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California Penal Code Section 27555 prohibits all Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), other than Type 03 or 06 FFLs, from shipping firearms to a FFL in California unless, prior to delivery, the FFL intending to deliver, sell or transfer the firearms obtains a verification approval number from the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms. This includes transfers that occur at gun shows.
The CFLC system validates a California FFL’s active status against the California Centralized List. CFLC will generate a Firearms Shipment Approval letter including the verification approval number, if the intended California FFL recipient of the firearm shipment is properly licensed and listed in the state’s database. If the intended CA FFL recipient is not listed in the state's database, the transaction will result in a Do Not Ship letter, and it is a crime for the intended recipient to receive the firearms (Penal Code Section 28465).
As a courtesy to impacted FFLs, the Bureau of Firearms has established an Internet application that is available to FFLs nationwide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7) to obtain Firearms Shipment Approval letters. All Internet transactions will be handled on a secure server, and the information provided will be used solely for the purposes associated with the administration of the CFLC program. For FFLs that do not have Internet access, the Bureau has established a telephone service that allows nationwide FFL shippers to enroll and obtain Firearms Shipment Approval letters via telephone (916) 210-2750, fax (916) 227-1032, or by email at email@example.com prior to shipping firearms to a California FFL. However, the telephone service availability will be limited to Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.
For additional information regarding this program, please refer to the CFLC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
You must have a valid FFL number to enroll in CFLC. Enrollment is a one-time process. There are a few ways to submit your enrollment form to the Bureau of Firearms.
To enroll using the online CFLC system, use the link on the CFLC home page indicating "Not yet enrolled in CFLC?". After completing the CFLC enrollment process, you will be able to log into the CFLC system to obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval letter. Also an enrollment acknowledgement email message containing your CFLC Logon ID and Password will be sent to the email address entered on the enrollment screen. A CFLC Internet Enrollee User Manual is available for information on how to use the CFLC system.
To enroll by mail, fax, or by email complete the California Firearms Licensee Check Enrollment Application, pdf and return to:
Once your application is processed, you will receive an enrollment confirmation letter.
To obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval letter 24 hours a day from the CFLC Internet application, Logon to CFLC. You will need the CFLC Logon ID and Password you received during the Internet or mail, fax, or email enrollment process. You will also need the five digit Centralized List number of the CA FFL to whom you intend to ship firearms.
You can also request a Firearms Shipment Approval letter by calling the Bureau of Firearms at (916) 210-2750 or by mailing, faxing, or emailing a CFLC Firearms Shipment Approval Letter Request Form (BOF 08-300) to the Bureau of Firearms. However, you must have enrolled in CFLC prior to submitting a Firearms Shipment Approval Letter Request Form.
Firearms Shipment Approval letter requests received via phone, fax, mail or email will be processed Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. After processing your request, the Bureau of Firearms will fax or email you a Firearms Shipment Approval letter containing the verification approval number.
California FFL holders (other than Type 03 or 06) must enroll in the California Firearms Licensee Check (CFLC) Program to ship firearms to another California FFL. They must also be listed on the California Centralized List as either a Firearms Dealer, Manufacturer, or California Exempt FFL. Once enrolled in CFLC, California FFLs will be able to obtain Firearms Shipment Approval letters to ship firearms to other FFL holders within the state.
A California FFL must provide a FFL shipper with his or her five digit Centralized List number so that the shipper can obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval letter from the Bureau of Firearms.