New residents must report firearms
New Ca. residents must report their ownership of firearms to the DOJ or sell or transfer them in accordance with Ca. law, within 60 days of bringing the firearm into the state. Persons who want to keep their firearms must submit a New Resident Firearm Ownership Report (BOF 4010A), along with a $19 fee, to the DOJ. Forms are available at licensed firearms dealers, the Department of Motor Vehicles or on-line at the DOJ website at http://oag .ca .gov/firearms/forms. Forms may also be completed and submitted electronically via the internet at https://CFARS. doj .ca .gov (Pen. Code, § 2756.)
Long guns may be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, as well as most private parcel delivery services or common carriers. Handguns may not be sent through the U.S. Postal Service. A common or contract carrier must be used for shipment of handguns. However, pursuant to federal law, non-licensees may ship handguns only to persons who hold a valid Federal Firearms License (FFL).
Both in-state and out-of-state FFL holders are required to obtain approval (e. g., a unique verification number) from the California DOJ prior to shipping firearms to any California FFL. (Pen. Code, § 2755.)
Federal and state laws generally prohibit a person from carrying any firearm or ammunition aboard any commercial passenger airplane. Similar restrictions may apply to other common carriers such as trains, ships and buses. Persons who need to carry firearms or ammunition on a common carrier should always consult the carrier in advance to determine conditions under which firearms may be transported.
Unless otherwise unlawful, any person over the age of 18 who is not prohibited from possessing firearms may have a loaded or unloaded firearm at his or her place of residence, temporary residence, campsite or on private property owned or lawfully possessed by the person. Any person engaged in lawful business (including nonprofit organizations) or any officer, employee or agent authorized for lawful purposes connected with the business may have a loaded firearm within the place of business if that person is over 18 years of age and not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms. (Pen. Code, §§ 25605, 2603.)
NOTE: If a person’s place of business, residence, temporary residence, campsite or private property is located within an area where possession of a firearm is prohibited by local or federal laws, such laws would prevail.
California Penal Code section 25400 does not prohibit a citizen of the United States over 18 years of age who is in lawful possession of a handgun and who resides or is temporarily in Ca., from transporting the handgun by motor vehicle provided it is unloaded and stored in a locked container. (Pen. Code, § 25610.)
The term "locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment. (Pen. Code, § 1685.)
Rifles and shotguns
Non-concealable firearms (rifles and shotguns) are not generally covered within the provisions of California Penal Code section 25400 and therefore are not required to be transported in a locked container. However, as with any firearm, non-concealable firearms must be unloaded while they are being transported. A rifle or shotgun that is defined as an assault weapon pursuant to Penal Code section 30510 or 30515 must be transported in accordance with Penal Code section 25610.
Registered assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles
Registered assault weapons and registered .50 BMG rifles may be transported only between specified locations and must be unloaded and in a locked container when transported. (Pen. Code, § 30945, subd. (g).)
The term "locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment. (Pen. Code, § 16850.)
The question of whether the use of lethal force is justified in self-defense cannot be reduced to a simple list of factors. This section is based on the instructions generally given to the jury in a criminal case where self-defense is claimed and illustrates the general rules regarding the use of lethal force in self-defense.
Permissible use of lethal force in defense of life and body
The killing of one person by another may be justifiable when necessary to resist the attempt to commit a forcible and life-threatening crime, provided that a reasonable person in the same or similar situation would believe that (a) the person killed intended to commit a forcible and life-threatening crime; (b) there was imminent danger of such crime being accomplished and (c) the person acted under the belief that such force was necessary to save himself or herself or another from death or a forcible and life-threatening crime . Murder, mayhem, rape and robbery are examples of forcible and life-threatening crime . (Pen. Code, § 197.)
Self-defense against assault
It is lawful for a person being assaulted to defend themselves from attack if he or she has reasonable grounds for believing and does in fact believe, that he or she will suffer bodily injury. In doing so, he or she may use such force, up to deadly force, as a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would believe necessary to prevent great bodily injury or death. An assault with fists does not justify use of a deadly weapon in self-defense unless the person being assaulted believes, and a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would also believe, that the assault is likely to inflict great bodily injury.
It is lawful for a person who has grounds for believing, and does in fact believe, that great bodily injury is about to be inflicted upon another to protect the victim from attack. In so doing, the person may use such force as reasonably necessary to prevent the injury. Deadly force is only considered reasonable to prevent great bodily injury or death.
NOTE: The use of excessive force to counter an assault may result in civil or criminal penalties.
Limitations on the use of force in self-defense
The right of self-defense ceases when there is no further danger from an assailant. Thus, where a person attacked under circumstances initially justifying self-defense renders the attacker incapable of inflicting further injuries, the law of self-defense ceases and no further force may be used. Furthermore, a person may only use the amount of force, up to deadly force, as a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would believe necessary to prevent imminent injury. It is important to note the use of excessive force to counter an assault may result in civil or criminal penalties.
The right of self-defense is not initially available to a person who assaults another. However, if such a person attempts to stop further combat and clearly informs the adversary of his or her desire for peace but the opponent nevertheless continues the fight, the right of self-defense returns and is the same as the right of any other person being assaulted.
Protecting one’s home
A person may defend his or her home against anyone who attempts to enter in a violent manner intending violence to any person in the home. The amount of force that may be used in resisting such entry is limited to that which would appear necessary to a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances to resist the violent entry. One is not bound to retreat, even though a retreat might safely be made. One may resist force with force, increasing it in proportion to the intruder's persistence and violence, if the circumstances apparent to the occupant would cause a reasonable person in the same or similar situation to fear for his or her safety.
The occupant may use a firearm when resisting the intruder's attempt to commit a forcible and life-threatening crime against anyone in the home provided that a reasonable person in the same or similar situation would believe that (a) the intruder intends to commit a forcible and life-threatening crime; (b) there is imminent danger of such crime being accomplished; and (c) the occupant acts under the belief that use of a firearm is necessary to save himself or herself or another from death or great bodily injury . Murder, mayhem, rape, and robbery are examples of forcible and life-threatening crimes.
Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to self, family or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry had occurred . Great bodily injury means a significant or substantial physical injury. (Pen. Code, § 198.5.)
NOTE: If the presumption is rebutted by contrary evidence, the occupant may be criminally liable for an unlawful assault or homicide.
Defense of property
The lawful occupant of real property has the right to request a trespasser to leave the premises. If the trespasser does not do so within a reasonable time, the occupant may use force to eject the trespasser. The amount of force that may be used to eject a trespasser is limited to that which a reasonable person would believe to be necessary under the same or similar circumstances.