Code Section Group

Penal Code - PEN

PART 6. CONTROL OF DEADLY WEAPONS [16000 - 34370]

  ( Part 6 added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 711, Sec. 6. )

TITLE 4. FIREARMS [23500 - 34370]

  ( Title 4 added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 711, Sec. 6. )

DIVISION 11. FIREARM IN CUSTODY OF COURT OR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OR SIMILAR SITUATION [33800 - 34010]

  ( Division 11 added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 711, Sec. 6. )

CHAPTER 2. Return or Transfer of Firearm in Custody or Control of Court or Law Enforcement Agency [33850 - 33895]
  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 711, Sec. 6. )

33850.
  

(a) Any person who claims title to any firearm that is in the custody or control of a court or law enforcement agency and who wishes to have the firearm returned shall make application for a determination by the Department of Justice as to whether the applicant is eligible to possess a firearm. The application shall be submitted electronically via the California Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) and shall include the following:

(1) The applicant’s name, date and place of birth, gender, telephone number, and complete address.

(2) Whether the applicant is a United States citizen. If the applicant is not a United States citizen, the application shall also include the applicant’s country of citizenship and the applicant’s alien registration or I-94 number.

(3) If the seized property is a firearm, the firearm’s make, model, caliber, barrel length, type, country of origin, and serial number, provided, however, that if the firearm is not a handgun and does not have a serial number, identification number, or identification mark assigned to it, there shall be a place on the application to note that fact.

(4) For residents of California, the applicant’s valid California driver’s license number or valid California identification card number issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. For nonresidents of California, a copy of the applicant’s military identification with orders indicating that the individual is stationed in California, or a copy of the applicant’s valid driver’s license from the applicant’s state of residence, or a copy of the applicant’s state identification card from the applicant’s state of residence. Copies of the documents provided by non-California residents shall be notarized.

(5) The name of the court or law enforcement agency holding the firearm.

(6) The signature of the applicant and the date of signature.

(7) Any person furnishing a fictitious name or address or knowingly furnishing any incorrect information or knowingly omitting any information required to be provided for the application, including any notarized information pursuant to paragraph (4), shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) A person who owns a firearm that is in the custody of a court or law enforcement agency and who does not wish to obtain possession of the firearm, and the firearm is an otherwise legal firearm, and the person otherwise has right to title of the firearm, shall be entitled to sell or transfer title of the firearm to a licensed dealer or a third party that is not prohibited from possessing that firearm. Any sale or transfer to a third party pursuant to this subdivision shall be conducted pursuant to Section 27545.

(c) A person who owns any ammunition that is in the custody of a court or a law enforcement agency and who does not wish to obtain possession of the ammunition, and the ammunition is otherwise legal, shall be entitled to sell or otherwise transfer the ammunition to a licensed firearms dealer or ammunition vendor or a third party that is not prohibited from possessing that ammunition. Any sale or other transfer of ammunition to a third party pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be conducted through an ammunition vendor in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article 4 (commencing with Section 30370) of Chapter 1 of Division 10.

(d) Any person furnishing a fictitious name or address, or knowingly furnishing any incorrect information or knowingly omitting any information required to be provided for the application, including any notarized information pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), is punishable as a misdemeanor.

(e) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 9. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Repealed as of July 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780.)

33850.
  

(a) Any person who claims title to any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition that is in the custody or control of a court or law enforcement agency and who wishes to have the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition returned shall make application for a determination by the Department of Justice as to whether the applicant is eligible to possess a firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition. The application shall be submitted electronically via the California Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) and shall include the following:

(1) The applicant’s name, date and place of birth, gender, telephone number, and complete address.

(2) Whether the applicant is a United States citizen. If the applicant is not a United States citizen, the application shall also include the applicant’s country of citizenship and the applicant’s alien registration or I-94 number.

