As a responsibly armed American, you already know how challenging it may be to stay up to date on California gun laws…

California gun owners, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked California firearms questions. Read on for answers to some of the top questions regarding California gun laws. (Not from California? Don’t worry, your state is coming soon…)

Can I travel with a gun in California?

Only individuals with a California Concealed Carry Weapons License (CCWL) can carry a handgun while traveling by car. Without a CCWL, any firearm must be in a locked container or the vehicle’s trunk. A locked container is defined as a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock or similar locking device. A locked container includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but not the utility or glove compartment.

Is concealed carry legal in California?

Concealed carry is only legal with a California Concealed Carry Weapons License (CCWL). California does not honor concealed carry permits from any other states. For more information on which states have reciprocity with California, check the USCCA CCW Reciprocity & State Gun Laws Map.

Are California gun laws strict?

Yes, California is widely recognized as having some of the strictest gun laws in the U.S. California bans military-style semi-automatic “assault” rifles, restricts high-capacity magazines and armor-piercing ammunition and imposes a 10-day waiting period on gun purchases. All sales must go through licensed dealers who conduct background checks on buyers. Buyers are limited to one handgun purchase per month. Family members can obtain a court order to disarm a mentally unstable relative.

How much is a CCW in California?

Cost for an initial license ranges from $70-$100 and is valid for just two years. This does not include the cost of training. You can find a USCCA Certified Instructor in California here.

Is California a Constitutional Carry State?

No, California does not allow constitutional or permitless carry. However, following the Supreme Court’s ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen, California is now a shall-issue state. Government leaders in California are now seeking new ways to restrict access to firearms. “While this decision is no doubt a setback for the safety of Americans, it also affirmed the rights that states maintain to protect our people,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said.

How long does it take to get a concealed carry permit in California?

Within 90 days of completion of your background check. Please note that the timing of the background check approval varies greatly. The CCWL is good for two years.

What is the penalty for carrying a gun without a permit in California?

There are several statutes that may apply to carrying a gun in California without a permit. They include Cal. Penal Code § 25400, which applies to the crime of carrying a concealed firearm, Cal. Penal Code § 25850 regarding the crime of carrying a loaded firearm in public and Penal code § 26350 regarding the crime of openly carrying an unloaded handgun. Penalties vary depending on the specific circumstances.

Can a non-resident carry a gun in California?

No. California does not honor concealed carry permits from any other states. However, four states honor California concealed carry permits.

Ready to Learn More About California Gun Laws?

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map has been designed to help inform and educate armed citizens like you. To learn more about California’s concealed carry permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit California’s gun laws page now…

Additionally, continued firearms training is crucial to protecting your family. Find a shooting range in California through our “Find a Shooting Range” resource — made possible by our partnership with the National Shooting Sports Foundation and


The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. Members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case, and laws are constantly changing. As such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.