How To Sell A Gun In San Diego

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Looking to Sell a Gun in San Diego, California? Your Comprehensive Guide Awaits! Our goal is to demystify the process for you. In a state known for its stringent gun laws, California stands out, and San Diego is no exception. We start by showing you how to confirm your buyer's legal eligibility for gun ownership through a compulsory state background check. Following that, we'll walk you through the essential paperwork, including the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS), a key component of a legitimate sale. Plus, you'll get insights into San Diego-specific regulations and useful tips for ensuring a safe and successful transaction. Designed to ease your concerns, our guide takes you through each step of selling your gun in San Diego with ease and assurance. And for those looking for a straightforward selling experience, discover the advantages of 'Cash For Arms' in San Diego, a service that guarantees compliance with legal standards and prioritizes safety. This guide is crafted to streamline and simplify your gun selling process in San Diego, making it a stress-free experience.

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How To Sell A Gun In San Diego
Written by: 
Isaiah Miller
Published On:
January 18, 2024
Updated On:
May 31, 2023
minutes read

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Overview Of Gun Selling Process In San Diego, CA

When it comes to selling a gun in San Diego, California, adhering to the state's stringent laws is crucial. The first step in this process is to ensure that your prospective buyer is legally permitted to own a firearm. This involves conducting a mandatory background check, as stipulated by California law. After confirming the buyer's eligibility, you'll need to complete several forms, including the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS), which is a fundamental requirement for any gun sale in the state. Additionally, it's essential to be aware of any specific regulations that apply to gun sales in San Diego. For a secure transaction, choose a safe location for the exchange and a reliable method of payment. In San Diego, many sellers opt for services like 'Cash For Arms', which facilitate the sale of firearms in a manner that ensures legal compliance and safety. This guide is designed to provide you with a clear and accurate understanding of the process for selling a gun in San Diego, ensuring a lawful and worry-free experience.

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Legal Compliance And Safety

In San Diego, prioritizing legal compliance and safety is paramount when selling a gun. This means rigorously aligning your sale with all applicable California state laws, as well as any specific ordinances in San Diego. A critical step in this process is verifying the legal eligibility of the buyer to own a firearm. This not only protects you as the seller but also contributes to the safety of the community at large. Ensuring that the firearm is transferred responsibly is also a key aspect of safety. By adhering to these legal requirements, you play a vital role in preventing illegal gun ownership and fostering a safer environment for all. Our guide is designed to underscore these essential aspects, ensuring that your gun sale in San Diego is both legally compliant and conducted with the utmost safety.

Places to Sell Guns in San Diego, CA

In San Diego, there are several options for selling firearms, each adhering to California's strict gun laws. Licensed firearms dealers are a primary choice, ensuring that all legal requirements, including background checks and documentation, are meticulously followed. Among these, 'Cash For Arms' stands out as a notable option. This service specializes in facilitating gun sales, offering a streamlined process while ensuring full legal compliance and safety. They handle the necessary paperwork and ensure that all aspects of the sale meet state regulations. Additionally, gun shows in San Diego can be venues for sales, but sellers must still process transactions through licensed dealers present at these events. Private sales, though permissible, must also be conducted through licensed dealers to ensure adherence to state laws. Each of these avenues offers a legal and secure way to sell firearms in San Diego, with 'Cash For Arms' providing a specialized and convenient service for those looking to sell their guns.


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Selling to Cash For Arms from San Diego, CA


  • Top Market Prices: is renowned for offering competitive market prices for firearms in San Diego, often surpassing local offers.
  • Home Convenience: Sell your firearms from the comfort of your home in San Diego. This service eliminates travel and makes the selling experience as easy and stress-free as possible.
  • Simplified Selling Experience: The website offers a user-friendly interface for a straightforward selling process. From listing to sale, you get clear guidance and support, making the experience transparent and simple.
  • Multiple Selling Options: You have the flexibility to choose immediate Cash Offers for quick transactions or opt for PrimeConsign gun consignment to potentially gain more from your firearm sales.
  • Fast and Diverse Payment Options: Enjoy rapid and varied payment methods. Select from instant options like Zelle, efficient Same or Next-Day Direct Deposit, or traditional checks mailed to your San Diego address, based on your needs and urgency.


