Legal Resources

Welcome to the CalGunLaws Legal Resources research pages. There are two primary sections to CalGunLaws Legal Resources. These two sections outline the collection of topical materials available through the CalGunLaws Legal Resources pages. Topics are arranged into shaded windows, which can be opened to show more details about the topics and subtopics covered there.

Section One – California Gun Laws Book & Supplements
The windows on this first section of CalGunLaws Legal Resources compliment the book California Gun Laws: A Guide to State and Federal Firearms Regulations by C.D.Michel, Senior Counsel of the law firm of Michel & Associates, P.C.

Mr. Michel’s book is the starting point to get an answer to any California firearm law question. The book covers all the basic gun laws, and a whole lot more. These topics are not covered on this website. Buy the book!

Although the book should always be your starting point, we could not fit every detail and nuance of every subject into the book itself. So we have supplemented the chapters and subchapters in the book with legal memorandums on narrower subjects of interest to a smaller class of readers and potential clients. The book’s Table of Contents is used for organizational puposes in Section One of the CalGunLaws Legal Resources pages. Under each chapter and subchapter of the book you can locate supplemental legal topical memorandums covering the specific gun law topic that is covered more generally by the chapter or subchapter of the book itself.

The additional materials posted under each chapter and subchapter in the Table of Contents supplement the subjects covered in the book itself. But these supplemental memos do not explain the background often necessary to understand them. They do not replace the book, nor cover subjects covered in the book. To the extent the memorandums posted here do not address your specific questions or areas of concern, C.D. Michel’s book should first be referenced directly. Buy the book!

Section Two – Additional Resources
Section Two of CalGunLaws Legal Resources covers a variety of topics and issues not covered in the book. Along with topics of general interest, these resources include materials of particular interest to specific groups such as police, firearm retailers, and shooting ranges.

Help Us to Help You – CalGunLaws is always looking for information on firearms law issues that may by of interest. If you have opinion letters, training bulletins, memoranda, court decisions or similar materials that might be of interest to others, we encourage you to share these with us, along with any ideas to make the CalGunLaws resources and references pages more valuable. Submit materials to-


Acknowledgments, Dedication and Disclaimer

I would first like to extend my gratitude to Tamara Rider, Sean Brady, Joe Silvoso, and Hillary Green. Tamara, without you this project would have come off the rails. Thank you for your dedication to this multiple-year endeavor. This book could not have been published without your commitment to seeing it finished. Sean and Joe, the breadth of your knowledge of state and federal firearm laws far exceeds your years. Without you this book would not be as detailed and specific as it is. Hillary, without your contributions this book would not be accessible to the wide audience it is intended to reach.

I also wish to thank all of the Michel & Associates, P.C. staffers and attorneys who work or worked for Michel & Associates, P.C., or have contributed to the firm’s body of firearms law knowledge and resources over the years. These contributors include Anna Barvir, Scott Franklin, Tom Maciejewski, Glenn McRoberts, Clint Monfort, Claudia Nuñez, Haydee Villegas-Aguilar, and many others.

I also owe a debt of gratitude to the firearm, constitutional, and other lawyers throughout the country who have mentored, counseled, employed, worked for, or worked with me over the years. These include Eric Archer, Jim Baker, Mark Barnes, Chris Chiafullo, Bruce Colodny, Chris Conte, Jason Davis, John Eastman, Eric Epstein, John Frazer, Steve Halbrook, David Hardy, Matthew Horeczko, Judge Eleanor Hunter, Burt Jacobson, Don Kates, Larry Keane, Don Kilmer, David Kopel, David Lehman, Judge J.D. Lord, John Machtinger, Pat O’Malley, Al Peacock, and Judge Jesse Rodriguez.

