LEO Info

State Exemptions for Authorized Peace Officers

Non-Roster Handguns (Unsafe Handguns)

The following agencies may purchase non-roster firearms for use in the discharge of their official duties (Pen. Code, § 32000, subd. (b)(4)):

 

  • Department of Justice
  • A police department
  • A sheriff's official
  • A marshal's office
  • The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • The Department of the California Highway Patrol
  • Any district attorney's office
  • Any federal law enforcement agency
  • The military or naval forces of this state or of the United States

 

Penal Code section 32000 does not prohibit the sale to, or purchase by, sworn members of the above agencies of a handgun. Additionally, any of the following entities or sworn members of these entities who have satisfactorily completed the firearms portion of a training course prescribed by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training pursuant to Penal Code section 832 may purchase non-roster handguns (Pen. Code, § 32000, subd. (b)(6)):

 

  • The Department of Parks and Recreation
  • The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • The Division of Investigation of the Department of Consumer Affairs
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles
  • The Fraud Division of the Department of Insurance
  • The State Department of State Hospitals
  • The Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • The State Department of Developmental Services
  • The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
  • A county probation department
  • The Los Angeles World Airports, as defined in Penal Code section 830.15
  • A K-12 public school district for use by a school police officer, as described in Penal Code section 830.32
  • A municipal water district for use by a park ranger, as described in Penal Code section 830.34
  • A county for use by a welfare fraud investigator or inspector, as described in Penal Code section 830.35
  • A county for use by the coroner or deputy coroner, as described in Penal Code section 830.35
  • The Supreme Court and the courts of appeal for use by marshals of the Supreme Court and bailiffs of the courts of appeal, and coordinators of security for the judicial branch, as described in Penal Code section 830.36
  • A fire department or fire protection agency of a county, city, city and county, or the state for use by either of the following:
  • A member of an arson-investigating unit, regularly paid and employed in that capacity pursuant to Penal Code section 830.37
  • A member other than a member of an arson-investigation unit, regularly paid and employed in that capacity pursuant to Penal Code section 830.37

  • The University of California Police Department, or the California State University Police Departments, as described in Penal Code section 830.2
  • A California Community College police department, as described in Penal Code section 830.32

 

Individuals who have obtained a non-roster firearm under any of the exemptions listed in Penal Code section 32000, subdivision (b), paragraph (6) may not sell or transfer the non-roster firearm to an individual who is not exempt from the requirements of Penal Code section 32000.

A person licensed pursuant to Penal Code sections 26700 to 26915, inclusive, shall not process the sale or transfer of an unsafe handgun between a person who has obtained an unsafe handgun pursuant to an exemption specified in Penal Code section 32000, subdivision (b), paragraph (6) and a person who is not exempt from the requirements of Penal Code section 32000 (Pen. Code, § 32000, subd. (c)(1)).
 

Large Capacity Magazines

A sworn peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, who is authorized to carry a firearm in the course and scope of that officer's duties may borrow, purchase, receive, or import into this state a large-capacity magazine (Pen. Code, § 32405.)

10 Day Waiting Period Exemption

The waiting period described in Penal Code section 26815 does not apply to the sale, delivery, or transfer of firearms made to any person who satisfies both of the following requirements:

 

  • The person is properly identified as a full-time paid peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2.
  • The officer's employer has authorized the officer to carry firearms while in the performance of duties (Pen. Code, § 26950, subds. (a)(1) and (2).)

 

Proper identification is defined as verifiable written certification from the head of the agency by which the purchaser or transferee is employed, identifying the purchaser or transferee as a peace officer who is authorized to carry firearms while in the performance of duties, and authorizing the purchase or transfer (Pen. Code, § 26950, subd. (b)(1).)

May a licensee sell firearms to law enforcement agencies and individual officers?

Yes. Law enforcement officers purchasing firearms for official use who provide a licensee with a certification on agency letterhead that the officer will use the firearm in official duties and that a records check reveals the purchasing officer has no convictions for misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence are not required to complete a ATF Form 4473 or undergo a background check. An officer purchasing a firearm for official duties may purchase the firearm from a licensee in any State, regardless of where the officer resides or the agency is located. Disposition of a firearm to an officer must be entered into the licensee's acquisition and disposition record, and the certification letter used to purchase the firearm must be retained in the licensee's files. Contact your State's Attorney General's Office to ensure there is no State prohibition on such sales.
[18 U.S.C. 925(a)(1); 27 CFR 478.134 and 478.141]

§ 478.134 Sale of firearms to law enforcement officers.

1.    a. Law enforcement officers purchasing firearms for official use who provide the licensee with a certification on agency letterhead, signed by a person in authority within the agency (other than the officer purchasing the firearm), stating that the officer will use the firearm in official duties and that a records check reveals that the purchasing officer has no convictions for misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence are not required to complete Form 4473 or Form 5300.35. The law enforcement officer purchasing the firearm may purchase a firearm from a licensee in another State, regardless of where the officer resides or where the agency is located.

2.    b.
    1.  1.The following individuals are considered to have sufficient authority to certify that law enforcement officers purchasing firearms will use the firearms in the performance of official duties:

       1.    i. In a city or county police department, the director of public safety or the chief or commissioner of police.

       2.    ii. In a sheriff's office, the sheriff.

       3.    iii. In a State police or highway patrol department, the superintendent or the supervisor in charge of the office to which the State officer or employee is assigned.

       4.    iv. In Federal law enforcement offices, the supervisor in charge of the office to which the Federal officer or employee is assigned.

    2.  2.An individual signing on behalf of the person in authority is acceptable, provided there is a proper delegation of authority.

3.    c. Licensees are not required to prepare a Form 4473 or Form 5300.35 covering sales of firearm made in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section to law enforcement officers for official use. However, disposition to the officer must be entered into the licensee's permanent records, and the certification letter must be retained in the licensee's files.
 

State Exemption Forms

Assembly Bill No. 2699 - Form Template for Exemption Letter
CFR 478.134 Section (b)(2) Authorization Form Template
Department Firearm Purchase Form Template
FET Exemption Certificate (TTB F 5600.35)
Individual Officer Firearm Purchase Authorization
Peace Officer 10 Day Exemption