California Gun Ownership: Can I Keep My Gun at Someone Else’s House?


Owning a gun in California comes with its own set of responsibilities and questions. One common query that gun owners often ask is whether they can keep their firearms at someone else’s house. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to address this particular concern, offering insights into California’s gun ownership laws and the rules governing keeping guns at another person’s residence. So, let’s dive in and shed light on this intriguing topic.


California Gun Ownership Laws: A Brief Overview

Before delving into the specifics of keeping guns at someone else’s house, let’s first understand the fundamental gun ownership laws in California. The Golden State has some of the strictest gun regulations in the United States, designed to promote public safety while respecting the Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners.


Can I Keep My Gun at Someone Else’s House?

Now comes the burning question: Can you leave your firearm at someone else’s residence? The answer isn’t a straightforward “yes” or “no.” The legality of storing a gun at another person’s house depends on a few critical factors and requires adherence to California’s firearms laws.


Understanding California’s Safe Storage Laws

California’s safe storage laws mandate that gun owners take specific precautions to prevent unauthorized access to firearms. When you leave your gun at someone else’s house, you must ensure that they store the firearm safely and securely to comply with the law. Proper storage usually entails using a locked container or gun safe.

The Gun Owner’s Responsibility

As a responsible gun owner, you must be aware of your obligations regarding your firearm, even if it’s stored elsewhere. Always keep your weapon unloaded before transferring it to someone else’s custody. Additionally, make sure the person responsible for safeguarding your gun is legally allowed to possess firearms.

Transferring Guns: Intrafamilial vs. Non-Familial

The rules for transferring guns differ depending on whether the person you’re entrusting with your firearm is a family member or not. Intrafamilial transfers usually have less stringent requirements compared to non-familial transfers, which involve a background check through a licensed dealer.

Firearm Dealer Transfers

When you plan to keep your gun at a non-family member’s house for an extended period, it’s essential to involve a licensed firearm dealer. They’ll handle the necessary paperwork and background checks to ensure compliance with the law.

The 10-Day Waiting Period

It’s crucial to remember that California imposes a mandatory 10-day waiting period for all gun purchases and transfers. So, even if you intend to store your firearm at someone else’s house, be prepared for this waiting period.

Can I Keep My Gun at My Friend’s House for Self-Defense?

In certain situations, you might consider leaving your gun at a friend’s house for self-defense purposes. However, it’s essential to know that the primary location for using a firearm for self-defense should be your own home or business. Keeping it elsewhere for this purpose might not be considered lawful.

California Gun Laws for Concealed Carry

If you have a concealed carry permit in California, you might wonder whether it allows you to carry your firearm into someone else’s house. Generally, the permit only covers carrying your weapon on your person or in your vehicle, not on someone else’s private property.

What Happens If Your Gun Is Used in a Crime?

When you entrust your firearm to someone else’s care, there’s always a risk that it might be misused. If your gun is used in the commission of a crime, and it can be traced back to you, you could potentially face serious legal consequences. Therefore, it’s essential to be cautious about whom you allow access to your firearms.



1. Can I keep my gun at my neighbor’s house for temporary safekeeping?

Yes, you can temporarily store your gun at your neighbor’s house, as long as you follow California’s safe storage laws and ensure that your neighbor is legally eligible to possess firearms.

2. Is there a limit to how long I can keep my gun at someone else’s house?

California law doesn’t specify a time limit for keeping your gun at another person’s residence. However, it’s essential to avoid indefinite storage to prevent potential legal complications.

3. Can I lend my gun to a friend for recreational purposes?

Yes, you can lend your gun to a friend for recreational purposes, such as hunting or shooting at a range. However, it must be a temporary arrangement, and your friend must have the legal right to possess firearms.

4. Can I keep my gun at my sibling’s house without involving a licensed dealer?

Yes, you can transfer your firearm to a sibling without going through a licensed dealer. In California, intrafamilial transfers typically have fewer requirements.

5. What should I do if I change my mind about leaving my gun at someone else’s house?

If you change your mind about storing your firearm elsewhere, you must retrieve it promptly. Remember that you are still responsible for its safekeeping.

6. Can I keep my gun at my workplace overnight?

While it’s possible to keep your firearm at your workplace for security reasons, it’s crucial to ensure compliance with your employer’s policies and local laws.

7. Is it legal to keep my gun at my parents’ house while I am away for an extended period?

Yes, you can leave your firearm at your parents’ house while you are away. Intrafamilial transfers usually do not require involvement from a licensed dealer.

8. What if my gun is stolen from someone else’s house? Am I liable?

If your firearm is stolen from another person’s house due to their negligence, you might not be held liable. However, legal matters can be complex, so it’s essential to consult with a lawyer.

9. Can I keep my gun at my significant other’s house if we don’t live together?

Yes, you can keep your firearm at your significant other’s house if you don’t live together, provided they meet the legal requirements for firearm possession.

10. Are there any restrictions on the type of firearm I can store at someone else’s house?

California’s firearm laws apply to all types of firearms, so there are no specific restrictions on the type you can store at another person’s residence.


