Fact Sheet on California Gun Laws and Firearm Statistics on Teenagers and Young Adults in California

 For Release:  Tuesday, August 10, 1999

California Firearm Laws1

  • Purchasers of concealable weapons must fill out and submit a California Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) form and undergo safety training.
  • Secondary sales between private individuals – including those at gun shows – must go through a licensed firearms dealer.
  • Ten-day waiting period required for purchase of any firearm to allow time for a background check.
  • Handgun possession by minors is prohibited with numerous exceptions, e.g. being accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • California has a Child Access Prevention (CAP) law which makes it a felony to leave a firearm accessible to anyone under the age 14.
  • In 1989 California banned a wide range of assault weapons by name, including the UZI carbine and pistol. This year the California legislature tightened up the ban addressing threats posed by “sporterized” assault weapons which circumvented the ban. The state also passed one-handgun-a month legislation and a mandatory trigger lock bill.

Firearm-Related Death Among Teenagers and Young Adults in California

  • In 1996 there were 675 children and teens 19 years of age and younger shot and killed with firearms in California: 511 in firearm homicides; 108 in firearm suicides; 52 in unintentional shootings; and four in firearm deaths of unknown intent.2
  • In 1996 the rate of firearm-related death among children and teens 19 years of age and younger in California was 6.9 per 100,000. In 1996 the rate of firearm-related death among all U.S. children and teens 19 years of age and younger was 6.1 per 100,000. In 1996 the rate of firearm-related homicide among children and teens 19 years of age and younger in California was 5.2 per 100,000. In 1996 the rate of firearm-related homicide among all U.S. children and teens 19 years of age and younger was 3.7 per 100,000.3
  • In 1996 the rate of firearm-related death among children and youth less than 15 years old in California was 1.1 per 100,000. In 1996 the rate of firearm-related death among all U.S. children and youth less than 15 years oldwas 1.2 per 100,000. In 1996 the rate of firearm-related homicide among children and youth less than 15 years old in California was 0.8 per 100,000. In 1996 the rate of firearm-related homicide among all U.S. children and youth less than 15 years old was 0.7 per 100,000.4
  • In 1995 firearm-related deaths (1,649) were the leading cause of injury-related death in California among people 24 years of age and younger, outpacing even motor vehicle-related deaths (1,339).5
  • In 1996 the firearm-related homicide offender rate among children and teens 19 years of age and younger in California was 3.3 per 100,000. In 1996 the firearm-related homicide offender rate among all U.S. children and teens 19 years of age and younger was 2.4 per 100,000.

1) Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, State Laws and Published Ordinances, 1998.

2) National Center for Health Statistics Compressed Mortality File 1996, accessed through the CDC Wonder system from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at wonder.cdc.gov.

3) National Center for Health Statistics Compressed Mortality File 1996, accessed through the CDC Wonder system from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at wonder.cdc.gov.

4) National Center for Health Statistics Compressed Mortality File 1996, accessed through the CDC Wonder system from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at wonder.cdc.gov.

5) Pacific Center for Violence Prevention web site at www.pcvp.org, State of California, Department of Health services, Death Records.

6) Homicide offender rate reflects the number of children and teens 19 years of age and younger arrested for firearms homicide per 100,000 population. Unpublished data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 1996 Supplemental Homicide Report. Population count for rates from the CDC Wonder system from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at wonder.cdc.gov. Rates calculated by the Violence Policy Center. 6

 

 

 

 

 

About the Violence Policy Center
The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the VPC on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

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