Legal Information: California

State Gun Laws

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Updated: 
January 2, 2017

If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?

Depending on the crime, the abuser may not be able to legally have a gun.  California state law prohibits the following criminals from having a gun in their possession:


  • Any person who has been convicted of a felony;*
  • Anyone who has been convicted of any offense involving the violent use of a firearm;**
  • Anyone who has been convicted of certain misdemeanors (including violation of a protective order) cannot have a gun within 10 years of the conviction.***

If the abuser was convicted of a misdemeanor other than the one mentioned above, you might be able to get help from a local legal organization to find out if this conviction means s/he cannot own a gun under this statute.  See CA Finding a Lawyer for resources.  You might also be able to find out this information from the police.


* Cal. Penal Code § 12021(a)(1)

** Cal. Penal Code § 12021(a)(2)-(b)

*** Cal. Penal Code § 12021(c)(1)