Moving to California with off roster firearms

Hi All

I’m new to this community. A couple buddies recommended I get a membership as I am about to move to California. Please skip over the inevitable comments about how California is evil and the land of nuts and fruits. My move is due to a change in employment and this is a good change of pace and step forward for my career. Trust me, I would rather stay in my current 2A loving state of Florida.

As the title suggests. I am moving there to Cali at the end of the month with two off roster pistols. These are off roster because they are capable of holding more than 10 rounds. I know that California is currently in a standoff in the courts, they are trying to overturn the large capacity magazine ban, but as it is still in effect, I would like to know what I can and cannot bring.

Based on research I have done and other forum posts I have made elsewhere, I would be classified as a ‘personal firearm importer’. Meaning, I can bring the off roster firearms into the state but the magazines, unless I want to permanently alter them to stop them from taking more than 10 rounds (not going to happen), would have to remain out-of-state.

Does anyone here have experience moving to Cali with off roster firearms - or is anyone here in the legal field and could possibly help shed some light on this matter?

I am currently planning on taking my firearms, registering them and leaving the magazine with family until (hopefully) the magazine cap law is overturned. Any help or advice you could give is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advanced!


Welcome to the Community! What you are saying sounds correct based upon the CA AGs website. Firearms Information for New California Residents | State of California - Department of Justice - Office of the Attorney General
You may want to contact the Sheriff’s office where you are moving to check any additional details.


I don’t live in but do occasionally work in CA. A good resource for info on the ever growing list of nonsensical CA gun laws is

Not sure where in CA you are moving but if you have some flexibility I would highly recommend making your residence in one of the more gun friendly counties. That will be the only way to get a concealed carry permit unless your new job pays enough to contribute a lot of money to the local sheriff’s re-election campaign in the non friendly counties.


I would research living wage and taxes there too. There’s a reason for the great exodus from California, but I guess that leaves ample career opportunities for those who wish to weather the storm. I like building my career in Texas :wink:.

Thank you for the reply. I had checked those sites, it just doesn’t definitely say one way or another, at least not definitely enough to ease my anxiety about moving to CA with off-roster firearms.
I have reached out to the LA County Sheriffs office.

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Thanks for the reply. CA is a much higher cost of living than most other places, especially my current state, Florida. I took all of that into account when negotiating my income.
Texas was another place I was looking to move to. I like the no income tax part of Florida and Texas.


Calguns has been a great resource. They try to update everyone on the ever-changing laws.
I have flexibility as to the city/town, but not the county. My work will be throughout LA County, so that is where I am going.
I came to terms with the probability that I will not have a CCL in California.

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I’m just picking on Cali. I know some firefighters and nurses have been going over there to make some good :moneybag:. I don’t blame anybody for jumping on an opportunity, that’s just part of the game. Best of luck to you. Hope you are able to get that permit.

Surprisingly, Cali has some decent self defense law from what I understand, they just make it difficult to get the right tools. Might be a good idea to look into their laws on pepper spray too.

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Traffic is insane there so understand wanting to be close to work but you may be able to get just outside the county and still get a permit.


That is an excellent map! Thank you for sharing, I have not seen that. Where did you find it?

Found it through an internet search for map of counties issuing carry permits. The information is a few years old but I know a few people from Kern and San Bernadino Counties who said they had no problem getting permits. Unfortunately they are stuck carrying antiquated handguns thanks to CAs idiotic handgun roster. And in San Bernadino at least, you have to qualify with the exact three handguns you want to carry (not by model but by serial number!) so if your gun breaks or gets stolen you have to wait till you renew the permit to qualify with its replacement. So choose your three wisely. Might be best to have a backup of your favorite.

Just updating you. LA County Sheriffs were able to answer any non-firearms related questions. They would not or could not answer anything relating to gun laws. They did refer to me a local firearms store. That was the extent of their helpfulness when it came to firearm questions.

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Well that’s pretty annoying! I’d say contact the AGs office but I don’t know that I would trust them.