The Quick Guide to Selling a Gun in California

California stands out among states with its extensive regulations and restrictions on firearm ownership, setting a high standard for compliance when selling a gun. Negotiating firearm transactions in the Golden State presents unique challenges owing to its rigorous state laws and regulations. Whether you’re embarking on your journey as a new firearm owner or you’re well-versed in the realm of guns, grasping the intricate legal stipulations and protocols for selling a firearm in California is paramount to uphold both legality and safety. This compact guide offers a succinct rundown of the fundamental components entailed in purchasing, selling, and possessing firearms in California.

Understanding California Gun Laws

Selling Guns in California: in California, sellers have various avenues to lawfully transfer firearms. One option involves selling to a licensed dealer, guaranteeing compliance with California’s stringent gun laws, albeit possibly leading to diminished sale prices. Another route is through private transactions between individuals, permissible under state law; however, sellers must exercise caution to avoid penalties for illegal sales and all private party transactions must be conducted in person through a licensed California Federal Firearms Licesnsee (i.e. FFL dealer). Surrendering firearms to law enforcement is a legitimate disposal method in California, but it may entail a considerable loss of value for the seller.

Buying Firearms in California: Whether purchasing from a private party or a licensed dealer, every gun transfer requires completing ATF Form 4473 and a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check. California State fees for firearm purchases include a DROS fee, Firearms Safety Act Fee, and Safety and Enforcement Fee. For private party transfers, dealers may charge an additional fee.

Restrictions on Ownership:

  • Buyers must be at least 18 years old for rifles, shotguns, and ammunition, and 21 for handguns.
  • Various exemptions apply, including those for hunters, active peace officers, and military personnel.
  • Clear evidence of identity and age, as well as proof of California residency, are required for purchases.

Certificate of Eligibility (COE):

  • A COE verifies eligibility to acquire or possess firearms, required for various firearm-related activities.
  • COE applications must be filed electronically through the California Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS).


  • Prohibitions on firearm ownership include convictions for certain misdemeanors or felonies, addiction to narcotics, mental health conditions, and restraining orders.
  • Federal disqualification categories include felony convictions, warrants, and unlawful use of controlled substances.

It’s essential for both buyers and sellers in California to grasp the state’s firearm laws. By following these laws correctly, individuals can ensure their transactions are legal and hassle-free. This not only promotes safety but also encourages responsible firearm ownership. Understanding and adhering to these regulations play a vital role in maintaining a safe and law-abiding community. For more detailed information visit our comprehensive guide to California gun laws by clicking here.

Ready to sell?
Click here to get the selling process started!
Get Started

Selling to Dunlap Gun Buyers

For sellers seeking a convenient and profitable selling experience, Dunlap Gun Buyers offers an ideal solution:

  • Safe and Legal Process: Dunlap Gun Buyers operates with a Federal Firearms License, ensuring compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.
  • Free Appraisal: Sellers receive a fair assessment of their firearms’ value, maximizing their potential earnings.
  • Free Shipping & Insurance Coverage: Dunlap Gun Buyers covers shipping expenses, making the selling process hassle-free for sellers.
  • Speedy Payment: Upon agreement on a price, sellers receive prompt payment for their firearms.
  • In-Person Sale Options: Dunlap Gun Buyers operates a location in the neighboring state of Nevada. If an in-person experience is desired, Californians can visit our Nevada location.


The information provided in this document is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Laws and regulations governing firearm sales vary by jurisdiction and may change over time.

Readers are strongly encouraged to consult with local authorities or legal experts to ensure compliance with current laws and regulations governing firearm sales in their area.

The author and publisher of this document disclaim any liability for any actions taken or not taken based on the information provided herein. It is the responsibility of the reader to verify the accuracy and applicability of any information provided in this document with local authorities.