  • Next-Day Payment for Shipped Items: While same-day payment is available for local drop-offs, non-local sellers who need to ship their firearms will usually receive payment the next day. Payments are processed immediately upon the firearm's arrival to ensure you get your funds promptly.
  • Shipping Considerations for Non-Locals: For those outside the immediate San Diego area, the fastest shipping option is VIP Overnight Shipping. The earliest payment is issued on the day after your guns arrive. While immediate same-day payment isn't possible due to shipping times, the process is expedited to ensure quick handling.

By offering valuable, convenient, and adaptable services for selling firearms, provides a streamlined and secure transaction process for gun owners in San Diego, CA, aiming for a beneficial and satisfactory experience.

Selling to a Gun Store In San Diego, CA

‍Statistics: There are approximately 67 gun stores in San Diego, CA, with some of the most commonly known ones being The Gun Range San Diego, Discount Gun Mart, and Parallax Tactical LLC.


  • You can physically inspect the store and feel more assured about the transaction.
  • Immediate cash offers.
  • Possibility to browse and possibly trade for other items.


  • Generally offers lower payments compared to other selling methods.
  • You may have to drive around from shop to shop to get the best offer, wasting time and resources.
  • The environment can be high pressure, especially if negotiating price.
  • Some may find the environment in gun stores intimidating or uncomfortable.

Selling to a San Diego Pawn Shop

‍Statistics: San Diego is home to approximately 40 pawn shops that deal in firearms, including Royal Loan, Hillcrest Pawnbrokers, and Aztec Palace Jewelry & Loan.


  • Immediate cash offers, useful in urgent need of money.
  • Convenient for those who are familiar with pawn shop dealings.


  • Generally provides the lowest value for your firearms.
  • Like gun stores, might require visiting multiple locations to find the best offer.
  • High-pressure environments are common, with a focus on rapid turnover.
  • Some may find pawn shops less trustworthy or professional compared to specialized gun stores.

Selling to a Private Buyer in San Diego, CA

Overview: In California, including San Diego, private firearm sales must adhere to state laws that are notably more stringent than in many other states. For a private sale in San Diego, the seller is required to conduct the transaction through a licensed firearms dealer. At this juncture, the buyer is obligated to undergo a background check. This process is in place to verify that the buyer is legally allowed to possess a firearm. Any direct private sales circumventing this intermediary are not lawful in California. This regulatory framework is designed to enhance both safety and legal compliance, although it might lessen the convenience and expediency of private gun sales as compared to states with more relaxed regulations. This procedure ensures that private firearm transactions in San Diego are conducted responsibly and in accordance with the law.


  • Potentially direct dealings with buyers may yield better prices.
  • Sellers may have more control over the sale terms and process.


  • Can be inconvenient and time-consuming, requiring meetings and negotiations with potential buyers.
  • Increased personal risk and safety concerns when meeting unknown buyers.
  • Legal Responsibilities sellers are responsible for ensuring the sale complies with state laws, including mandatory use of a licensed firearm dealer for the transaction and background checks.

In all scenarios, ensuring legal compliance and prioritizing safety are critical. Whether choosing the convenience and immediacy of local shops and pawn stores or the generally higher payouts, smooth process, and outstanding customer support from, understanding the pros and cons of each option can help you make an informed decision that suits your needs and ensures a legal, safe, and profitable transaction.

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San Diego Gun Laws

In California, specific laws govern firearm ownership and transactions, affecting cities like San Diego. These regulations outline who can own and purchase firearms, the types of permissible firearms, and various restrictions. For instance, all private firearm sales must be processed through a licensed dealer, with buyers mandated to pass a background check. The state restricts certain types of firearms, including assault weapons. Adherence to these regulations is essential for legal compliance, safety, and responsible firearm handling in California, including cities such as San Diego. These rules reflect the state's approach to balancing the rights of lawful gun owners with public safety concerns.

Age Requirements for Ownership and Purchase

In San Diego, following California state law, the age requirements for gun ownership and purchase are specific and stringent. To legally purchase a firearm, individuals must be at least 21 years old. This applies to all types of firearms, including handguns and long guns (rifles and shotguns). There are exceptions for members of law enforcement, active military personnel, and those with a valid hunting license, who may purchase a long gun at age 18. These age requirements are part of California's comprehensive approach to gun control, aimed at enhancing public safety. The state mandates these rules uniformly across all its cities, including San Diego, to ensure a consistent legal standard for gun ownership and purchase based on age.

