Gifting a pistol in california

I have been trying to gift my father a pistol for the better part of a year. I live in Nevada and my dad lives in california. I also have a brother in the military stationed in nebraska long term with a residency maintained in california. My dad has his eyes on a beretta apx a1, which happens to be off the CA roster so he can’t directly buy it himself.

So with some research I figured out my brother could purchace the pistol using his nebraska residency and gift it to our dad as a california resident too. This would negate the need to go through an FFL right?

I’m looking for a reality check here. Will this actually work or is there something im missing?




@Mark_Anthony Welcome to our community. :slightly_smiling_face:

For more info. Good luck.

California CA Concealed Carry Gun Laws | USCCA CCW Reciprocity Map(Last Updated 06/29/2022) (

Summary of California Gun Laws

California is now a shall-issue state since the Supreme Court’s ruling on the NYSRPA v Bruen on June 23rd, 2022. Licenses are issued by the county sheriff’s office or local police station.

Any resident of this state who has not previously reported ownership of a firearm or anyone moving into California with a firearm is considered a “personal firearm importer” and must provide a report to the DOJ regarding their firearm or sell or transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer or to a sheriff or police department. The California Department of Justice (DOJ) runs a background check and retains information about the purchaser and seller of all in-state firearms sales and transfers.

All firearms sales must be completed through a dealer. A permit to purchase, a background check and transaction report to the DOJ are required to buy a handgun. No person may sell, loan, or transfer a firearm to a minor, nor sell a handgun to an individual under 21 years of age. All ammunition purchases require a DOJ “point of sale” eligibility check with $1 paid by the consumer.

The open carry of firearms is governed in California by a set of laws that, at times, conflict with one another. Openly carrying loaded or unloaded firearms in public is generally prohibited in California. However, the sheriff of any county with a population under 200,000 people, or the chief of police of a city within that county, may issue licenses to carry a loaded, exposed handgun. Those licenses are only valid in the county where they are issued.

Concealed carry is only legal with a California Concealed Carry Weapons License (CCW). The minimum age is 18 years old, although a licensing authority has the discretion to require applicants to be older than 18 years of age. A CCWL may include any reasonable restrictions or conditions which the issuing authority deems warranted, including restrictions as to the time, place, manner and circumstances under which the person may carry a firearm. Many areas are off-limits, including schools, courthouses and businesses that sell alcohol for consumption. As of January 1, 2019, concealed carry licenses require a minimum eight-hour firearms training course that teaches California firearms laws and gun safety, including firing of a gun in a “live-fire” shooting exercise at a shooting range. California issues carry licenses to residents, individuals who work in the state and active duty military members permanently stationed in California. In terms of reciprocity, California does not honor any other states’ concealed carry permits.

A U.S. citizen or legal resident at least 18 years old may carry a handgun anywhere within his or her place of residence, place of business or on private property owned or lawfully possessed by the citizen or legal resident. A permit or license is not required for a person to carry within these locations.

*The appellate court decision that struck down California’s ban on possessing large-capacity gun magazines has been vacated as a broader panel (en banc) of the court readies to rehear the San Diego-based case. While the ban on owning large-capacity magazines stays in place for now, a lower-court ruling that prohibits enforcement of the ban while the case is being litigated also remains in effect.


@Nathan57 This is where I got the idea that the transfer wouldn’t have to go through an FFL. It’s a ‘paperless’ transfer, however, there is a specific form used to make these type of transfers legal and valid. Am I misinterpreting the message?


I’m not a lawyer, I cannot and will not interpret the law, and this is not legal advice. But. I sure as ■■■■ wouldn’t expect it to hold up that buying an off-roster handgun in Nebraska and transferring it into CA without an FFL is anything but multiple ways of illegal. Transfers between states/residents of different states must go through an FFL by federal law.

Maybe you have an actual loophole (I think that L word would actually apply here), but given that it’s a handgun, and two different states involved, and it’s an off-roster handgun going into CA that CA says isn’t supposed to come in…this has red flags all over it.

I wouldn’t even consider it unless you get a “Yes” with no strings answer from at least one lawyer (in CA).


Pretty sure the paperless transfer exemption would only apply to a firearm that was already legally possessed within the state transferred by family currently residing in the state.

Your brother may or may not be able to acquire a firearm in Nebraska due to his military residency status but even if he can you would have to transfer the firearm through an FFL to him in Nebraska if that is allowed. Then I have no idea how CA would view the legality of his ability to then bring the firearm back into CA when he returns. I wouldn’t try any of this without consulting a lawyer.


I noticed Beretta has five models by that name, ranging in capacity. Thought I read California limits to 10 rounds per mag, as a max.

I could not find that California prohibits any of those five models, but does seem to have a mag cap legal limit. You’d know better than I of course. I hope they do allow in your case. Californian’s chiming in - be better help than I.

Do you already own the firearm you plan to gift, or is it a planned purchase?

I always thought the 9mm Apx’s were an interesting and attractive model a few years ago when some had the teeth looking slide serrations some used to call ugly, not me. I almost purchased one, but ended up with another brand instead for 9mm.

Today, my EDC choice happened to end up as a Beretta, just a different model.

I saw that same source which you posted Mark_Anthony.

But please “check your local listings”. Good luck.

I don’t see Beretta APX anything on the roster. Handguns aren’t a “is it banned” question, they are a “is it specifically allowed” question for CA

If it’s not on the roster, it’s (generally) a no cannot be brought into the state


Carefully plan dad’s escape! Pool your families resources and extricate him from the communist grip! Once you’re a safe distance away, say, Nevada wait till he becomes a resident, gift him your firearm!


Absolutely! Just stay out of Vegas


Form 4473 question 21a for your brother :man_shrugging:t4:
a. Are you the actual transferee/buyer of all of the firearm(s) listed on this form and any continuation sheet(s) (ATF Form 5300.9A)?
Warning: You are not the actual transferee/buyer if you are acquiring any of the firearm(s) on behalf of another person.


Welcome to the Community.

I don’t feel qualified to answer that vis a vis California. There’s a number of California members, who can give you a better answer.

I am not an attorney. I do not play one on T.V., and I did not sleep :zzz: at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

With that being said.

Nov 23, 2022If the person you want to give the gift of a firearm that does not reside in the same state as you, then under federal law you have to ship the firearm to a licensed firearm retailer in the state where the recipient lives who can transfer the firearm after a background check. Shipping a Firearm

Hope this helps.