I am particularly grateful to civil rights activists and leaders George Barr, Tom Boyer, Clayton Cramer, Paul Dougherty, Jim Erdman, John Fields, Joel Friedman, Hayden Heal, Steve Helsley, Dwight Van Horn, Ed Hunt, John Lott, Tanya Metaksa, Tony Montanarella, Sam Parades, Paul Payne, Senator H.L. Richardson (ret.), Jerry Upholt, Gene Wolberg, and Ed Worley and for their support and insight over the years. And all the individual plaintiffs in the various lawsuits who volunteered to stand up for all of our self-defense civil rights deserve special thanks.

Activist and Bloomfield Press publisher Alan Korwin and Tiger Lilly Enterprises Publishing Consultant Penny Callmeyer also deserve special mention for their patience and help in making this book happen. Cooperation or information has been gratefully received from the California Department of Justice Firearms Bureau, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, officers with the Long Beach and Sacramento Police Departments, Redondo Beach City Attorney Mike Webb and the Redondo Beach City Attorney’s Office, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, and Turner’s Outdoorsman Vice President of Operations Bill Ortiz.

My wife Sydne and my sons Colton and Dawson have also been particularly patient with me as I worked the long hours finalizing this project. Last, but certainly not least, I thank my clients the National Rifle Association and the California Rifle and Pistol Association Foundation for the meaningful, challenging, and fulfilling legal work that those associations have allowed me to perform on behalf of NRA and CRPA members over the past almost twenty years and for the knowledge base that legal work created, much of which was put to use in writing this book.

To my father, Carl Robert Michel, a volunteer NRA Instructor who taught his three sons how to shoot. And to my mother, Joan Hancock Michel, who loved us enough to put up with it, and to occasionally plink a can off the back stoop with the Crosman 760 herself.

This book is not “the law,” and it is not a substitute for “the law.” “The law” includes all of the legal obligations imposed on you as a gun owner and involves a much greater volume of work and opinion than the coverage of firearm statutes and regulations contained in this book. No book can cover everything or replace a competent and experienced lawyer’s advice. This book is only a guide, designed to provide general information regarding California gun laws and to provide references to seek additional information. It is not intended to be a legal treatise or a summary of the entire body of law covering firearms.

I expressly disclaim any liability for errors or omissions that may be in this book. There are many legal and technical “gray area” questions about firearms law that have not been decided by the courts yet, and may never be. Although I do my best to identify the gray areas of which I am aware and provide my analysis and likely or possible interpretations as to how courts may decide certain issues, by no means should my analysis or interpretations be taken as the law. Despite my efforts in researching, collecting, organizing, writing, and preparing this book, I do not make any claims, promises, or guarantees about the absolute accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this book. The opinions of other attorneys, and particularly prosecuting attorneys or judges, may be different from mine.

Many people find laws hard to understand, and gathering all the relevant ones, let alone explaining them, is a lot of work. This book helps you with these chores. Again, while great care has been taken to accomplish this with a high degree of accuracy, no guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied, and the explanatory sections of this book are not to be considered legal advice or a restatement of law.

The exact language of the principal state laws controlling gun use in California are generally not reprinted verbatim in this book. Typically only edited pieces of laws are included here. The laws and other regulations are expressed in conversational terms for your convenience and cross-reference statutes or published court cases. In using plain English to explain the general meanings of the laws, differences inevitably arise, so you must always check the actual laws.

You are fully accountable under the exact words and current official interpretations of all applicable laws, regulations, court precedents, executive orders, and more when you deal with firearms under any circumstances. You are responsible for researching the applicable federal, state, and/or local law(s) applicable to your particular inquiry or circumstance, or for hiring an attorney to advise you on your particular question given your particular circumstances. For guidance on how to find a competent attorney, review the “How to Judge a Lawyer” memorandum published on my website

As the author, even though I am an attorney, I am not providing legal advice nor am I rendering other professional services. The use of this book does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send me or my law firm any confidential or sensitive information until you speak with one of my attorneys and obtain prior written authorization to send that information to my law office. Guidance on how to communicate with my office so that confidentiality can be preserved is available through my website. Communication of information by, in, to, or through this book and your receipt or use of it (1) is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on your specific matter. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon this book or its promotional materials.