Types of Legal Firearms and Prohibited Weapons

In San Diego, California, the types of legal firearms and prohibited weapons are governed by state law. Generally, handguns, shotguns, and rifles are legal to own if they comply with specific requirements, such as not being classified as assault weapons. Assault weapons, defined by certain features and models, are prohibited. Additionally, California bans .50 BMG rifles and imposes restrictions on magazine capacity. The state also has specific laws regarding the ownership of suppressors, short-barreled rifles, and short-barreled shotguns. It's crucial to refer to the latest legal provisions to understand the complete list of permissible and prohibited firearms.

Red Flag Laws in San Diego

In San Diego, as part of California's legal framework, Red Flag laws, also known as Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs), are in effect. These laws allow family members, roommates, or law enforcement officers to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms and ammunition from individuals deemed to pose a significant danger to themselves or others. If a GVRO is issued, the individual is prohibited from owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving firearms or ammunition for a period determined by the court, typically ranging from one year to five years, with possible extensions. These laws are designed as a preventative measure against potential gun violence, aiming to address risks before they escalate into tragedies. The implementation of Red Flag laws in San Diego underscores California's proactive stance on gun safety and violence prevention.

For a detailed look at the process of selling a gun in California, you can refer to our article How to Sell a Gun in California. This guide provides additional insights into California's regulations for selling firearms.


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San Diego-Specific Firearm Regulations

When selling a firearm in San Diego, it's important to understand both state and local laws.

Ban on the possession of high-capacity magazines

San Diego,is aligned with California's firearm regulations, there is a prohibition on the possession of high-capacity magazines. Under this law, magazines that have the capacity to hold more than ten rounds are not permitted. This regulation is intended to mitigate the potential for harm in situations involving firearm misuse. It forms a part of California's comprehensive approach to gun control aimed at enhancing public safety. Gun owners in San Diego are required to adhere to this ban, along with other state-mandated firearms laws, as part of their responsibility towards legal and safe gun ownership and usage. This ban reflects the state's efforts to limit the availability of firearms with capabilities that are considered to increase the risks in violent incidents.

Regulations on the storage and transportation of firearms

San Diego, is adhering to California’s regulations for the storage and transportation of firearms it is crucial for ensuring safety. Firearms are required to be securely stored to prevent unauthorized access, especially to deter access by children. Secure storage typically involves the use of locked containers or trigger locks. For the transportation of firearms, they must be unloaded and kept in a locked container, which should be separate from any ammunition. These measures are designed to mitigate the risks of accidents and the unauthorized use of firearms, thereby promoting responsible ownership. Firearm owners in San Diego must comply with these regulations as part of their commitment to safety and adherence to state laws.

Assault Weapons Ban in San Diego

In San Diego, as in the rest of California, there is a ban on assault weapons, adhering to the state's strict firearm regulations. This ban defines assault weapons based on specific characteristics, such as the capacity to accept a detachable magazine combined with certain features like pistol grips, thumbhole stocks, or grenade launchers. The law prohibits the sale, transfer, manufacture, and possession of these defined assault weapons. Exemptions exist for certain law enforcement agencies and individuals who legally owned such weapons before the ban and registered them with the state. The assault weapons ban is part of California's broader effort to curb gun violence and enhance public safety, and it is uniformly enforced across all its cities, including San Diego. This regulation reflects the state's stringent approach to controlling access to firearms deemed to have a higher risk for use in violent crimes.

Open Carry Prohibitions in San Diego

As throughout California, the open carry of firearms is largely prohibited, reflecting the state's stringent gun control laws. This prohibition applies to the open carry of both loaded and unloaded firearms in public places. The law encompasses handguns, rifles, and shotguns, effectively limiting the visibility of firearms in public spaces to enhance public safety. There are certain exceptions to this rule, including for law enforcement officers and individuals with specific licenses, but these are strictly regulated. Additionally, the law allows for open carry in specific circumstances, such as at shooting ranges or in designated hunting areas, under certain conditions. San Diego's compliance with California's open carry laws is part of a statewide effort to reduce the risks associated with the public display and potential misuse of firearms.

Gun Sale Regulations in San Diego

The sale of private firearms in San Diego follows California state laws. Key points include:

Background Checks

Background checks for gun sales are mandated by California law. This applies to all sales, including private transactions, which must be processed through a licensed firearm dealer. The dealer is responsible for conducting the background check via the California Department of Justice. This check reviews the buyer's eligibility to own a firearm, considering criminal history and other disqualifying factors. This process aims to ensure that firearms are only sold to individuals legally permitted to own them, enhancing public safety.

