Bureau of Firearms

Additional Documentation Requirements for Eligibility Checks with Federal Non-Compliant California Driver License or Identification Cards

Effective July 1, 2019, new regulations will be in effect that apply to all eligibility checks. A copy of the applicant’s California driver license, identification card, or out-of-state driver license, if applicable, shall be submitted with the application/report, as specified pursuant to California Code of Regulations, title 11, section 4045.1, subdivisions (d)-(g). If the applicant presents a federal non-compliant California driver license or identification card with the notation "Federal Limits Apply” on the front, additional documentation establishing lawful presence in the United States will also be required (Cal. Code Reg., tit. 11, § 4045.1, subd. (b-c)).

For more information, please refer to the Additional Documentation Requirements for Eligibility Checks with Federal Non-Compliant California Driver License or Identification Cards, pdf.

Ammunition Purchase Authorization Program

Effective July 1, 2019, persons seeking to purchase or transfer ammunition will have to undergo an eligibility check, and be approved by the Department, prior to the sale or transfer, except as otherwise specified. Departmental approval shall occur electronically through a licensed ammunition vendor.

For more information please visit the Ammunition Purchase Authorization Program webpage

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Welcome to the California DOJ Bureau of Firearms

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.

DROS Processing Advisory

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).)

What you should do

If your DROS application is Delayed, Undetermined, Rejected, or Denied

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. The Department will notify the firearms dealer to delay the transfer of a firearm to a purchaser if the Department is unable to determine the purchaser’s eligibility within the 10-day waiting period. 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 30 days has passed since the transaction date and the Department is still unable to determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own/possess firearms or whether the firearm involved in the sale/transfer is stolen, the Department will notify the dealer.

If you believe there is a discrepancy in your eligibility to own/possess firearms, you can obtain a copy of your California record by completing the Request for Live Scan (BOF 8016RR) form located on the Department’s website: 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.

Undetermined

The California Department of Justice (the Department) is authorized by Penal Code section 28220 to temporarily delay a firearm transaction for up to 30 days from the date of transaction when the Department is unable to immediately determine the purchaser's eligibility to own/possess firearms. If 30 days has passed since the transaction date and the Department is still unable to determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own/possess firearms or whether the firearm involved in the sale/transfer is stolen, the Department will notify the dealer. It will then be at the dealer’s sole discretion whether to release to you the firearm.

If you believe there is a discrepancy in your eligibility to own/possess firearms, you can obtain a copy of your California record by completing the Request for Live Scan (BOF 8016RR) form located on the Department’s website: 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 NICS Appeals page.

General Information

Assault Weapons, Olympic Pistols, and Destructive Devices

Handgun and Laboratory Certification

Safety Devices, Laboratory Certification, and Gun Safe Standards

Firearms Dealer Information and Tools

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