(3) If the seized property is a firearm, the firearm’s make, model, caliber, barrel length, type, country of origin, and serial number, provided, however, that if the firearm is not a handgun and does not have a serial number, identification number, or identification mark assigned to it, there shall be a place on the application to note that fact.

(4) For residents of California, the applicant’s valid California driver’s license number or valid California identification card number issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. For nonresidents of California, a copy of the applicant’s military identification with orders indicating that the individual is stationed in California, or a copy of the applicant’s valid driver’s license from the applicant’s state of residence, or a copy of the applicant’s state identification card from the applicant’s state of residence. Copies of the documents provided by non-California residents shall be notarized.

(5) The name of the court or law enforcement agency holding the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition.

(6) The signature of the applicant and the date of signature.

(7) Any person furnishing a fictitious name or address or knowingly furnishing any incorrect information or knowingly omitting any information required to be provided for the application, including any notarized information pursuant to paragraph (4), shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) A person who owns a firearm that is in the custody of a court or law enforcement agency and who does not wish to obtain possession of the firearm, and the firearm is an otherwise legal firearm, and the person otherwise has right to title of the firearm, shall be entitled to sell or transfer title of the firearm to a licensed dealer or a third party that is not prohibited from possessing that firearm. Any sale or transfer to a third party pursuant to this subdivision shall be conducted pursuant to Section 27545.

(c) A person who owns an ammunition feeding device or ammunition that is in the custody of a court or a law enforcement agency and who does not wish to obtain possession of the ammunition or ammunition feeding device, and the ammunition feeding device or ammunition is otherwise legal, shall be entitled to sell or otherwise transfer the ammunition feeding device or ammunition to a licensed firearms dealer or ammunition vendor or a third party that is not prohibited from possessing that ammunition feeding device or ammunition. Any sale or other transfer of ammunition to a third party pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be conducted through an ammunition vendor in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article 4 (commencing with Section 30370) of Chapter 1 of Division 10.

(d) Any person furnishing a fictitious name or address, or knowingly furnishing any incorrect information or knowingly omitting any information required to be provided for the application, including any notarized information pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), is punishable as a misdemeanor.

(e) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 10. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative July 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

33855.
  

A law enforcement agency or court that has taken custody of any firearm shall not return the firearm to any individual unless the following requirements are satisfied:

(a) The individual presents to the agency or court notification of a determination by the department pursuant to Section 33865 that the person is eligible to possess firearms.

(b) If the agency or court has direct access to the Automated Firearms System, the agency or court has verified that the firearm is not listed as stolen pursuant to Section 11108.2, and that the firearm has been recorded in the Automated Firearms System in the name of the individual who seeks its return.

(c) If the firearm has been reported lost or stolen pursuant to Section 11108.2, a law enforcement agency shall notify the owner or person entitled to possession pursuant to Section 11108.5. However, that person shall provide proof of eligibility to possess a firearm pursuant to Section 33865.

(d) This section does not prevent the local law enforcement agency from charging the rightful owner or person entitled to possession of the firearm the fees described in Section 33880. However, an individual who is applying for a background check to retrieve a firearm that came into the custody or control of a court or law enforcement agency pursuant to Section 33850 shall be exempt from the fees in Section 33860, provided that the court or agency determines the firearm was reported stolen to a law enforcement agency prior to the date the firearm came into custody or control of the court or law enforcement agency, or within five business days of the firearm being stolen from its owner. The court or agency shall notify the Department of Justice of this fee exemption in a manner prescribed by the department.

(e) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 864, Sec. 7.5. (AB 2222) Effective January 1, 2019. Repealed as of July 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 864.)

33855.
  

A law enforcement agency or court that has taken custody of any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition shall not return the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition to any individual unless all of the following requirements are satisfied:

(a) The individual presents to the agency or court notification of a determination by the department pursuant to Section 33865 that the person is eligible to possess a firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition.

(b) If the seized property is a firearm and the agency or court has direct access to the Automated Firearms System, the agency or court has verified that the firearm is not listed as stolen pursuant to Section 11108.2, and that the firearm has been recorded in the Automated Firearms System in the name of the individual who seeks its return.