Dealer Involvement 

Any sale or transfer of firearms must involve a licensed firearm dealer, as required by California law. This rule applies to both retail and private transactions. The dealer facilitates the transaction, including the mandatory background check through the California Department of Justice. This process ensures that the sale complies with state regulations, including the verification of the buyer's eligibility to legally own a firearm. This dealer involvement is a crucial step in maintaining legal compliance and public safety in firearm transactions.

Safe Handling Demonstration

As per California state law, a safe handling demonstration is a mandatory requirement during the process of purchasing a firearm. This demonstration is conducted at the point of sale by a licensed firearms dealer and is a practical test to ensure that the purchaser is familiar with the basic safety features and handling of the firearm they intend to buy. The demonstration includes checking that the firearm is not loaded, demonstrating how to safely handle and operate the firearm, and understanding the safety mechanisms like safeties or chamber indicators. This requirement is part of California's comprehensive approach to promoting responsible gun ownership and reducing the risk of accidental injuries or misuse of firearms. The safe handling demonstration is a critical step in the firearm purchasing process, emphasizing the importance of safety and responsible usage among gun owners in San Diego.

Waiting Period 

As per California state law, there is a mandatory 10-day waiting period for all firearm purchases. This period begins when the purchase application is submitted and is intended to serve as a cooling-off time, potentially preventing impulsive acts of violence. The waiting period also allows for a thorough background check to be conducted. This law applies to every firearm sale, regardless of whether it's from a retail store or through a private transaction, ensuring that every transfer of gun ownership is carefully vetted for safety and legal compliance.

Firearm Safety Certificate

In San Diego, and throughout California, individuals looking to purchase a firearm are required to obtain a Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC). This involves passing a written test that covers basic firearms safety and the state's gun laws. The FSC is a prerequisite for purchasing a firearm and must be presented at the time of purchase. This certification is part of California's efforts to ensure that firearm owners have a fundamental understanding of firearm safety and legal responsibilities.

Assault Weapon Restrictions

San Diego adheres to California's strict regulations on assault weapons. These laws prohibit the manufacture, sale, transfer, or possession of assault weapons, as defined by specific features and characteristics outlined in the state law. The definition includes certain semi-automatic firearms, rifles, and pistols with specific military-style features. These regulations are part of California's comprehensive approach to firearm safety and are aimed at reducing the availability and use of these high-capacity, rapid-fire weapons.

Magazine Capacity Limit

There is a limit on magazine capacity for firearms. Magazines that hold more than ten rounds are prohibited. This regulation aims to reduce the potential for high-casualty events and is a key aspect of California's firearm safety measures. The magazine capacity limit is part of a broader strategy to enhance public safety by controlling the firepower available to the general public.

Age Requirement

In San Diego, the age requirements for purchasing firearms are consistent with the regulations set by California state law. To purchase a handgun from a licensed dealer, individuals must be at least 21 years old. For the purchase of shotguns and rifles, the minimum age requirement is 18. These age restrictions are an integral part of California's framework for gun safety, designed to ensure that firearms are accessible only to individuals who have reached an age considered appropriate for responsible handling and ownership. By adhering to these age requirements, San Diego contributes to a responsible approach to firearm ownership, aiming to enhance public safety and responsible gun use within the community.

Preparing for the Sale

When preparing for a gun sale in San Diego, CA, it's essential to adhere to several steps to ensure the transaction is legal and secure. First and foremost, confirm that the firearm is in compliance with California state regulations, which also apply to San Diego. Organize all the necessary documentation, including your Firearm Safety Certificate. The sale must be conducted through a licensed firearm dealer since private sales directly between individuals are not legally permissible in California. The dealer will facilitate the mandatory background check required for the buyer. Additionally, be aware of the 10-day waiting period mandated by the state, and ensure that both you and the buyer are fully informed about all the legal obligations entailed in the transaction. By meticulously planning your sale and following these guidelines, you can conduct a smooth and law-compliant gun sale in San Diego.

Verify Firearm Legality

Verifying firearm legality is a critical step in the gun selling process in San Diego. This involves ensuring the firearm is not classified under prohibited types, such as assault weapons, and complies with specific feature restrictions outlined in California law. It's also important to check that the firearm is not on the list of banned models and does not exceed the legal magazine capacity. Understanding and adhering to these regulations is crucial for legal compliance and maintaining public safety in firearm transactions.

Obtain a Firearm Safety Certificate

To sell a firearm in San Diego, obtaining a Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) is mandatory. This involves passing a safety test that covers basic firearm laws and safe handling practices as outlined by California regulations. The FSC ensures that sellers and buyers have a fundamental understanding of firearm safety and legal responsibilities. This certificate is a crucial component of the state's efforts to promote responsible gun ownership and is required for any firearm transaction.

