Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Can you loan a gun to someone in California?

Laws regarding the purchase of firearms are restrictive, but many people don't realize that loaning guns is also restricted by law. Generally speaking, if you want to loan a weapon to someone you don't know, you have to go through a licensed firearms dealer, the same way you do when you buy.

There are exceptions to this, though, as laid out in Assembly Bill No. 1511, which was approved by the Governor in July of 2016.

You can loan a gun to someone without going through a dealer if the person is your sibling, child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, registered domestic partner, or spouse. Essentially, if the person is one of your family members, you don't have to jump through any hoops to loan the gun.

That being said, the loan still has to be considered infrequent. The state does not want someone "loaning" a gun on a permanent basis. If it happens occasionally to go hunting or to the shooting range, that's not a problem.

On top of that, the loan can't last for more than a month -- technically, for more than 30 days. Again, this is to keep a gun from being given to someone else without a valid transfer, only to have each party say it was just a loan later on. Short-term loans for lawful purposes are acceptable.

It's incredibly important to understand all gun laws in California, as simply assuming that something is legal -- like loaning a gun to someone for longer than 30 days -- could still get you in legal trouble. When this happens, you need to know what legal defense options you have, especially when there was never any malicious intent.

Source: California Legislative Information, "Assembly Bill No. 1511," accessed May 12, 2017

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