California gun laws are considered the most restrictive of any U.S. state, maybe only compared to New York Laws. California is a “May Issue” state which means the local sheriff has the final say in who is issued a permit. This can range from “shall Issue” in rural counties to no issue in mostly urban counties. Restrictions can be placed on a permit limiting where it can be used. Law enforcement varies with urban counties strictly enforcing all firearms laws and rural counties tending to be more lenient. California law also requires all guns to be registered.
California Gun Laws Quick Facts
|Open Carry Permitted?||No|
|Carry In Vehicle?||Yes|
|Carry In State Park?||Yes|
|Carry In Restaurants?||Yes|
|No Weapon Sign Enforced?||No|
|Must Notify Officer?||Yes|
California CCW Reciprocity List
States Honoring CCW
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
States NOT Honoring CCW
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Honors These States CCW Permits
California does not honor any other states CCW permit.
How Reciprocity Works In California
California will not honor any other states concealed carry permit. There are 24 states that will accept a California permit.
Reciprocity Agreements In California
California: Where Is CCW Allowed?
- State parks
- State and national forests
- Road side rest areas
- All areas of the state not listed as Off-Limits
Places Not Allowed
- School grounds, colleges and universities
- Child care facility
- Courthouse or Court room
- Public buildings or meetings
- Social rehabilitation facility
- Gun show or event if you have ammunition that fits firearm
- State Capitol, any legislative office, any office of the Governor or other constitutional officer, or any hearing room in which any committee of the Senate or Assembly is conducting a hearing, or upon the grounds of the State Capitol, which is bounded by 10th, L, 15th, and N Streets in the City of Sacramento.
State wildlife management areas
- Polling station – this includes any person, uniformed peace officer, private guard, or security personnel or any person who is wearing a uniform of a peace officer, guard, or security personnel, who is stationed in the immediate vicinity of, or posted at, a polling place without written authorization.
- Demonstrations related to refusal to work
- While masked to conceal your identity.
- Any place that serves alcohol for consumption
- Cal Expo center in Sacramento
- You may not carry a firearm if you are consuming alcohol
- You may not display a concealed firearm
- You cannot carry a concealed weapon not listed on the permit.
- You cannot carry a concealed weapon at times or circumstances other than those specified in the permit
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.
California: Conceal Carry Laws
Open carry is not legal anywhere in California.
Carry In Vehicle
If you don’t have a permit, and you’re 18 or older and reside in California you can carry a handgun in a vehicle so long as the handgun is stored in a locked container outside the glove compartment and is unloaded. If you’re carrying the handgun it must be in a locked container. If you have a CCW permit than you’re legally allowed to carry in a vehicle without following the above. The Law Penal Code 16850
Carry In State Parks
You can carry in parks, however it is illegal to carry in the buildings of state parks. State Parks: YES State/National Forests: YES State Game Management Units: NO – Fish & Game code 10500 Road Side Rest Areas: YES
Carry In Restaurants
You can carry in restaurants which do NOT serve alcohol.
California does not allow for Constitutional Carry.
No Weapon Signs Enforced
In California, “No Weapons” sign do not have the weight of the law behind them.
Must Notify Officer
You must notify law enforcement of your possession of a handgun if you’re approached on official business.