Purchasing my first firearm?

I am considering buying my own firearm. I am in the military and stationed in alaska. I am looking to purchase for protection and as a hobby. Im just doing my homework right now and want to know what kind of paper work i need ( if any) to own a firearm. I am looking to move back to california afterwards and i know each state has different rules about them.

I am currently looking at a glock 17, 21 or possibly a 1911.

8 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    for pistols, you'll need a conceal and carry permit. your identification, and i think that is it. you will have a background check, so go there early if you want your gun that day. the background check might be fast, but mine took 7 hours, and i had to come the next day to get it due to me going there near closing time.

    anyway have fun. and thanks for serving!

  • 7 years ago

    The guys before me have given solid advice. A local firearms shop should be able to step you though the process. I have bought several guns online but would recommend a local shop for your first one so you are comfortable asking questions after the purchase.

    Looks like semi-autos are where you are going. Make sure with any handgun you gert something that is comfortable in your hand. A couple years ago I was looking for a 9mm and found the grip of the Ruger SR9 much better for me than the Glock 17/19.

  • 7 years ago


    Make darned sure you learn how firearms must be transported in a vehicle in California, they are very particular. I assume you will fly back? I think you can still put a pistol in checked baggage, but learn the laws of California. You'll need a secure, locking container and the ammo has to be in a separate container. I don't know if you can bring ammo onto a plane, or if the airline just has to be notified. Might be easier to ship it from FFL dealer in AK to one in CA. You will need a CA ID to buy ammo but I'm sure it will be a lot cheaper (like everything else) in CA than in AK. Make sure you don't buy anything with a larger than 10 round magazine (CA law limits it to 10.

    And then there is "the button" CA requires on many firearms which makes switching out magazines more time-consuming. I think these days in CA you have to take a class, get it registered and a bunch of other nonsense. And of course a fee for every step.

  • august
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Just buy a 1911. The Glock 17 and 21 will have magazines that will be completely illegal in California, unless you hamper yourself by buying CA-legal 10-round magazines. The 1911 will always have 7-round or 8-round magazines, which are legal by current CA standards.

    Plus I'm a little biased against Glocks, because they feel horrible in my hands. A 1911, on the other hand, fits like a glove.

    Make sure you're allowed to have a handgun while you're on base, too. Most military bases limit your ability to have a gun on your own- it must be stored in the armory, or you have to be in off-base housing.

    EDIT: Anonymous has given you very bad advice- if you enter the state of California with a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds, you are breaking the law. The ONLY instance where you can own a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds is if you owned it in the state of California PRIOR to their ban. Period.

    To quote their FAQ regarding firearm laws:

    "If I have a large-capacity magazine, do I need to get rid of it?

    No. Continued possession of large-capacity magazines (able to accept more than 10 rounds) that you owned in California before January 1, 2000, is not prohibited. However as of January 1, 2000, it is illegal to buy, manufacture, import, keep for sale, expose for sale, give or lend any large-capacity magazine in California except by law enforcement agencies, California peace officers, or licensed dealers.

    (PC Section 12020 (b)(19-29))"


    Note the word "IMPORT" in their statement. By bringing it across state lines for ANY purpose, you are IMPORTING the magazine. Therefore, a magazine holding more than 10 rounds that you bring into the state would be illegal.

    EDIT #2: Another question on their FAQ that is applicable:

    "I am moving into California and I own several handguns. What are the new-resident registration requirements?

    You are considered to be a personal handgun importer as defined by California law. You may bring all of your otherwise California-legal firearms with you, but you must report all of your handguns to the DOJ within 60 days as required utilizing the New Resident Handgun Ownership Report, pdf. You are not required to report rifles or shotguns. You may not bring ammunition feeding devices with a capacity greater than ten rounds, machineguns, or assault weapons into California.

    (PC sections 12001(n), 12072(f)(2))"

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  • 7 years ago

    Look outside the narrow realm. I personally don't like how Glocks or 1911s feel in hand, but I'm the weird one.

    Alaska you fill out the 4473 and buy the gun.

    Taking it to CA, follow the national transport laws and you'll be fine. Contrary to popular opinion, you can own magazines with more than 10 round capacity. You just can't buy them new. You can buy builder kits.

  • 7 years ago

    Alaska, no problem getting what you want. Taking it back to CA, big hassle. Revolvers like the Taurus .45/.410 are illegal in CA. They have about 5 pages of outlawed fire arms on their web site. Nothing over 10 rounds. Nothing that a Liberal could possibly think is an assault rifle.

  • 7 years ago

    In AK, all you need is your ID, a few minutes, and a chunk of change. You'll fill out the 4473 at the shop (takes only a minute), they'll run your background check, and you're done.

  • Mr.357
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    If you get a handgun with a standard magazine that holds over 10 rounds, it will be illegal to take those magazines to CA.

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