Sections 12070 and 12071 of the California Penal Code prohibit the sale, lease or transfer of firearms without the valid license to do so. The imposable penalty would be six (6) months in a county prison facility and payment of a maximum fine of $1,000 for every firearm sold, leased or transferred.

Sec 12070 of the California Penal Code states that no person shall sell, lease or transfer firearms unless he or she has been issued a license pursuant to Sec 12071 PC. The following are the definitions applicable under this law:

• A firearm is any device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion;
• The following individuals are exempt from the application of this law:
o Persons obeying a court order or those under the direction of a civil judgment, criminal conviction or probate matter;
o The infrequent sale, lease or transfer of firearms. Infrequent being defined as less than six (6) handgun transactions per calendar year;
o Gun show traders;
o Those holding federally issued firearm sales licenses that are not residents of California;
o Transactions made by wholesalers to dealers and transactions involving unloaded firearms between wholesalers;
o Loans of unloaded firearm/s that are loaded with blank cartridges for use in the entertainment industry;
o Transactions to and from a gunsmith for service or repair;
o People with special permits authorizing them to engage in specific transactions using short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, machineguns and assault weapons.

Unlike many other states, the State of California requires that all transactions involving firearms must be completed through a licensed dealer. Sec 12071 provides the requisite for valid transactions of firearms:

• A validly obtained and issued firearms license;
• A regulatory or business license required by local government;
• A valid seller’s permit issued by the State Board of Equalization;
• A certificate of eligibility issued by the Department of Justice;
• A local license valid for one (1) year issued by the authorized licensing authority in one of the following forms:
o Form prescribed by the California Attorney General;
o Regulatory or business license stating that “valid for retail sales of firearms” duly endorsed by the proper licensing agency;
o A letter by the proper licensing agency providing that the jurisdiction does not require a license to sell firearms and/or does not restrict or regulate firearms sales;
• A listing on the centralized list of firearms dealers of the Department of Justice;

The crime of unlicensed sale of firearms is a serious matter in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.