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The Bureau of Firearms serves the people of California through education, regulation, and enforcement actions regarding the manufacture, sales, ownership, safety training, and transfer of firearms. Bureau of Firearms staff will be leaders in providing firearms expertise and information to law enforcement, legislators, and the general public in a comprehensive program to promote legitimate and responsible firearms possession and use by California residents.
Please be aware that Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms staff is prohibited by law from discussing an applicant’s criminal record or mental health information over the telephone. Staff also cannot provide legal advice or offer information relating to the various legal steps needed to restore firearms rights. (California Penal Code section 11105 and Welfare and Institutions Code section 8103, subdivision (e)(3).)
DELAYED – A DROS application can be delayed for many reasons. Most often it is because the background check found a record matching your personal descriptors (such as your name, date of birth, etc.) and more time is needed to verify that the record is yours and to obtain missing information needed to determine your eligibility to own or possess firearms.
Please be patient and allow the Department enough time to gather additional information and resolve any issues. Many county courthouses are operating on shortened work weeks and with fewer staff, delaying the approval or denial of applications. If the record is an out-of-state or military record, you should anticipate a longer response time from our office to get the needed information.
If you know you have a criminal or mental health record on file with DOJ, you can obtain a copy of your record by completing the Request for Live Scan Service (BCIA/BOF 8016) format: http://oag.ca.gov/firearms/forms. You should review the record, identify any incomplete or missing court information, and then follow up with the court where your case was held and request the court submit corrected information to the DOJ's Bureau of Criminal Information and Analysis (BCIA). If you disagree with any information in your record, you should follow the instructions in the letter for disputing inaccuracies. You may wish to obtain an attorney for legal advice and who can best represent your interests on how to restore your rights to buy firearms.
REJECTED – There are two common reasons why a DROS application may be rejected: (1) you attempted to purchase more than one handgun in a 30-day period (California Penal Code section 27540, subdivision (f)); or, (2) you attempted to purchase a firearm with an invalid, suspended, revoked, or expired California Driver’s License or California Identification Card (California Penal Code section 16400).
In the case of a 30-day handgun purchase restriction, you cannot attempt to buy more than one handgun in a 30-day period. If one of your transactions was a private party transfer or pawn redemption, you need to check with the dealer to make sure the correct transaction type was selected when the transaction was submitted to DOJ.
In the case of a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) rejection, your application was rejected based on information provided to us by the California DMV. You must contact the DMV to make sure your California Driver’s License or California Identification Card information is up-to-date and correct.
DENIED – If your DROS application is denied, you will receive a letter from the DOJ Bureau of Firearms within two weeks. The letter will explain the reason and instructions on how to get a copy of the record that resulted in the denial of your application. There will also be instructions on how to dispute and correct information in your record you believe is wrong. DOJ staff cannot discuss your record over the telephone. Therefore, it is recommended that you get a copy of your record and follow the instructions for disputing inaccuracies. You may also wish to retain an attorney for legal advice and who can best represent your interests on how to restore your rights to buy firearms.
If your DROS application was denied based on a Federal Brady prohibition (e.g., out-of-state conviction, illegal/unlawful alien, military dishonorable discharge, out-of-state mental health record, etc.), you can appeal the denial of your application directly to the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Instant Criminal History Background Check System (NICS). When discussing your situation with NICS, you must include the NICS Transaction Number (NTN) associated with your firearm purchase as referenced in the denial letter sent to you by the DOJ Bureau of Firearms. You can appeal directly to NICS by downloading the NICS appeal brochure and following the instructions found at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/appeals/nics_appeals_brochure_eng