(c) If the firearm has been reported lost or stolen pursuant to Section 11108.2, a law enforcement agency shall notify the owner or person entitled to possession pursuant to Section 11108.5. However, that person shall provide proof of eligibility to possess a firearm pursuant to Section 33865.

(d) This section does not prevent the local law enforcement agency from charging the rightful owner or person entitled to possession of the firearm the fees described in Section 33880. However, an individual who is applying for a background check to retrieve a firearm that came into the custody or control of a court or law enforcement agency pursuant to Section 33850 shall be exempt from the fees in Section 33860, provided that the court or agency determines the firearm was reported stolen to a law enforcement agency prior to the date the firearm came into custody or control of the court or law enforcement agency, or within five business days of the firearm being stolen from its owner. The court or agency shall notify the Department of Justice of this fee exemption in a manner prescribed by the department.

(e) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 864, Sec. 7.6. (AB 2222) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative July 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

33860.
  

(a) The Department of Justice shall establish a fee of twenty dollars ($20) per request for return of a firearm, plus a three-dollar ($3) charge for each additional firearm being processed as part of the request to return a firearm, to cover its reasonable costs for processing firearm clearance determinations submitted pursuant to this chapter.

(b) The fees collected pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be deposited into the Dealers’ Record of Sale Special Account.

(c) The department shall annually review and shall adjust the fees specified in subdivision (a), if necessary, to fully fund, but not to exceed the reasonable costs of processing applications pursuant to this section.

(d) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 13. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Repealed as of July 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780.)

33860.
  

(a) The Department of Justice shall establish a fee of twenty dollars ($20) per request for return of a firearm, ammunition feeding device, or any quantity of ammunition plus a three-dollar ($3) charge for each additional firearm being processed as part of the request to return a firearm, to cover its reasonable costs for processing applications submitted pursuant to this chapter.

(b) The fees collected pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be deposited into the Dealers’ Record of Sale Special Account.

(c) The department shall annually review and shall adjust the fees specified in subdivision (a), if necessary, to fully fund, but not to exceed the reasonable costs of processing applications submitted pursuant to this section.

(d) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 14. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative July 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

33865.
  

(a) When the Department of Justice receives a completed application pursuant to Section 33850 accompanied by the fee required pursuant to Section 33860, it shall conduct an eligibility check of the applicant to determine whether the applicant is eligible to possess a firearm.

(b) The department shall have 30 days from the date of receipt to complete the background check, unless the background check is delayed by circumstances beyond the control of the department. The applicant may contact the department via the California Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) to inquire about the reason for a delay.

(c) If the department determines that the applicant is eligible to possess the firearm, the department shall provide the applicant with written notification that includes the following:

(1) The identity of the applicant.

(2) A statement that the applicant is eligible to possess a firearm.

(3) A description of the firearm by make, model, and serial number, provided, however, that if the firearm is not a handgun and does not have a serial number, identification number, or identification mark assigned to it, that fact shall be noted.

(d) The department shall enter a record of the firearm into the Automated Firearms System (AFS), provided, however, that if the firearm is not a handgun and does not have a serial number, identification number, or identification mark assigned to it, that fact shall be noted in AFS.

(e) If the department denies the application, and the firearm is an otherwise legal firearm, the department shall notify the applicant of the denial and provide a form for the applicant to use to sell or transfer the firearm to a licensed dealer.

(f) If the department denies the application, the applicant shall receive notification via CFARS from the department explaining the reason for the denial and information regarding the appeal process.

(g) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 15. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Repealed as of July 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780.)

33865.
  

(a) When the Department of Justice receives a completed application pursuant to Section 33850 accompanied by the fee required pursuant to Section 33860, it shall conduct an eligibility check of the applicant to determine whether the applicant is eligible to possess a firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition.

