California: Hardest State for Law-Abiding Citizens to Buy a Gun

A listing of the most difficult states for law-abiding citizens to acquire firearms shows California as the most difficult of all. The listing, compiled by 24/7 Wall St, shows that law-abiding citizens in California have to go through a universal background check for any gun purchase — whether private, retail, or at a gun show. These checks require the “dealer…[to] submit an application to the Department of Justice in order to determine whether the buyer meets the state’s stringent background check criteria.” Law-abiding gun buyers are required to have a Handgun Safety Certificate before purchasing handguns. And the California Department of Justice webpage explains that “purchasers of handguns must provide proof of California residency, such as a utility bill, residential lease, property deed, or government-issued identification (other than a drivers license or other DMV-issued identification).” California requires a 10-day waiting period on all gun purchases. On July 1, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation expanding universal background checks to include ammunition purchases as well, and expanding the state’s “assault weapons” ban. He also signed a ban on the possession of “high capacity” magazines. These laws make the path for a acquiring a firearm very circuitous for law-abiding citizens, while criminals bypass the controls and acquire their guns through personal connections far from the watchful eye of law enforcement.

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