How to Get a Gun License in California

by Greg Lindberg
Complete the process of receiving a PFEC certificate and CCW license when purchasing a gun in California.

Complete the process of receiving a PFEC certificate and CCW license when purchasing a gun in California.

The equivalent to a gun license for residents of California is a Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) license, which allows you to carry a handgun you’ve purchased. There is no license specifically required for purchasing a gun, but to use the gun it is helpful to obtain your CCW license and the Personal Firearms Eligibility Check (PFEC) certificate, which shows that you are eligible to own a gun. If you are over the age of 21 and a resident of California, then you can begin the process for owning and possessing a gun in California.

Print out and complete the PFEC application, which can be found on the Forms and Publications section of the California Office of the Attorney General website.

Send the filled out form to the Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms, as instructed on the bottom of the application.

Allow for up to 120 days for your application to be processed. You will receive a notice concerning your eligibility through the mail.

Purchase the gun for which you want to obtain a CCW license. Provide proof of age and identity to the gun dealer when purchasing the gun by showing your driver’s license.

Go to the local sheriff’s office in your county and ask to fill out a CCW application. Include all information about the model of the gun you want to obtain the license for and also include a copy of the PFEC verification letter you received.

Complete all requirements to receive your CCW license, which vary depending on your county. For example, you may be required to pay for and attend a course on firearm training.

Allow up to 30 days for your application to be finalized. You will then receive your CCW license.

Items you will need

  • Driver’s license
  • PFEC certificate
  • CCW license

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