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Familial Transfer FAQ

Handgun transfers within families occur quite frequently that I have over a dozen request per year. In this article, I’ll detail the necessary steps and paperwork for transferring “off roster” firearms, particularly handguns not listed on California’s approved roster.

First and foremost, it’s imperative to ensure that any firearms received by a family member adhere to both California and Federal laws. For instance, handguns should not have threaded barrels, and rifles must either possess a “fixed magazine” or “featureless” lack certain features to avoid violating assault weapon regulations. Further specifications can be found in California Penal Code 30515. Additionally, all magazines, whether new or “relic,” accompanying the rifle or handgun must hold 10 rounds or fewer.

To receive “off roster handguns,” eligibility is restricted to direct descendants, meaning lineage must be traced from grandparents to grandchildren. This excludes siblings, uncles, cousins, or distant relatives. For instance, lineal descendants include fathers to sons or grandparents to grandchildren.

Regarding documentation, each firearm transfer necessitates a brief statement detailing the relationship to the person donating the firearm, along with the make, model, and serial number of the firearm. Furthermore, a separate letter for each firearm, accompanied by the donor’s DMV identification or driver’s license, is required. It’s important to note that it’s uncommon for a parent or any relative to gift expensive guns frequently, so familial transfers should be limited to once per year.

Here’s a sample letter: “I, John Doe, am gifting a Staccato XL with serial number #458989 to my son, John Doe JR.”

For smoother processing, it’s recommended to include the letter alongside a copy of the donor’s DMV identification or driver’s license with the handgun. Letters must be signed by the sending party in pen. Digital signatures are NOT acceptable.

Regarding shipping the gun, if it hasn’t been purchased yet, it can be acquired from my online gun store and shipped directly to me, saving on shipping costs and avoiding FFL fees. My gun store is If the purchase has already been made, your relative can ship it via UPS or FedEx. Alternatively, they can utilize for shipping. If your relative is uncomfortable shipping it themselves, they can enlist the services of an FFL dealer in their area to facilitate the shipment. If you have further questions, please email me.

Here’s my license for reference.

Please use the following address when shipping to me:

FFL Dealer Sunnyvale
Your Name (optional)
170 N. Wolfe Rd Suite 1
Sunnyvale, CA 94086