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Overall, California has the strongest gun safety laws in the nation and has been a trailblazer for gun safety reform for the past 30 years.

California has been the first state in the nation to adopt a number of gun safety reforms, ranging from assault weapons restrictions and strong background check requirements to extreme risk protection orders and domestic violence protections. In 2021, California had the eighth-lowest gun death rate among the nation’s 50 states. California also supplied crime guns to other states at the fourth-lowest rate among the states. California imported crime guns at nearly eight times the rate it exported crime guns to other states.

What California Does Well

  • Universal background checks
  • Strong eligibility standards for firearms
  • Extreme risk protection orders
  • Domestic violence gun laws
  • Firearm relinquishment requirements
  • Assault weapon and magazine restrictions
  • Waiting periods
  • Minimum age laws
  • Public carry laws
  • Gun Industry Liability and Responsibility Laws
  • Safe storage laws
  • Community violence intervention funding
  • Ghost gun reforms
  • Gun dealer regulation
  • Local authority to regulate firearms
  • State firearm sale records retention
  • Gun violence research funding
  • Ammunition Regulation



Local communities in California have enacted some of the strongest and most innovative gun safety policies in the nation. Our report, Communities on the Move: Local Gun Safety Legislation in California, highlights the gun safety achievements of municipalities in the Golden State.

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We’re in this together. To build a safer America—one where children and parents in every neighborhood can learn, play, work, and worship without fear of gun violence—we need you standing beside us in this fight.