Choose a Licensed Dealer (FFL)

Choosing a licensed dealer (FFL - Federal Firearms License holder) is a necessary step for selling firearms. This requirement ensures that all aspects of the sale, including the mandatory background check of the buyer, are conducted in accordance with federal and state laws. Licensed dealers have the authorization to handle the paperwork and legalities involved in the transfer of firearms. This process ensures that the sale adheres to the strict regulations set forth for firearm transactions in California.

Prepare Paperwork, including the Bill of Sale

When preparing to sell a firearm in San Diego, it's important to prepare the necessary paperwork, including a Bill of Sale. This document should detail the transaction, including information about the firearm (make, model, serial number), the date of sale, and details of the buyer and seller. The Bill of Sale serves as a formal record of the transaction and can be important for personal records and legal compliance. This paperwork, along with any other required documents, ensures transparency and legality in the firearm transfer process.

Arrange for Safe Transfer

Arranging for a safe transfer of the firearm is a crucial step in its sale in San Diego. This involves conducting the transaction at the premises of a licensed firearms dealer (FFL). The dealer facilitates the legally required background check and handles the actual transfer of the firearm to the buyer. This ensures that all aspects of the transfer comply with state and federal regulations. The use of a licensed dealer adds a layer of safety and legality, helping to prevent unauthorized access and ensuring that the buyer is legally eligible to own the firearm.

Confirm Buyer’s Eligibility

Confirming the buyer's eligibility is a critical step in the gun sale process in San Diego. This involves the licensed firearms dealer conducting a background check through the California Department of Justice. The check ensures the buyer does not have a criminal history or other disqualifying factors that would prevent them from legally owning a firearm. This process is part of California's strict measures to ensure firearms are only sold to individuals who are legally authorized to possess them, enhancing public safety and responsible gun ownership.

These steps are essential to ensure a legal and responsible firearm sale in San Diego, providing a layer of protection for both the seller and the buyer.

Conducting the Sale

When conducting a gun sale in San Diego, California, it is imperative to rigorously follow both state and applicable local laws to ensure the transaction is legal and responsible. This process requires the involvement of a licensed firearms dealer, who is responsible for carrying out a mandatory background check on the buyer via the California Department of Justice. Be mindful of the state-mandated 10-day waiting period and ensure that both the seller and the buyer possess a valid Firearm Safety Certificate. It is also crucial to understand and adhere to California's restrictions on certain types of firearms, such as assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. While San Diego-specific ordinances align with state laws, compliance with all relevant legal requirements is essential for conducting a lawful and safe firearm transaction in San Diego.

Selling to Out-of-State Buyers

In California, including San Diego, selling firearms to out-of-state buyers involves specific legal requirements to ensure compliance with both federal and state laws. Any sale of firearms to a buyer who resides outside California must be conducted through a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) in the buyer's home state. The California seller must first ship the firearm to the FFL dealer in the buyer's state. Once the firearm arrives, the out-of-state buyer must complete all necessary paperwork and background checks as required by their state laws and federal regulations. This process ensures adherence to the interstate transfer laws governed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It's important for sellers in San Diego to understand that they cannot directly hand over a firearm to an out-of-state buyer, and such transactions must always involve an FFL dealer in the buyer's state to ensure legal compliance.

Waiting period for buyers and sellers

The waiting period for a firearm sale is a mandatory 10 days. This period starts from the time the purchase application is submitted and serves several purposes. It acts as a cooling-off period, which may help in preventing impulsive acts of violence. Additionally, it allows sufficient time for a comprehensive background check to be conducted on the buyer. This waiting period is a key component of California's firearm regulations, emphasizing the commitment to safety and responsible gun ownership.

Compliance at Gun Shows and Online Sales

In San Diego, as in the rest of California, compliance with state laws is mandatory for gun sales at gun shows and through online platforms. All firearms transactions at gun shows must be processed through a licensed firearms dealer, including the completion of the mandatory background checks through the California Department of Justice and adherence to the 10-day waiting period. This also applies to online sales; even if the initial transaction is conducted online, the actual transfer of the firearm must occur through a licensed dealer in California, with all the requisite background checks and paperwork. Direct person-to-person sales without a licensed dealer, whether at gun shows or originating from online contacts, are illegal. These regulations are in place to prevent the circumvention of background checks and other legal requirements, thereby enhancing public safety and ensuring that all firearm sales, whether in-person or online, meet the state's strict legal standards.

