California law places some restrictions on bulk firearm purchases.
Currently, California law generally prohibits people from purchasing more than one handgun from a licensed dealer per month,1 and accordingly, restricts dealers from selling a handgun to a buyer if they are notified by the California Department of Justice that the buyer has already applied to acquire another handgun from a dealer within the preceding 30-day period.2
Effective July 1, 2021, state law will extend this bulk purchase limit to include the purchase from a dealer of either handguns or semiautomatic centerfire rifles.3 Dealers will be prevented from selling either type of firearm if they are notified that the buyer has already applied to acquire a handgun or semiautomatic centerfire rifle from a dealer within the preceding 30 days.
However, these restrictions do not (and will not) apply to firearm transfers between unlicensed parties (individuals without a firearm dealer license), even when those transactions are processed through a licensed dealer.4
Firearms dealers are required to post a notification on their premises, in block letters at least one inch in height, that notifies potential purchasers of these bulk purchase restrictions.5
See our Bulk Gun Purchases policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Cal. Penal Code § 27535.
- Cal. Penal Code § 27540(f).
- See 2019 CA SB 61.
- Cal. Penal Code § 27535. There are a number of other exceptions to these restrictions laid out in this section, including, but not limited to, exceptions for law enforcement agencies, private security companies, licensed collectors, and for the replacement of a lost or stolen firearm. Id.
- Cal. Penal Code § 26835(g).