate of crime guns exported to other states. California is the fourth largest supplier (among the states) of crime guns to Mexico per capita, but supplies such crime guns at less than one-third the rate of Arizona, the nation’s top supplier of crime guns to Mexico.

Municipalities across California have also enacted a variety of gun violence prevention ordinances to make their communities safer.

For details about specific California firearms laws, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.