Firearms is the term that educated owners use in referring to guns, such as handguns, rifles and shotguns.

UC Davis and other public schools and facilities have strict regulations about possession of firearms, so please remove any guns from yer truck rack before coming to campus. Some other Universities offer storage options with their campus police departments for students living on campus, but UC Davis does not.

In an attempt to encourage firearm safety, the Davis Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies periodically distribute free gunlocks as part of Project Childsafe so we can avoid accidental shootings — when available, locks are in the lobby behind the forms shelf.

To learn about specific laws concerning gun ownership in California, please educate yourself on the California Department of Justice website.

  • Handgun: A short gun intended to be held and fired with one hand. Handguns are a legally defined item and are subject to fairly strict ownership laws. For example, you must be 21 or older to buy one of these.
  • Rifle: A gun intended to be held with both arms, and to be fired from the prone, standing and kneeling positions.
  • Shotgun: A smoothbore firearm for firing round shot or large slugs.

Gun Safety

  1. Always assume that a gun is loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.

  2. Never point the muzzle at anything you do not intend to shoot. (see Rule 1.)

  3. Keep your finger outside the trigger guard and off the trigger until you are ready to make the shot. This is the Golden Rule.

  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it.  Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

    Jeff Cooper

    Here is a more detailed look at gun safety steps you should consider.

    And for the children "If you see a gun, stop, don't touch it, go tell an adult." (the slogan of the NRA's Eddie Eagle campaign)

    • Okayso I'm an adult who has no firearm training and minimal safety instruction, what do I do if I see a gun? Report it to the police?
      • If it's laying in a bush or something similar, absolutely! At best, it's a law abiding person's lost or stolen property. At worst, it was recently used in commission of a crime —ARWENNHOLD
      • If the firearm was legitimately lost, you have a legal obligation to try to return it to it's rightful owner. If it was used in the commission of a crime, you most definitely have the obligation to surrender it to the police. If it were a long gun, you could conceivably try to find the owner yourself. Since handguns require CA paperwork to transfer, the only option either way would be to surrender it to the police. Disclaimer - I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. -jimstewart

    Local Groups

    Local Gunstores

    the only place around here to get bulk lead shot (for reloading your shotgun shells!)

    good selection of new and used rifles, shotguns, and handguns, hunting and military surplus ammo

    helpful people, and they sell Glocks at their basic price: all Glocks are $499 (ex. tax), regardless of size

    a little further drive, but worth the effort.

    Buying & Selling Firearms

    • Go to gun store, pick out a gun ("I want THAT one!"). They'll help walk you through the rest.
    • If you've picked a handgun, they'll ask you if you're 21 years old (you'll have to wait if not).
    • To purchase a firearm in California, you need to have an FSC (Firearm Safety Certificate). If you don't have one, you'll have to take a written test, correctly answer at least 23 of the 30 questions, and pay $25 (non-refundable) in order to continue. If you have one, continue.
    • Fill out a long boring form with your address, etc. for the background check. Make sure to answer the Yes/No questions truthfully and correctly. The questions involve mental incompetance, felonies, drug convictions, etc... Please note that lying on this form will leave you subject to criminal charges. (If your answers on the DROS cause it to kick back, there is no loss on your part except possibly the processing fee, which is dependant on the gunstore you go to.)
    • Put your thumbprint on the back of the form.
    • They'll put your info into the magic computer, and keep your form on file for a few years. State government keeps your records too. Before you leave, they'll tell you whether you failed the background check or not. If you're a normal person, there should be no reason for you to fail. If you're a criminal, you should fail. At least that's the way it's supposed to work.
    • If you passed, congratulations!
    • Pay the store for your gun. Depending on the price of the firearm, you may be required to pay in full or you'll have the option of paying at least half-price before leaving.
    • Wait the state-mandated 10 day waiting period.
    • Then you can pick up your gun. CA state law requires that the purchaser of a firearm have bought a cable lock in the last 30 days, and have the receipt for proof. In most cases, the firearm will come with a lock as part of the manufacturer's package, but gunstores will also provide one too before you leave. Some places charge for them...
    • When you pick it up you're required to do a safety check with a store employee unless you have a Concealed Weapons Permit.
    • People trafficking in firearms should be aware that in California all transactions must be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer (FFL). Dealers are required to process private party transfers upon request, and may charge fees. "Antique firearms" and curio or relic rifles/shotguns over 50 years old are exempt.

    Shooting Ranges

    They offer classes or short instructions or you can can just come and practice. You can borrow their guns or bring your own (or buy one for that matter; they sell too for basic prices).

    Range Etiquette

    • Safety First.
    • Absolutely no practical jokes or horsing around. Guns are not toys.
    • Each range has different rules. Take the time to learn the rules of the range you are at. The phrase "But they let me at..." should NEVER be uttered.
    • An armed society is a polite society isn't just a quote from Robert Heinlein. Slow down and leave your ego behind.
    • Never point any gun at anyone else. This means paying attention when moving the gun, or moving with the gun.
    • Guns are loud. JabberWokky has a good friend who can't hear on his left side because a jackass thought it would be funny to fire off a round with the gun next to his head.
    • Guns are sexy. Women at ranges tend to be offered plenty of assistance. Sometimes they can use it, and sometimes they know more about firearms than anybody else there. Offering assistance to newcomers is polite. Assuming every woman is new is not. They also aren't at the range to star in next year's Stacked and Packed calendar. They are there to practice.
    • Guns should be left unloaded with the action open and the safety engaged (if it has one) except for when you are firing.
    • Never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire. If you are holding a gun, leave your index finger extended along the side of the firearm, only going inside the trigger guard when you are pointing at your target.
    • It's bad manners to ask to look at another shooter's weapon. OTOH, if someone complements you on the quality of your weapon, you are obliged by custom to offer to let him/her look at it.
    • The proper protocol for handing a weapon to another person is to do the following in the other person's presence... 1) point the weapon downrange 2) open the action 3) inspect the chamber for brass or a live round and clear it if necessary 4) hand the weapon to the other person grip or butt first with the action still open. The other person should verify that the chamber is empty as soon as he/she receives the weapon.
    • Never dry-fire another person's weapon unless invited.
    • Many of these and more are taught in safety courses. It is recommended that you attend one before you buy a gun. Most ranges schedule safety courses at various times.

    Safety Courses

    Highly recommended to anyone even considering owning a firearm. California Department of Fish and Game Hunter Education Program - the prerequisite course before obtaining a hunting license

    Local Anti-Gun Pundits