State Waiting Periods for Guns

Waiting Periods in Alabama

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Alabama has no law imposing a waiting period prior to purchase of a firearm.

See our Waiting Periods for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Waiting Periods in Alaska

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Alaska imposes no waiting period between the time of purchase and the actual physical transfer of a firearm.

See our Waiting Periods policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Waiting Periods in Arizona

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Arizona has no law imposing a waiting period prior to purchase of a firearm.

See our Waiting Periods Policy Summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Waiting Periods in Arkansas

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Arkansas imposes no waiting period between the time of purchase and the actual physical transfer of a firearm.

See our Waiting Periods policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Waiting Periods in California

Posted on Monday, January 12th, 2015

See our Waiting Periods policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

California law prohibits any licensed firearms dealer from transferring or delivering a firearm to a person within ten days of the latter of:

  • The application to purchase the firearm;
  • The submission of any correction to the application, after notice from the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) that an application is inaccurate or incomplete such that DOJ cannot identify the purchaser or the firearm to be transferred; or
  • The submission of any fee required, after notice from DOJ that the required fee has not been transmitted.1

In other words, if a dealer submits to DOJ any application correction or required fee at the request of DOJ, that dealer is prohibited from delivering the firearm to the purchaser until ten days after submission of the correction or fee.2

DOJ also has the authority to temporarily delay a firearm transaction, for up to 30 days from the date of the initial transaction, when DOJ is unable to immediately determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own or possess firearms.3 If this occurs, the dealer must provide the purchaser with information about the manner in which he or she may contact DOJ regarding the delay.4 DOJ must also notify the purchaser by mail regarding the delay and explain the process by which the purchaser may obtain a copy of the criminal or mental health record the department has on file for the purchaser. Upon receipt of that criminal or mental health record, the purchaser must report any inaccuracies or incompleteness to DOJ on an approved form.5 If DOJ makes a determination about the purchaser’s eligibility within 30 days, it must either immediately notify the dealer that the transaction may proceed, or immediately notify both the dealer and local law enforcement that the person is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.6 However, if 30 days have passed since the transaction date and DOJ is still unable to determine the purchaser’s eligibility to own or possess firearms, DOJ must immediately notify the dealer, and the dealer may then release the firearm to the purchaser, at the dealer’s discretion.7 Under federal law, in contrast, a dealer is permitted to transfer a firearm if a background check has not been completed within three business days.8

These waiting period provisions do not apply to:

  • Transfers to licensed firearms importers or manufacturers;9
  • Certain transfers between dealers;10 or
  • Transfers involving curios or relics as defined under federal law.11

For more information on firearm sales in California, see our sections on Background Checks in California and Retention of Sales and Background Check Information in California.

  1. Cal. Penal Code §§ 26815, 27540, 28220(e). []
  2. Id. []
  3. Cal Penal Code § 28220(f)(1)(A). []
  4. Cal Penal Code § 28220(f)(1)(B). []
  5. Cal Penal Code § 28220(f)(2). []
  6. Cal Penal Code § 28220(f)(3). If the firearm is transferred by the dealer, the dealer must record on the register or record of electronic transfer the date that the firearm is transferred, the dealer must sign the register or record of electronic transfer indicating delivery of the firearm to that purchaser, and the purchaser must sign the register or record of electronic transfer acknowledging the receipt of the firearm on the date that the firearm is delivered to him or her. Id. []
  7. Cal Penal Code § 28220(f)(4). If the firearm is transferred by the dealer, the dealer must record on the register or record of electronic transfer the date that the firearm is transferred, the dealer must sign the register or record of electronic transfer indicating delivery of the firearm to that purchaser, and the purchaser must sign the register or record of electronic transfer acknowledging the receipt of the firearm on the date that the firearm is delivered to him or her. Id. []
  8. 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(1)(B)(ii). []
  9. Cal. Penal Code § 27700. []
  10. Cal. Penal Code §§ 26960, 27660. []
  11. Cal. Penal Code §§ 26970, 27670. For all other exceptions see Cal. Penal Code §§ 26950-26970, 27650-27670. See Cal. Penal Code §§ 28160, 28165 for specific information that must be contained in the sales register or record of electronic or telephonic transfer to DOJ. []

Waiting Periods in Colorado

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Colorado does not impose a specific waiting period between the completion of a firearm purchase and the actual transfer of the firearm to the purchaser. See the Colorado Background Checks section for information about the process when a background check cannot be completed.

See our Waiting Periods policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Waiting Periods in Connecticut

Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Connecticut currently prohibits any person, firm or corporation from transferring a long gun (rifle or shotgun) until two weeks have passed after the date the purchase application is completed.1 This waiting period does not apply, however, to holders of valid permits to carry handguns, holders of valid hunting licenses, or holders of valid handgun or long gun eligibility certificates.2

For long gun purchases from firearm dealers, the two-week waiting period only applies prior to April 1, 2014.  Starting April 1, 2014, the delivery of the firearm is tied to the date that the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection issues an authorization number for the transaction.3

See our Waiting Periods policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37a(g). []
  2. Id. []
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat § 29-37a(d), (e). []

Waiting Periods in Delaware

Posted on Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Delaware has no law imposing a waiting period prior to purchase of a firearm.

See our Waiting Periods policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Waiting Periods in Florida

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

The Florida Constitution imposes a mandatory three-day waiting period, excluding weekends and legal holidays, between the retail purchase and delivery of any handgun.1 This waiting period does not apply to concealed weapons permit holders or to the “trade-in of another handgun.”2

The Florida Constitution also authorizes counties to enact three to five-day waiting periods, excluding weekends and legal holidays, in connection with the sale of any firearm occurring in or on “property to which the public has the right of access” within the county.3 This provision is directed at gun shows and other events open to the public outside of retail firearms establishments. Concealed weapons permit holders are not subject to such waiting periods when purchasing a firearm.4

See our Waiting Periods policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Fla. Const. art. I, § 8(b); Fla. Stat. § 790.0655(1). []
  2. Fla. Const. art. I, § 8(b); Fla. Stat. § 790.0655(2). []
  3. Fla. Const. art. VIII, § 5(b). “Sale” under this provision means the transfer of money or other valuable consideration for any firearm when any part of the transaction is conducted on property to which the public has the right of access. Id. []
  4. Id. []

Waiting Periods in Georgia

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Georgia imposes no waiting period between the time of purchase and the actual physical transfer of a firearm.

See our Waiting Periods policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.