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Firearms & Weapons In Riverside County

California Department of Justice Bureau of FirearmsRiverside County Sheriff's Department encourages you to visit the State of California Department of Justice Firearms Bureau website for detailed information on registering, regulating, purchasing and selling, and possessing firearms in the state. The website also contains information for other types of weapons.

All firearms purchases and transfers, including private party transactions and sales at gun shows, must be made through a licensed dealer under the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) process. California imposes a 10-day waiting period before a firearm can be released to a buyer or transferee. A person must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a rifle or shotgun. To buy a handgun, a person must be at least 21 years of age, and either:

  1. Possess a Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC) plus successfully complete a safety demonstration with the handgun being purchased

    OR . . .

  2. Qualify for an HSC exemption.

State and Federal laws make it unlawful for certain persons to own and/or possess firearms. All applicants for a CCW will be fingerprinted and state records will be checked to determine if they are in a prohibiting class.

Restrictions on Firearms Possession

On February 24, 2009, the United States Supreme Court, in the case of United States v. Hayes, upheld the provision of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 which prohibits anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from possessing a weapon.

Any person who has a conviction for any misdemeanor listed in California Penal Code Section 12021(c)(1), including a domestic violence misdemeanor, or for any felony, or is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, or has been held involuntarily as a danger to self or others pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 8103 is prohibited from buying, owning, or possessing firearms.

Various other prohibitions exist for mental conditions, domestic restraining/protective orders, conditions of probation, and offenses committed as a juvenile.

Recreational Shooting in Riverside County

Recreational shooting is permitted on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.  Proper Access to public lands must be via public roads. Crossing private lands to access public lands is not permitted unless you first obtain permission from the private landowner.

According to the Bureau of Land Management two target practice areas in Riverside County are open to the public:

  • BERDOO CANYON National Park Service Map
    Directions to Berdoo Canyon from I-10, near Palm Desert: From I-10 Eastbound toward Indio go about 11.5 miles, take the Dillon Rd exit - go 0.3 miles down the off-ramp; Turn left onto Dillon Rd - go 6.3 miles Turn right at Berdoo Canyon Rd - go 0.7 miles
  • FARGO CANYON Google Map Opens in New Window
    Directions to Fargo Canyon from I-10, near Palm Desert: From I-10 Eastbound toward Indio go about 11.5 miles, take the Dillon Rd exit - go 0.3 miles down the off-ramp; Turn left at Dillon Rd - go 3.3 miles Turn right at 40th Ave - go 4.3 miles

Prior to your trip, check with the nearest BLM office for current conditions, regulations, fire hazard closures and other information.

Bureau of Land Management Opens in New Window
Palm Springs South Coast Field Office
1201 Bird Center, CA 92262
Main Contact Number: 760-833-7100
Fax Number: 760-833-7199
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., M-F

Firearms in Riverside County
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