Buying my first Handgun. What do I need to do?
I've been around all sorts of firearms all my life, and in the past few years, I've been handling quite a few of all different sorts, rifles, handguns, revolvers, of all sorts of calibers. I've found I really enjoy firing at the shooting range.
So now, I can afford it, and I feel responsible enough to own my own handgun. I'm not yet certain which kind I want. I'm leaning more towards a revolver, rather than a pistol, for my first firearm.
My question is, what do I need to do to be able to purchase a handgun? I'm old enough, 23. I have no record of any sort of convictions or mental health problems, so that shouldn't be a problem. I'm aware of the waiting period and everything. I know how to operate and safely handle various sorts of pistols and revolvers.
What I'm unclear on, however, is where I need to obtain my HSC required to purchase. Can I do this in the gun shop? Do I need to go somewhere else? Also, I know I need two forms of ID. I have a valid DL, that's not a problem. But what can I use as my second ID? My living situation is that I rent a room (long term) rather than having my own lease or property. So I don't have any sort of paperwork for that. I also don't have any sort of utility or landline in my name. Can I use my car registration, or Passport for this?
Did all of my paperwork at Turners.
All you need do is go to the gun store of your choice and find the gun you like and pay for the gun card and take the 20-25 question test, then pay for your gun.
Do the waiting period and go pick up your gun.
The test is a bonehead simple test so don't fear any of it.
Hope this helps, and congrats.
I'm in CA and just went through the process. Picking my first gun (Ruger GP100 4") tonight! I felt like the process was just right. Not overwhelmingly annoying. Would be hard for a knucklehead to just walk in and grab a handgun, but not unbearable for a responsible person.
I picked my gun and paid the deposit on a Friday. Took my CA handgun certification test The following Monday. Scored 29/30. Pretty easy common sense stuff. Answer the questions according to what the government wants you to say, even if you disagree. The only question I got wrong was the legal age to buy a handgun. It's 21 not 18. Crazy how kids can go die in war at 18, but not buy a beer or handgun at home...
Once you pass, you get your CA cert card. Good for five years. Show them the card, fill out some paperwork, and your background check/waiting period (10 days) begins.
You may have to show proof of owning a safe/trigger lock to pick up the gun. Not sure. I'm bring my safe receipt tonight just in case.
As for the gun of choice... I did a TON of research. Read reviews, watched reviews on YouTube, and asked a lot of questions. Once I had a handful of choices I was interested in, I took the wife to the range to get the feel of them.
For us, a revolver was our choice for first firearm. The semi autos intimidated my wife with all the buttons and clips and what not.
We had in mind to buy a S&W 686. However, after trying the Ruger GP100, we fell in love with it. The 4" barrel looks almost as bad ass as the 6". More accurate the the shorter barrel.
Like I said, I did a ton of homework and feel this gun is probably the best "first gun". But you should find something that fits your need and is comfortable for you (and your old lady if you have one) to shoot.
Oh yeah, a drivers license and car registration, even a utilities bill with matching info will work. And Turners Outdoorsman has a video on their website and a study guide for the CA state test. I watched it once and passed.
I live in california and I have just bought 3 guns (2 pistols and a rifle) within 3 months and I have never had to take a test. Just fill out the form, show them my drivers license and get my registration from my car to show my physical address (drivers license has my p.o.box). All of my guns have came with cable locks.
"Took my CA handgun certification test The following Monday."
When did that take effect? I've never heard of it but I haven't bought a gun from a dealer in 15 yrs.
I wish I could move out of this state and back to Free America.
What part of Cali are you in. I'm down here in Riverside.
1. Get very familiar with your local laws. We live in an age when
professionals, like LEOs, don't need to know the law, but YOU do.
Because as the not-so-well-informed justice system is putting you
in prison, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse!"
(unless you happen to be THEM) will roll off their lips on a
constant, and regular basis.
2. Select 1 nice handgun. Research it thoroughly.
Spend more than you think you should.
Rent and borrow as many as you can. Boldly ask to try other
folks guns at the range. Many will understand.
2. Get your state's approval, and go through the waiting period.
3. Pay for the gun-at this point due consideration of a CCW, or
CHL may be in order.
4. Live with it. Hopefully you were fortunate in step #2
to get a pistol you really like as well as you thought you would.
It was a 30 question test you had to pass in order to get a card saying you were certified to purchase one. You have to have the card to make final payment. I'm in Orange County.
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