Owning a firearm in California comes with great responsibility, and keeping it at someone else’s house requires careful consideration of the state’s laws. Remember to prioritize safety and legality when entrusting your gun to another person’s care. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can navigate the complexities of California’s gun ownership regulations with confidence.


Author Bio:

The author is a knowledgeable and experienced firearms enthusiast who has thoroughly studied California’s gun ownership laws. With a passion for promoting responsible gun ownership, they aim to help others understand the legalities and responsibilities that come with owning firearms in the Golden State.

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  4. Are there restrictions on owning certain types of firearms in California?
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Answer ( 1 )


    Are you a gun owner and wondering whether it’s legal to keep your firearm at someone else’s house in California? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. There are specific laws and exceptions that every gun owner should be aware of to avoid any legal consequences. In this blog post, we will explore the ins and outs of keeping guns at someone else’s house in California, so you can make informed decisions about how to store your firearms safely and legally. Let’s dive into the details!

    What is the law in California regarding keeping guns at someone else’s house?

    In California, the law regarding keeping guns at someone else’s house is relatively strict. According to state law, it is illegal to transfer or lend a firearm to anyone who is not a licensed dealer without conducting a background check. This means that if you want to keep your gun at someone else’s house, you need to ensure that they are legally allowed to possess firearms.

    Additionally, any person who owns or possesses a firearm must store it in a locked container or with an approved locking device when they are not carrying it on their person. This applies both in your own home and when storing your gun at someone else’s property.

    It’s worth noting that there are some exceptions for people who may need temporary access to firearms for self-defense purposes. For example, victims of domestic violence can obtain emergency restraining orders allowing them temporary possession of firearms.

    If you’re planning on keeping your gun at someone else’s house in California, make sure that the other party is legally authorized and follow all necessary safety protocols to avoid legal consequences.

    What are the exceptions to this law?

    While California law generally prohibits the storage of firearms at someone else’s house without a valid license or permit, there are some exceptions to this rule. One exception is for individuals who have been granted permission by the owner of the property to keep their firearm on the premises. This can include situations where a homeowner allows a friend or family member to store their gun in a safe or other secure location while they are visiting.

    Another exception is for individuals who are transporting their firearm and need to temporarily store it at someone else’s house during their journey. In these cases, the gun must be unloaded and securely stored in accordance with state law.

    It’s important to note that these exceptions do not apply if an individual is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms under California or federal law. Additionally, anyone storing a firearm at someone else’s house must ensure that it remains inaccessible to unauthorized persons, such as children or individuals who may be prohibited from possessing guns.

    It’s always best practice to consult with legal counsel if you’re unsure whether your situation falls within any of these exceptions.

    What are the penalties for violating this law?

    The penalties for violating California law regarding keeping guns at someone else’s house can vary depending on the circumstances of the violation. Generally, it is considered a misdemeanor offense to keep an unregistered firearm in any location without a valid license or permit.

    In addition, if the gun is stored in a place accessible to children under 18 years old and without any safety measures such as trigger locks or locked cabinets, it can result in enhanced penalties. Violating this law carries potential fines of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year imprisonment.

    Moreover, if you are found guilty of providing a firearm that was used in criminal activity or committing another crime with your own weapon kept at someone else’s house illegally, you could face more serious felony charges. The punishment for these offenses ranges from hefty fines and extended jail time to permanent loss of gun ownership rights.

    It is important to understand that California takes its firearms laws seriously and violations will not be tolerated. It is necessary always to comply with all relevant regulations when storing guns outside your personal residence.

    How can I ensure that I am complying with the law if I need to keep my gun at someone else’s house?

    If you need to keep your gun at someone else’s house in California, it is important to ensure that you are complying with the state law. Here are some tips on how to do so:

    Firstly, make sure that the person who owns the property where you will be keeping your gun has a valid firearms license. If they don’t have one, then it is illegal for them to possess any firearms.

    Secondly, ensure that all guns stored at this house are properly secured and out of reach of minors or unauthorized individuals. This means using a lockable container or gun safe.

    Thirdly, record the make, model and serial number of your firearm(s) and provide this information to both the owner of the property and local law enforcement agency. This will help prevent any disputes if there is ever an incident involving your firearm(s).

    Always transport your firearms legally by following California’s transportation laws when bringing them back home from another person’s residence.

    By taking these steps mentioned above ,you can be confident that you are storing your firearms legally while maintaining safety for everyone involved.

    It is important to understand the laws regarding gun ownership and storage in California. Keeping your firearm at someone else’s house can be legal under certain circumstances, but it is crucial to ensure that you are complying with all applicable laws and regulations.

    Remember to always properly store and secure your firearm when not in use, regardless of whether it is kept at your own home or someone else’s. If you have any questions or concerns about gun ownership or storage in California, seek guidance from a qualified attorney or law enforcement official.

    By following these guidelines and being responsible gun owners, we can help promote safety for ourselves and those around us. Let us do our part as members of society to keep firearms out of the wrong hands while still protecting our right to bear arms.

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