Types of Firearms

In California, the sale of firearms like fully automatic weapons and short-barreled rifles is heavily regulated. State law prohibits these types of firearms unless they are federally registered and meet strict criteria. California also bans assault weapons, defined by specific features, as well as .50 BMG caliber rifles and high-capacity magazines over 10 rounds. Selling modified or customized handguns is subject to both state and federal regulations to ensure safety and compliance. These strict measures reflect California's commitment to public safety in firearm control.

Special Considerations in Transactions

In San Diego, special considerations for firearm transactions include adhering to age restrictions (21 years for handguns, 18 for rifles and shotguns), understanding the regulations around the sale of homemade firearms (which require serialization and must be transferred through a licensed dealer), and complying with laws regarding non-registered and antique firearms. These elements are crucial to ensure compliance with California's strict gun laws. Additionally, sellers must use a licensed dealer for all transactions to ensure proper background checks and waiting periods are observed, aligning with both state and federal regulations for a legally sound and ethical sale.

Selling Homemade Firearms

Selling homemade firearms, often referred to as "ghost guns," is subject to strict regulations. California law requires that all firearms, including those manufactured at home, must be serialized and registered with the California Department of Justice (DOJ). The process involves obtaining a unique serial number from the DOJ before the firearm is assembled or manufactured. Once the firearm is completed, it must be serialized and registered. Selling a homemade firearm without this serialization and registration is illegal. Additionally, as of January 2022, California law prohibits the sale of firearm precursor parts used to assemble a ghost gun without a background check through a licensed dealer. This legislation aims to curb the proliferation of untraceable firearms and enhance public safety. Therefore, individuals in San Diego looking to sell homemade firearms must comply with these serialization and registration requirements to ensure legality and responsibility in the transaction.

Selling Non-Registered and Antique Firearms

In San Diego, the sale of non-registered and antique firearms is governed by specific California state laws. For non-registered firearms, California law generally requires that all firearms must be registered with the California Department of Justice. If a firearm is not registered, the seller must first register the firearm before it can be legally sold. This process includes transferring the firearm through a licensed dealer, who will conduct a background check on the buyer and complete the necessary paperwork. For antique firearms, defined as those manufactured prior to 1899, California law typically exempts them from the same registration and transfer requirements as modern firearms. However, it's important to note that reproductions of antique firearms are not considered antiques under the law and are subject to standard firearm regulations. Sellers in San Diego must be cautious to ensure that any sale of non-registered or antique firearms complies with these state regulations to ensure legal and responsible transactions.

Understand Local Ordinances

It's essential to understand and comply with local ordinances pertaining to firearm transactions, in addition to adhering to state regulations. While San Diego generally aligns with California's state laws on firearms, there may be specific local nuances, particularly regarding the sale, possession, and transportation of firearms and ammunition. For example, San Diego enforces regulations on the safe storage of firearms to prevent unauthorized access, especially by minors. The city also has rules governing the transportation of firearms, which stipulate that firearms must be transported unloaded and in a locked container. It's crucial for individuals involved in firearm transactions in San Diego to be aware of these local ordinances to ensure that their actions are both legally compliant and safe. This diligence helps maintain public safety and responsible gun ownership within the community.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Selling firearms requires a commitment to legal and ethical responsibility. This means strictly adhering to California's gun laws, which include rigorous background checks, waiting periods, and restrictions on certain firearm types. Ethically, sellers must consider the implications of each sale, ensuring that firearms do not fall into the wrong hands and are used responsibly. This approach not only prevents legal issues but also contributes to public safety and responsible firearm ownership. Understanding and following these guidelines is crucial for maintaining a safe and lawful environment in the city.

Prohibited Sales

In San Diego, as dictated by California state law, certain firearm sales are expressly prohibited to maintain public safety and legal compliance. It is illegal to sell firearms to individuals who are under the state-mandated age limits: under 21 years old for handguns, and under 18 for rifles and shotguns. Sales are also prohibited to individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes, deemed mentally unstable, or have active restraining orders against them. Additionally, the sale of assault weapons, .50 BMG caliber rifles, and high-capacity magazines (capable of holding more than 10 rounds) is banned. Selling unserialized or "ghost" guns, as well as firearms not meeting California's safety requirements, is also prohibited. San Diego enforces these restrictions rigorously, aligning with California's broader efforts to prevent the circulation of firearms among individuals and in manners deemed to increase the risk of gun violence.

