Legal Information: California

State Gun Laws

Updated: 
June 18, 2018

The abuser uses a gun for his/her job. Do the state gun laws still apply?

Yes - generally, the laws banning guns for people convicted of felonies, certain misdemeanors, and people who have protective orders against them apply to everyone, even those who use guns for their jobs.1  However, under California state law, if the abuser is a peace officer and can show that the firearm is necessary for continued employment and that the employer is unable to reassign him/her to another position where a firearm is unnecessary, the judge can make an exception and allow him/her to use a gun during work hours even though you have an DVRO against him/her.2

Also, if s/he can prove that s/he needs to carry a gun for his/her personal safety due to his/her job as a peace officer, the judge can allow him/her to continue to carry a firearm (either on duty or off duty) if the judge believes that the officer does not pose a threat of harm.  Prior to making this decision, the judge has to order a psychological evaluation of the peace officer and may require the peace officer to enter into counseling or other treatment program to deal with his/her abusive behaviors.3

To find a domestic violence advocate in your area, please go to our CA Advocates and Shelters page.

1 Ann.Cal.Penal Code §12021(a)-(c)(1)
2 Ann.Cal.Penal Code §12021(c)(2)
3 Ann.Cal. Fam. Code §6389(h)