For the most part, local ordinances, rules, regulations, and policies are not covered by this book. This book concerns the general gun laws as they apply to law-abiding private residents in the state of California only. Though this book touches on certain aspects of these topics, it is not intended to and does not describe most situations relating to licensed gun dealers; museums or educational institutions; local or federal military personnel; American Indians; hunting; foreign nationals; the police or other peace officers; other government employees summoned by a peace officer to help in the performance of official duties; people with special licenses, authorizations or permits; non-residents; bequests or intestate succession; persons under indictment; felons; prisoners; escapees; dangerous or repetitive offenders; criminal street gang members; incorrigible juvenile delinquents; or unsupervised juveniles.

While this book discusses possible criminal consequences of improper gun use, it avoids most issues related to deliberate gun crimes, particularly violent ones. This means certain laws are excluded or not explained in the text. Some examples are: 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder, homicide, manslaughter, gun theft, gunrunning, concealment of stolen firearms, enhanced penalties for commission of crimes with firearms (including armed robbery, burglary, theft, kidnapping, drug offenses, assault, and priors), smuggling firearms into public aircraft, threatening flight attendants with firearms, possession of contraband, possession of a firearm in a prison by a prisoner, false application for a firearm, shooting at a building as part of a criminal street gang, removal of a body after a shooting, drive-by shooting, and retaliation. This is only a partial list.

New laws and regulations may be enacted at any time by federal, state, and local authorities. The author and publisher make no representation that this book includes all requirements and prohibitions that may exist. Be aware that firearm laws are subject to change without notice. You are strongly urged to consult with a qualified attorney and local authorities to determine the current status and applicability of the law to specific situations you may encounter.

You are accepting this book, and the contents thereof, “as is” without any warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. All liability and/or resulting damages from this book’s use are disclaimed. Again, the author and publisher expressly disclaim any liability whatsoever arising out of reliance on information contained in this book. The Author and the Publisher Shall Not Be Liable for Any Direct, Indirect, Incidental, Special, Exemplary, or Consequential Damages However Caused and on Any Theory of Liability, Whether in Contract, Strict Liability, or Tort, Arising in Any Way out of the Use of this Book. Damages disclaimed include, but are not limited to, direct, indirect, incidental, compensatory, equitable, exemplary, special, and/or consequential damages, regardless of any cause of action by which the damages may arise.

Again, the information contained in this book is not a substitute for professional advice and does not constitute professional advice, nor is the information contained in this book conveyed or intended to be conveyed as professional advice. Under no circumstances shall you hold the author responsible for any acts you decide to take or not to take. Any decisions you make, and any subsequent consequences, are your own. If you need legal advice or other expert assistance, hire a lawyer familiar with firearms law.

Introduction To California Gun Laws

Abbreviations Used Throughout The Book

Numerous laws from various sources are discussed, quoted, or paraphrased throughout the book. Common firearm language is discussed as well. Important laws or language will be fully listed when discussed for the first time, but then will be subsequently abbreviated.

Below is a list of commonly used terms and their corresponding abbreviations that are consistently used throughout the book:


Armed Prohibited Persons System APPS
Assault Weapon Identification Guide AWIG
Assault Weapons Control Act AWCA
Attorney General AG
Automated Firearms System AFS
Bureau of Land Management BLM
Business and Professions Code Bus. & Prof. Code
California Civil Code Cal. Civ. Code
California Code of Civil Procedure C.C.P.
California Code of Regulations Cal. Code Regs.
California Department of Justice Cal. DOJ
California Elections Code Cal. Elections Code
California Government Code Cal. Gov’t Code
California Health and Safety Code Cal. Health & Saf.Code
California Law Revision Commission CLRC
California Rifle and Pistol Association CRPA
California Welfare and Institutions Code W.I.C.
Carry Concealed Weapon CCW
Certificate of Eligibility COE
Code of Federal Regulations C.F.R.
Code of Public Resources C. Pub. Res.
Dangerous Weapons Control Act DWCA
Dealers Record of Sale DROS
Department of Justice DOJ
Entertainment Firearms Permit EFP
Environmental Protection Agency E.P.A.
Exclusive Economic Zone EEZ
Family Code Fam. Code
Federal Aviation Administration FAA
Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI
Federal Firearms Licensee FFL
Firearm Owner’s Protection Act FOPA
Gun Control Act GCA
Handgun Safety Certificate HSC
Immigration and Nationality Act INA
Law Enforcement Gun Release LEGR
Law Enforcement Gun Release – Firearms Eligibility Clearance Letter LEGR Letter
Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act LEOSA
Locked Loaded and Concealed Carry LUCC
Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence MCDV
National Firearms Act NFA
National Instant Criminal Background Check System NICS
National Rifle Association NRA
National Shooting Sports Foundation NSSF
Penal Code P.C.
Personal Firearms Eligibility Check Application PFEC
Private Party Transfer PPT
Qualified Law Enforcement Officer QLEO
Qualified Retired Law Enforcement Officer QRLEO
Transportation Security Administration TSA
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS
United States U.S.
United States Code U.S.C.


CHAPTER 1: The California Regulatory Environment


Penal Code Reorganization Reference Materials and Tools
These cross-reference charts help sort out the changes in California firearm laws that resulted from the 2012 reorganization.

Michel & Associates’ Searchable and Sortable Cross Reference Chart
California Law Revision Commission Nonsubstantive Reorganization of Deadly Weapons Statutes: Disposition Table
California Law Revision Commission Nonsubstantive Reorganization of Deadly Weapons Statutes: Reverse Disposition Table
District Attorney Version of Deadly Weapons Statutes Disposition Table with Common Names
LASD Weapons Arrest Sections Within the Revised Penal Code

Promotional And Advisory Materials
Order Civil Rights Advisory Cards, Stickers, Magnets and Other Free Stuff!
Printable Flier – Please Help Warn Gun Owners About Gun Show Stings!
Order LEOSA Advisory Cards for Law Enforcement Only!

Memorandums Of Law
[Coming Soon]

CHAPTER 2: What is Legally Considered A Firearm and Ammunition ?

CHAPTER 3: Who Can Own and Possess Fireams and Ammunition

Seventh Circuit Court On Constructive Possession
How to Apply For A Pardon
Application for Executive Clemency

CHAPTER 4: How To Obtain Firearms and Ammunicatin

3D Printing of Firearms: Federal and California Law


CHAPTER 6 :Firearm Carry Restriction Exceptions and Transporting Firearms


[Coming Soon]

CHAPTER 7: Places Where firearm Possession is Prohibited and Firearm Use is Restricted

CHAPTER 8: Regulation of Assault Weapons and 50 bmg Rifles




Legal Memoranda
Assault Weapons and .50 BMG Law Overview

Law Enforcement Bulletins
Bullet Button Determination by Sacramento Police Department
Bullet Button Determination by Orange County Sheriffs’ Department

Court Decisions and Precedent
Harrot v. County of Kings
In re Jorge M.
Kasler v. Lockyer
P v. James
Nguyen Decision Memorandum
Request for Depublication Letter

CHAPTER 9: Other Heavily Regulated Firearm Devices



CHAPTER 10: Losing Your Firearm and Getting Them Back


Protect Yourself! California’s Politicized Gun Confiscation Program Threatens Uninformed Gun Owners!

CHAPTER 11: Self Defense and Use of Force

APPENDIX A: Assault Weapons Listed By Name and Category

Combined Listing of Category 1 and Category 2 “Assault Weapons”
Italicized models are Category 1 “assault weapons” and were required to be registered on or before March 31, 1992. Non-italicized models are Category 2 “assault weapons” and were required to be registered with the Department of Justice on or before January 23, 2001. Category 3 “assault
weapons” are not included in this listing.