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Guide To Laws About Weapons In Los Angeles

by Shirley Tirado
Guide To Laws About Weapons In Los Angeles

The government cannot unnecessarily restrict gun ownership or use it for lawful purposes (like self-defense). Gun ownership is not an absolute right, and the government can impose certain restrictions, as it does with most rights.

There are several strong gun control laws in California and Los Angeles, which we list here. Gun laws in California are getting stricter due to the unfortunate frequency of mass shootings, especially school shootings.

Who Can Or Cannot Possess a Firearm?

Generally, you are forbidden from owning or possessing a gun if you:

  • Have any domestic violence-related crime or felony conviction
  • You are on the run from the law
  • Use drugs illegally or are addicted to them
  • Have been placed in a mental institution or determined to be mentally ill by a court
  • are neither a citizen nor a permanent resident (except in some circumstances)
  • Served in the military but were dishonorably discharged
  • have renounced your citizenship in the United States
  • Have a restraining order issued against you by an intimate partner or their children

Gun ownership is illegal in California if:

  • You are younger than 21
  • A serious domestic violence charge has been brought against you
  • Mental health issues have led to your hospitalization twice in the past year

A conviction for certain misdemeanors or a hate crime within ten years of the conviction prevents you from owning or possessing a firearm.


  • A permit from the Board of Police Commissioners is required to carry or fire a firearm within LA.
  • Renewal of permits is required every year.
  • There is a 30-day limit on the number of handguns you can purchase.
  • It is illegal to carry a firearm in Los Angeles public parks.
  • A concealed gun permit is required in order to carry a concealed weapon. It takes at least eight hours of training to obtain such a permit.

Long Guns

A long gun will automatically be registered to the individual who receives it if it is transferred through a dealer.

In non-dealer transactions, the California Department of Justice requires the recipient to register the long gun.

Assault Weapons

It is illegal to possess such weapons. The possession, manufacture, sale, purchase, or giving away of a large-capacity or high-capacity magazine is illegal.

Other Rules For Firearms

“Universal background checks” are required in California for any type of sale or transfer of firearms.

The law in California prohibits you from keeping loaded firearms on any premises that you control when you know or should be aware that there is a child (under 18) who may gain access to the firearm without the parent’s permission or if he or she takes it to a public or prohibited space, damage themselves, or another person with the weapon. As such, it is referred to as “criminal storage of firearms.”

Firearms in locked containers or equipped with locking devices that render them inoperable are not subject to this prohibition.

The 1911 handgun is an American icon with a long and distinguished history. Learn more about  America’s love affair with this legendary weapon in our brief overview of the history of the 1911 Pistol.

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