Sales to Non-U.S. Citizens and Individuals with Mental Illness

Within the framework of California state laws, specific regulations apply to firearm sales to non-U.S. citizens and individuals with mental illness. Non-U.S. citizens are permitted to purchase and own firearms, but they must meet certain criteria, including having a valid Alien Registration or I-94 card, and comply with all standard requirements such as passing a background check. For individuals with mental illness, California law prohibits firearm sales to anyone who has been adjudicated by a court to be a danger to themselves or others due to a mental illness, or who has been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. These regulations are part of California's comprehensive approach to ensuring that firearms are only sold to individuals who are legally eligible and capable of responsible gun ownership, thereby enhancing public safety in cities like San Diego.

Finalizing the Sale

Finalizing the sale of a firearm in San Diego involves carefully following California's detailed legal procedures. This includes ensuring all transactions are processed through a licensed firearm dealer, adhering to the mandatory 10-day waiting period, and conducting background checks. The dealer also verifies that the firearm is legally registered and not prohibited. Accurate record-keeping of the transaction is crucial for both legal compliance and personal accountability. This guide outlines the essential steps to legally and responsibly conclude the sale of a firearm in San Diego.

Shipping Firearms within San Diego

As governed by California state law, the shipping of firearms is subject to strict regulations to ensure safety and legal compliance. Firearms cannot be directly shipped to a non-licensed individual within the city. Instead, any shipment of firearms must be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer. This means if an individual in San Diego purchases a firearm, it must first be shipped to a licensed dealer, who will then conduct the necessary background check and adhere to the state's 10-day waiting period before releasing the firearm to the buyer. Furthermore, it's essential that the firearm be unloaded and securely packaged during transportation to prevent any unauthorized access and to comply with safety standards. These measures are part of California's efforts to regulate the transfer and shipment of firearms responsibly within its cities, including San Diego.

Importance of Record Keeping

Maintaining detailed records of firearm sales in San Diego is crucial for legal and accountability reasons. California law requires transactions to be processed through a licensed dealer, who keeps records. However, sellers should also retain their own records, including transaction dates, firearm details (make, model, serial number), and buyer's information (name, address, contact). This documentation is vital for establishing the transfer of ownership and can be important if the firearm becomes involved in legal issues. Proper record-keeping ensures compliance with stringent California gun laws and provides a clear history of the firearm’s ownership.

Why Choose Cash For Arms

Choosing 'Cash For Arms' for selling firearms offers several advantages, particularly in terms of convenience, legal compliance, and safety. This service typically provides a straightforward and hassle-free process for selling firearms, which can be especially beneficial for those unfamiliar with the intricacies of gun laws. 'Cash For Arms' often ensures that all transactions comply with federal and state regulations, providing peace of mind to sellers concerned about legalities. Moreover, such services often have expertise in appraising firearms, ensuring that sellers receive a fair market value for their guns. Additionally, 'Cash For Arms' handles the transfer process, which adds a layer of safety, as the transaction occurs in a controlled and secure environment. This is crucial for those who prioritize personal safety and want to avoid risks associated with private sales. Overall, 'Cash For Arms' offers a professional, safe, and legally compliant way to sell firearms, making it an appealing option for many gun owners.

Benefits of Using Cash For Arms for Gun Sales

Choosing Cash For Arms for your firearm sale means opting for a service that is dedicated to your best interests. We focus on making the selling process as easy and efficient as possible. Our commitment to our diverse clientele is evident in our convenient service offerings. With Cash For Arms, you are choosing a path that ensures safety, speed, legal compliance, and reliability in every transaction​​.

Professionalism, Legal Compliance, and Customer Support

At Cash For Arms, we are not just about transactions; we are about building trust through professional, legal, and supportive services. Our approach to selling firearms is grounded in prioritizing the best interests of our clients. We simplify the selling process while adhering to all legal requirements, ensuring that you can confidently and conveniently turn your firearms into cash. Our dedication to providing top-notch customer support means we are here to guide you at every step, ensuring a smooth and worry-free experience​​.

Cash For Arms stands out as the optimal choice for selling firearms in San Diego, California. Our focus on safety, legal compliance, and customer support, combined with our commitment to simplifying the selling process, aligns with the needs of gun owners looking for a reliable and efficient service. Trust Cash For Arms for a seamless, legally compliant, and profitable firearm selling experience.


Sell your guns easily!

Cash for Arms will do the heavy lifting for you, and make you a market-based, no obligation cash offer for your guns.