(b) The department shall have 30 days from the date of receipt to complete the background check, unless the background check is delayed by circumstances beyond the control of the department. The applicant may contact the department via the California Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) to inquire about the reason for a delay.

(c) If the department determines that the applicant is eligible to possess the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition, the department shall provide the applicant with written notification that includes the following:

(1) The identity of the applicant.

(2) A statement that the applicant is eligible to possess a firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition.

(3) If applicable, a description of the firearm by make, model, and serial number, provided, however, that if the firearm is not a handgun and does not have a serial number, identification number, or identification mark assigned to it, that fact shall be noted.

(d) The department shall enter a record of the firearm into the Automated Firearms System (AFS), provided, however, that if the firearm is not a handgun and does not have a serial number, identification number, or identification mark assigned to it, that fact shall be noted in AFS.

(e) If the department denies the application, and the firearm is an otherwise legal firearm, the department shall notify the applicant of the denial and provide a form for the applicant to use to sell or transfer the firearm to a licensed dealer.

(f) If the department denies the application, the applicant shall receive notification via CFARS from the department explaining the reason for the denial and information regarding the appeal process.

(g) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 16. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative July 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

33870.
  

(a) If a law enforcement agency determines that the applicant is the legal owner of any firearm or ammunition deposited with the agency, that the applicant is prohibited from possessing any firearm or ammunition, and that the firearm or ammunition is otherwise legal, the applicant shall be entitled to sell or transfer the firearm or ammunition to a licensed firearms dealer, or licensed ammunition vendor, as applicable. If a law enforcement agency determines that the applicant is prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm or ammunition and the prohibition will expire on a specific ascertainable date, whether or not that date is specified in a court order, the applicant shall be entitled to have the firearm or ammunition stored by a licensed firearms dealer or licensed ammunition vendor, as applicable, for the duration of the prohibition period pursuant to Section 29830.

(b) If the firearm or ammunition has been lost or stolen, it shall be restored to the lawful owner pursuant to Section 11108.5 upon the owner’s identification of the property, proof of ownership, and proof of eligibility to possess a firearm or ammunition pursuant to Section 33865.

(c) This section does not prevent the local law enforcement agency from charging the rightful owner of the property the fees described in Section 33880.

(d) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 17. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Repealed as of July 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780.)

33870.
  

(a) If a law enforcement agency determines that the applicant is the legal owner of any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition deposited with the agency, that the applicant is prohibited from possessing any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition, and that the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition is otherwise legal, the applicant shall be entitled to sell or transfer the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition to a licensed firearms dealer, or licensed ammunition vendor, as applicable. If a law enforcement agency determines that the applicant is prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition and the prohibition will expire on a specific ascertainable date, whether or not that date is specified in a court order, the applicant shall be entitled to have the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition stored by a licensed firearms dealer or licensed ammunition vendor, as applicable, for the duration of the prohibition period pursuant to Section 29830.

(b) If the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition has been lost or stolen, it shall be restored to the lawful owner pursuant to Section 11108.5 upon the owner’s identification of the property, proof of ownership, and proof of eligibility to possess a firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition pursuant to Section 33865.

(c) This section does not prevent the local law enforcement agency from charging the rightful owner of the property the fees described in Section 33880.

(d) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 18. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative July 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

33875.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, no law enforcement agency or court shall be required to retain any firearm for more than 180 days after the owner has been notified by the court or law enforcement agency that the property has been made available for return. Any unclaimed firearm may be disposed of after the 180-day period has expired.

(b) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 19. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Repealed as of July 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780.)

33875.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, no law enforcement agency or court shall be required to retain any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition for more than 180 days after the owner has been notified by the court or law enforcement agency that the property has been made available for return. An unclaimed firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition may be disposed of after the 180-day period has expired.

(b) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 20. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative July 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

33880.
  

(a) A city, county, or city and county, or a state agency may adopt a regulation, ordinance, or resolution imposing a charge equal to its administrative costs relating to the seizure, impounding, storage, or release of any firearm or ammunition.