Get my Cash Offer


San Diego's commitment to gun safety is exemplified by its enforcement of California's Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO), also known as the "Red Flag" law. This innovative legal measure allows for the temporary removal of firearms from individuals deemed a danger to themselves or others, emphasizing a proactive approach to preventing gun violence based on behavioral risk assessment.

General Questions & Answers

What do i need to buy a gun in San Diego?

To purchase a firearm in San Diego, you must have a Firearms Safety Certificate (FSC), obtained by passing a written test on firearms safety and paying a $25 fee.

What do you need to buy a gun in San Diego in 2023?

When purchasing a gun in San Diego, you need to present a valid driver's license or state ID, your Firearm Safety Certificate, and pay for the firearm, either a deposit or full price. Completing forms and providing a thumbprint is also required. For handguns, proof of residency is necessary.

What can stop me from buying a gun in San Diego?

You are ineligible to buy a gun if you have a felony conviction, certain misdemeanors, firearms offenses, a narcotics addiction, are under a domestic violence restraining order, or have been committed to a mental institution under Welfare and Institutions Code section 8100.

What is the new gun law in San Diego?

San Diego's recent law prohibits people from carrying concealed guns in various public locations, regardless of having a concealed carry permit. This includes parks, playgrounds, churches, banks, and zoos.

Can foreigners own guns in San Diego?

In San Diego, non-U.S. citizens, including permanent residents or qualifying non-immigrant visa holders with at least 90 days of established residency, can purchase firearms. They must possess a current hunter safety certificate or hunting license.

Can I purchase a gun without a license in San Diego?

A Firearm Safety Certificate is necessary to purchase firearms. This certificate must be presented to a licensed firearms dealer at the time of purchase.

Can I keep a loaded gun in my house in San Diego?

Storing a loaded gun in a home or area under your control is illegal if you know or should know that someone prohibited from possessing a firearm could access it.

Can you keep a gun in a car in San Diego?

A U.S. citizen over 18 years old, not prohibited from firearm possession, can transport a handgun in their vehicle if it is unloaded and locked in the trunk or a locked container.

What is San Diego's gun policy for individuals under 21?

In San Diego, the sale, loan, or transfer of any firearm to individuals under 21 years of age is generally prohibited. Additionally, the purchase of a semiautomatic centerfire rifle requires the buyer to be at least 21 years old, with certain exemptions for law enforcement or military personnel.

Can I carry a gun in San Diego?

Carrying a concealed weapon requires a permit. Applicants must demonstrate a specific reason beyond general personal safety to establish good cause. Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit is generally prohibited.

Can you own an AR-15 pistol in San Diego?

Possessing an AR-15 pistol ,classified as an assault weapon, is prohibited unless it was lawfully owned before classification and registered within specified timeframes.

Can I take my gun camping in San Diego?

Yes, you can have a firearm at your campsite while camping or fishing in San Diego. However, remember that a campsite is legally considered your temporary home. You may possess a firearm in your campsite, but you must adhere to specific regulations and exercise caution, as with firearm possession in any other location.



As experienced and knowledgeable gun buyers, Cash for Arms provides the best market value for your firearm, ensuring you get the best possible price.



Cash for Arms adheres to all necessary protocols to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, preventing the sale of firearms to prohibited individuals.



Cash for Arms pays all costs involved in the transaction, making it a hassle-free and cost-effective option for selling your gun.



We pay within 24 hours of receiving your firearms.



Safe and Secure Transaction: Multiple Selling Options: Cash for Arms offers multiple selling options to suit your needs, including selling outright or cash consignment.


The content presented on this website is intended for informational purposes only. has made significant efforts in compiling, formulating, and ensuring high-quality information and materials. Nevertheless, we do not affirm or guarantee the complete accuracy, exhaustiveness, appropriateness, or timeliness of the information displayed on or linked to this website. Any reliance upon the information found on this website or through the associated links is done solely at the user’s discretion and risk. The information provided here does not amount to legal advice.  We are not legal professionals specialized in firearm laws, and our content should not be taken as such. Users are fully responsible for adhering to the laws and regulations applicable to their local jurisdiction concerning the buying, selling, and possession of firearms.

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We value your interest in our services. Due to regulatory requirements, we can only accept contact information from individuals 21 years of age or older. However, individuals aged 18 and above are eligible to sell firearms through our platform. If you are between 18 to 21 years old, please exit this pop-up and refrain from providing your phone number. Those under 18 should leave the website. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in adhering to these guidelines.

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