(b) The fee under subdivision (a) shall not exceed the actual costs incurred for the expenses directly related to taking possession of any firearm or ammunition, storing it, and surrendering possession of it to a licensed firearms dealer or to the owner.

(c) The administrative costs described in subdivisions (a) and (b) may be waived by the local or state agency upon verifiable proof that the firearm or ammunition was reported stolen at the time it came into the custody or control of the law enforcement agency.

(d) The following apply to any charges imposed for administrative costs pursuant to this section:

(1) The charges shall only be imposed on the person claiming title to the firearm or ammunition.

(2) Any charges shall be collected by the local or state authority only from the person claiming title to the firearm or ammunition.

(3) The charges shall be in addition to any other charges authorized or imposed pursuant to this code.

(4) A charge shall not be imposed for a hearing or appeal relating to the removal, impound, storage, or release of any firearm or ammunition, unless that hearing or appeal was requested in writing by the legal owner of the property. In addition, the charge may be imposed only upon the person requesting that hearing or appeal.

(e) Costs for a hearing or appeal related to the release of any firearm or ammunition shall not be charged to the legal owner who redeems the property, unless the legal owner voluntarily requests the poststorage hearing or appeal. A city, county, city and county, or state agency shall not require a legal owner to request a poststorage hearing as a requirement for release of the firearm or ammunition to the legal owner.

(f) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 21. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Repealed as of July 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780.)

33880.
  

(a) A city, county, or city and county, or a state agency may adopt a regulation, ordinance, or resolution imposing a charge equal to its administrative costs relating to the seizure, impounding, storage, or release of any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition.

(b) The fee under subdivision (a) shall not exceed the actual costs incurred for the expenses directly related to taking possession of any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition, storing it, and surrendering possession of it to a licensed firearms dealer or to the owner.

(c) The administrative costs described in subdivisions (a) and (b) may be waived by the local or state agency upon verifiable proof that the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition was reported stolen at the time it came into the custody or control of the law enforcement agency.

(d) The following apply to any charges imposed for administrative costs pursuant to this section:

(1) The charges shall only be imposed on the person claiming title to the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition.

(2) Any charges shall be collected by the local or state authority only from the person claiming title to the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition.

(3) The charges shall be in addition to any other charges authorized or imposed pursuant to this code.

(4) A charge shall not be imposed for a hearing or appeal relating to the removal, impound, storage, or release of any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition, unless that hearing or appeal was requested in writing by the legal owner of the property. In addition, the charge may be imposed only upon the person requesting that hearing or appeal.

(e) Costs for a hearing or appeal related to the release of any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition shall not be charged to the legal owner who redeems the property, unless the legal owner voluntarily requests the poststorage hearing or appeal. A city, county, city and county, or state agency shall not require a legal owner to request a poststorage hearing as a requirement for release of the firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition to the legal owner.

(f) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 22. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative July 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

33885.
  

(a) In a proceeding for the return of any firearm seized and not returned pursuant to this chapter, where the defendant or cross-defendant is a law enforcement agency, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party.

(b) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 23. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Repealed as of July 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780.)

33885.
  

(a) In a proceeding for the return of any firearm, ammunition feeding device, or ammunition seized and not returned pursuant to this chapter, where the defendant or cross-defendant is a law enforcement agency, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party.

(b) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 24. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative July 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

33895.
  

(a) Section 27545 does not apply to deliveries, transfers, or returns of firearms made pursuant to this chapter.

(b) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 25. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Repealed as of July 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780.)

33895.
  

(a) Section 27545 does not apply to deliveries, transfers, or returns of firearms made pursuant to this chapter.

(b) Sections 30312 and 30342 do not apply to deliveries or transfers of returns of ammunition or ammunition feeding devices by a court or law enforcement agency made pursuant to this chapter.

(c) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 780, Sec. 26. (SB 746) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative July 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

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